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Jon Fleischman

Hollywood: Cry Me A River

There was an article in the Los Angeles Times yesterday about how the city is losing the core of its television production to other states.   The article talks about how just two of the twenty-plus fall and midseason shows shows will be shot in L.A. County.  It says that, “Fewer than 10% of new network dramas this season are based in Los Angeles, down from 50% in 2010 and nearly 80% in 2005.”

Most of the article is really focused on anecdotal, tragic stories of people in the television production business who are being very hard-hit by this circumstance.  It is mentioned that other states are luring away the business.

First of all, I want to make it clear that I have an enormous amount of sympathy for those being hard hit economically.  These are real people, with families, who are in dire straights.

That said, I will make the political observation that in some respects “Hollywood” is reaping what it has sewn.  Whether you look “in front” of the cameras to the countless numbers of film and television actors who routinely support liberal candidates and causes, or look to the labor unions who represent all of those folks who are now hurting because of the scarcity of business who ship off their money to folks like Governor Jerry Brown, you cannot keep from making this observation:  How can one feel sympathy for those in “Hollywood” for jobs leaving the state when they repeatedly work to elect and re-elect politicians who continue to heap on more and more taxation, more and more regulation, and make the “business decision” to do film production work elsewhere an easy one?

What galls me even more is current and ongoing practice of giving “tax credits” for film and television production in our state.  For this community to support liberal politicians who make this state so business unfriendly, and then seek “carve outs” so that their industry gets special, comfy treatment, is the height of hypocrisy.  If “Hollywood” is so deserving of a tax credit so they can remain profitable, why shouldn’t it be a across the board tax credit for all businesses?  There is actually a bill winding its way through the legislature right now to extend tax credits to California film production.  Tax credits are anathema to those who seek flat tax, but certainly are embraced by the political class who crave the opportunity to use the government to pick winners and losers.  Well I would tell this to legislative Republicans — if this tax credit finds itself in front of you, you might think about rejecting it.  In the matter of overtaxing and over-regulating California businesses, those in the Hollywood “community” have been bad actors.  They deserve to try and make a go of it under the same rules their liberal politician friends have dumped on the rest of us.

In closing, suffice it is say that if all of the people in the film entertainment industry in Los Angeles are scratching their asking why they are losing jobs to cities in other states, it isn’t rocket science.  It’s the handiwork of big government, executed by the politicians that the “Hollywood” community has put into office.