geeseGuess what, California?

Last night, I went to a popular fancy restaurant with a Michelin star, and I ordered foie gras, even though it is illegal to sell foie gras. That’s right, you outlawed it, but I did it anyway.

And, guess what else? A lot of other people were eating it too, and all of them looked rich and important. Because none of us care about your stupid law banning foie gras…

…aka another pretentious California law that makes us seem more obnoxious than France…

…aka another cheap trick to distract the media from your complete fiscal incompetence…

And guess why I was eating at a fancy restaurant on a Wednesday night? Because I wanted to take my girlfriend on a nice date, before I travel to New York tomorrow.

And guess why I am going there?

Because I am thinking of starting a new company, and I am checking out the startup scene in New York as an alternative to starting my next company in California. Shortly, I will also be visiting Austin and Seattle (and maybe even Las Vegas) to see what they have to offer.

That would have been unthinkable a year ago, but then you decided to retroactively tax entrepreneurs for achievements that were completed months — or even years — ago.

…aka you have taken a knife and stabbed it in the heart of the golden goose

…aka you are somehow, somehow managing to screw up the best thing that ever happened to California…

…aka I feel that you literally stole from me the year after I sold my company and already paid highest-in-the-nation taxes to you…

It’s entirely possible that I will stay here, but I don’t really know. As an entrepreneur, I take a tremendous amount of risk each year, and so I prefer to have some modicum of security in the things that I can control.

And this is a state that is out of control.

Laws appear out of nowhere, some pushed forth by over-zealous bureaucratic agencies. Some are pushed through by voter propositions…

…aka mob rule…

…aka the buffoons who run this state have never read the Federalist Papers, because our founding fathers would have abhorred our dependence on these insane and destructive propositions

…aka remember when you allowed mobs to outlaw gay marriage, and then New York handled it beautifully through proper legislation?

But aside from the good weather, the two things that you give me are (a) access to venture capital and (b) engineers.

Unfortunately for you, California, venture investors are leading the charge to explore out-of-state opportunities. Many are furious at you for your reckless taxation, and they are equally excited to see what sort of innovation is happening outside Silicon Valley.

…aka your tyranny of the majority has ruffled a very very important minority…

…aka most of us Californians are first or second generation transplants from the East Coast who recognize that the other 49 states have some merit too, as does that whole rest of the world thing that you sometimes forget exists, California…

Oh, and you don’t need a team of ten engineers anymore, thanks to the inventions of Rails, AWS, GitHub, SendGrid, and Imgix, teamed with the timely death of IE6. And thanks to Yammer, gchat Video, and a bunch of other recent tools, you don’t need everyone in the same place all the time.

…aka you are doing a great job of obviating yourself…

…aka Silicon Valley is like the 18th century Shaker Movement, which succeeded in its ultimate goal of making itself disappear…

No, this is not a goodbye to you, California, but it’s the first time that I’ve ever thought of leaving. And that is a big deal for me.

But the only way to reach you, and speak to you in terms that you can possibly understand, is to talk like a pretentious, arrogant jackass…

…aka I’ve rolled my eyes like ten times while typing this article…

…aka I don’t even really care what you think, because I know that I’m correct…

…aka [obnoxious gagging sound]…

[Image courtesy Mr. Onz]