Toyota sent shock waves through Southern California when it announced this past week that it’s moving its North American sales headquarters from Torrance, south of Los Angeles, to Plano, Texas, north of Dallas.
The move, which is part of a broader headquarters consolidation, will cost the city of Torrance about $1.2 million in annual tax revenue and affects about 3,000 employees.
Employees who relocate are in for a surprise. Contrary to the image promulgated by both critics and boosters, Texas is not an alien planet populated by barbarians with big hair.
With its cheap suburban housing and good public schools, Plano in fact offers a 21st-century version of the middle-class California dream that built towns like Torrance. It’s just been updated, with more immigrants, better restaurants and a lot more marble countertops.
In contrasting Texas and California, politicians and pundits tend to emphasize taxes and business regulation. But for most people on a day-to-day basis, the biggest difference between the two is the cost of housing.Read Article