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Intel CEO: Silicon Valley is California's Life Support

By - Source: WSJ | B 30 comments

Paul Otellini had some harsh words to describe the economic situation of his home state.

"I was born and raised here. I’m fifth or sixth generation. It’s one of the nicest pieces of real estate on the planet, and we’re so close to screwing it up, it’s pathetic," Otellini was quoted saying by the Wall Street Journal. "I’d like to be bullish, but I worry that we have to hit the abyss before we can fix things, and I worry that the abyss will be more like Greece." He mainly complained about the enormous housing cost, and high tax rates as well as traffic that is testing the patience of Californians every day.

In a conversation with Republican Congressman Tom Campbell at the Intel Capital Global Summit, the executive clearly showed how unhappy he was with California's government and mentioned that if it wasn't for Silicon Valley, the state would probably be deserted.

Silicon Valley would still create the magic to keep people in California, even if he said that Intel has not created one job in more than a decade in California. On California's financial system he noted that "every now and then we get an IPO that fills the state’s coffers and they feel they can push the ball down the road. I feel we have to go through a dark time to fix this." A dark time would be about as bad as a crisis as we see today in Greece, he said.

Campbell, obviously enjoyed the discussion, especially since Otellini said that he would support him if he ran for governor.


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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    heinz81 , October 9, 2012 11:20 PM
    Not just CA. The USA lives on borrowed money. Even the bail-outs were paid with borrowed money. Our goverment is like a kid with a titanium card and only an allowance (see massive trade deficit and service sector jobs). No real income. What does the USA export to China? Raw materials like scrap metal or machine like Catipillar. The Chinese import for capital. We import to consume.
  • 11 Hide
    kinggraves , October 9, 2012 11:29 PM
    A movie star (and not a very good one) was elected, for MANY years, as Governor. California has no business whining about the crisis they're in. Let's start by cutting all the unnecessary ultraliberal programs that people like Pelosi pass, those policies are idealist and can't be afforded in the real world. Legalize and tax marijuana since half the state is smoking it anyway. Legalize and tax the high hispanic population of illegals because they aren't going anywhere and form the backbone of the low income bracket. Stop living in a fantasy bubble that California is a civilization much wiser than the rest of America because your state's on fire.

    Oh, right, this story is about Otellini. Pardon my language, but Otellini is full of shit. Silicon Valley outsources it's jobs overseas or at the very least out of state. They won't run any business out of Cali because it's far cheaper to run business out of nearby Nevada. All they do is live there. Don't even start on the traffic Paul, you've probably never ridden a BART in your life.
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    heinz81 , October 9, 2012 11:20 PM
    Not just CA. The USA lives on borrowed money. Even the bail-outs were paid with borrowed money. Our goverment is like a kid with a titanium card and only an allowance (see massive trade deficit and service sector jobs). No real income. What does the USA export to China? Raw materials like scrap metal or machine like Catipillar. The Chinese import for capital. We import to consume.
  • Display all 30 comments.
  • 11 Hide
    kinggraves , October 9, 2012 11:29 PM
    A movie star (and not a very good one) was elected, for MANY years, as Governor. California has no business whining about the crisis they're in. Let's start by cutting all the unnecessary ultraliberal programs that people like Pelosi pass, those policies are idealist and can't be afforded in the real world. Legalize and tax marijuana since half the state is smoking it anyway. Legalize and tax the high hispanic population of illegals because they aren't going anywhere and form the backbone of the low income bracket. Stop living in a fantasy bubble that California is a civilization much wiser than the rest of America because your state's on fire.

    Oh, right, this story is about Otellini. Pardon my language, but Otellini is full of shit. Silicon Valley outsources it's jobs overseas or at the very least out of state. They won't run any business out of Cali because it's far cheaper to run business out of nearby Nevada. All they do is live there. Don't even start on the traffic Paul, you've probably never ridden a BART in your life.
  • 0 Hide
    echondo , October 9, 2012 11:48 PM
    Well it doesn't help with Obama increasing the national debt and giving bail outs left and right and continuing to promise more and more and actually giving less and less.

    What we need is to stop with the whole Middle East fiasco and start drilling our own oil that we own in our own country. California's gas prices have suddenly rose from ~$4.50 to ~$5.50 in just one night and there is already people stealing ATM cards and gas.

    This needs to end now and no one in the government is helping it one bit.
  • -8 Hide
    vkg1 , October 9, 2012 11:55 PM
    He's a typical 1 percenter/idiot. Intel CEO complaining about life being too hard in California. Samsung, ARM, and other foreign/superior companies going to assassinate his company with mirroring of every "new idea" that comes out of Silicon Valley, at lower cost due to lower labor costs and less being trapped by patent evilness in East, over the next 10 years anyway. Americans are a bunch of capitalist idiots. Hilarious watching them fight each other. Now they are trying to get a new 1-percenter into president's office also.
  • 6 Hide
    Richeemxx , October 10, 2012 12:02 AM
    @kinggraves Silicon Valley still employees a large number of people, and they do generate taxes but you are right, for the most part they are not paying nearly as much as they would be without that loop-hole that lets them run office is Nevada and oversees.

    Ca. is a joke. We've been doing nothing but gobbling up agricultural land and building houses but we haven't been working to build sustainable jobs. We think that we can live is this housing bubble and that people will keep buying keeping the market moving. Without dropping some of these taxes and getting back some of the tech industry jobs we had and other industrial or manufacturing jobs we aren't going anywhere.
  • 6 Hide
    DRosencraft , October 10, 2012 12:10 AM
    California's problem is not the symptom of the last governor, or the one before them. It wasn't Obama, or Bush. California's problems have been decades in the making. To attract Silicon Valley businesses, to keep the Hollywood folks happy, long ago California made crazy concessions. They offered tax breaks, paid for a lot of stuff themselves, all while putting off actually paying for any of it for a very long time. They let themselves be taken advantage of by people like the heads of Enron for years while turning a blind eye to it all. Added to that the fact that the state itself is larger than some countries, yet has less actual political power than many countries, California for a long time has been a disaster waiting to happen. California should be two or three states. It's just too big to be managed as a single state. People hate the sound of that idea, but I believe that it is the best solution.

    As for Mr. Otellni, I believe he is part of the problem. The number of breaks his company gets, the help the state gave Intel in building itself up. His statements remind of GM not too long ago. GM used to argue the same thing concerning its influence over not just Michigan, but the entire US. Now, I won't say that California would do particularly well without Intel, but California will survive even after Intel or Silicon Valley goes away.
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , October 10, 2012 12:23 AM
    Fun fact: If you pay your taxes instead of stuffing them in tax havens, maybe the tax rate wouldn't be so high...
  • 3 Hide
    egill , October 10, 2012 12:27 AM
    echondo,

    Drilling for oil will do nothing to solve our problems. Any oil drilled here would be sold on the global market, so unless we magically add a large percentage to the global market, at best you drive it down a few cents. Tankers will literally re-route mid voyage to the highest bidder, hence the global market aspect of oil. Our money would be much better off being invested in new technologies that have the capacity to change the way we do things (will take decades to accomplish, but better to start now then when it is an imminent problem). Truth is the President and government have little to do with gas prices; its a facade people use to point their fingers at politicians to get elected.

  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 10, 2012 12:41 AM
    Until we stop fooling ourselves that we can afford the military that we have we will never get out of this mess. You can blame PBS and welfare as much as you want but the only way to restore order to our budget is to stop the imperialistic military.
  • 2 Hide
    bigdragon , October 10, 2012 1:16 AM
    CA needs to wake up and start cutting. You have to start somewhere. I don't want to hear about some program, purchased product, or contract being a drop in the bucket compared to the overall budget. Cut now. It will all add up to big savings. Cut the feature creep the state has been providing to citizens and agencies alike. Shutter government agencies. Consolidate. Stop making excuses for why some piece of the budget cannot be cut. This is not a partisan issue. It is one of greed that spans all parties, incomes, ethnic backgrounds, and regions. Otellini is right on the money with his remarks.

    Here in California Jr (Maryland) we throw away 3 million a year on a useless Bay Bridge advertising campaign featuring Pixar characters, 1 million on weather monitoring equipment for that bridge that isn't as good as checking weather.com, 5 million on take-home government cars and servicing them, and lots more. There are so many little feature creep things that need to be cut. Hell, we even buy slots machines for casinos! I'm sure it's the same in CA with regards to waste. So much can be done to fix things. Politicians are the problem, not 1%'ers or the economy or revenue or outsourcing.
  • -2 Hide
    A Bad Day , October 10, 2012 2:01 AM
    egillechondo,Drilling for oil will do nothing to solve our problems. Any oil drilled here would be sold on the global market, so unless we magically add a large percentage to the global market, at best you drive it down a few cents. Tankers will literally re-route mid voyage to the highest bidder, hence the global market aspect of oil. Our money would be much better off being invested in new technologies that have the capacity to change the way we do things (will take decades to accomplish, but better to start now then when it is an imminent problem). Truth is the President and government have little to do with gas prices; its a facade people use to point their fingers at politicians to get elected.


    Plan B: Drain deep sea oil within less than a decade. SCREW THE FUTURE GENERATION!
  • 6 Hide
    alextheblue , October 10, 2012 2:11 AM
    A Bad DayFun fact: If you pay your taxes instead of stuffing them in tax havens, maybe the tax rate wouldn't be so high...
    Yeah OK. I can see it now. "Whoa we're taking in too much revenue! We need to put a stop to this! Let's lower taxes until we're just pulling in just enough money."

    Yeah effing right. They spend way more than they take in. Give them more and they'll STILL blow every dime they take in and then some. With that said, I don't defend companies that dodge taxes, even though pretty much all companies do so to varying degrees. But to act like the taxes will come down just because all companies are paying in full, that's way beyond optimism.
  • -2 Hide
    egill , October 10, 2012 2:59 AM
    Quote:
    Plan B: Drain deep sea oil within less than a decade. SCREW THE FUTURE GENERATION!


    What a horrible attitude! What happens in 10 years then? If this is how you approach life, does anyone ever bother to help you?
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , October 10, 2012 4:27 AM
    I live in Los Angeles....

    The problem is much worse than they lead on it to be...
  • -2 Hide
    falchard , October 10, 2012 4:59 AM
    Ha, he is so right. That opinion mostly comes out of Silicon Valley where there are so many Libertarians who understand what economy means. Libertarians thrive in tech because its so new the politicians have not gotten around to ruining it.

    However, I don't think its the life support for California. I live in the great city of San Diego. Here we have a balanced budget and loan the state money. Our city leadership makes the tough calls of not building a public works in order to keep the budget balanced and keep a large cash reserve. Its simply the finest run top 10 populace city in the country. They even get a clue when the populace votes down a sales tax increase by having a backup plan to keep the budget balanced. At this point it would be a great day if San Diego seceded from California and formed a city-state.

    Only city in the country who has such a good football team and won't build them a new stadium because there isn't enough money in the budget for it.
  • -3 Hide
    falchard , October 10, 2012 5:05 AM
    Quote:
    Until we stop fooling ourselves that we can afford the military that we have we will never get out of this mess. You can blame PBS and welfare as much as you want but the only way to restore order to our budget is to stop the imperialistic military.


    We can cut the entire US military, and it would no balance the federal budget.
  • 0 Hide
    Zingam , October 10, 2012 5:18 AM
    Ha-ha Cuba and North Korea will win the Cold War :D 
  • -4 Hide
    iamtheking123 , October 10, 2012 7:46 AM
    I vote we just push california off and let the mexicans drag it to the bottom of the ocean like they did with meheco.
  • 1 Hide
    spasmolytic46 , October 10, 2012 12:37 PM
    falchardWe can cut the entire US military, and it would no balance the federal budget.


    You're right, but with that kind of logic I sure hope you aren't anyone's CFO. Even if you stopped all discretionary spending it would take 12 years to pay off the debt. Considering 2012's military spending is over $700 billion, you'd make a decent enough dent after a few years.
  • 1 Hide
    phate , October 10, 2012 2:23 PM
    DRosencraft Added to that the fact that the state itself is larger than some countries, yet has less actual political power than many countries, California for a long time has been a disaster waiting to happen. California should be two or three states. It's just too big to be managed as a single state. People hate the sound of that idea, but I believe that it is the best solution.


    It's actually been brought up several times*, unfortunately, you get the democratic problem of winner take all based on population. Southern California will never let northern California go.

    *220 times according to wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_and_secession_in_California
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