California vs. Texas: Hot Sauce and Property Rights


Hot off the presses (literally!) comes news that Huy Fong Foods, the makers of the popular sriracha hot sauce, is thinking about moving from California to Texas. From the LA Times:

After a months-long battle with the city of Irwindale over complaints about a spicy odor, Sriracha sauce creator David Tran said Wednesday he is now seriously considering moving his factory to another location.

Tran responded Wednesday to the politicians and business leaders from 10 states and multiple cities in California that have offered to host the Sriracha factory. He invited them to tour the facility in Irwindale and decide if their communities would complain about the odors that arise during production.

One lawmaker who has made a strong pitch for Huy Fong is Texas state Rep. Jason Villalba, from the Dallas area:

On Monday, Texas state Rep. Jason Villalba asked Tran in a Facebook post to meet with Texas officials. Villalba offered to organize a Texan delegation to travel to Irwindale and discuss the deal in greater detail.

“I implore the Tran Family: just meet with us. Let us tell you what is possible by moving your operations to Texas. You will not be disappointed,” Villalba said.

The experience of David Tran and Huy Fong illustrates one critical difference between California and Texas: in Texas, we appreciate, value, and defend private property rights. Our local officials tend to try to work with businesses, instead of dictating to them.

Again, the LA Times:

Tran said his first choice is to stay in Irwindale, but the city government’s actions have created an uncertain business climate.

“I have had the bad luck to move into a city with a government that acts like a local king,” Tran said.

One reason why TREPAC created Voice For Texas is to prevent any of our local governments acting like a local king. We know that topics like what to do about a factory creating nuisances are complex ones, and that sometimes, government action is required to protect the interests of the community as a whole. But vigilant insistence on preserving as much of a person or business’s property rights leads to policies that benefit everyone.

This respect for private property rights is a foundation for our strong economy, for the millions of jobs that entrepreneurs like David Tran have created throughout Texas. And when businesses relocate here, or expand operations here in Texas, the additional economic activity brings jobs, new people, new communities, new products and services, and new growth.

We join Rep. Villalba in hoping that David Tran and his family move to Texas, and discover for themselves what it’s like to live and work in a place where property rights are respected, and local governments act like a partner, rather than a king.

Bring your hot sauce to Texas, David!


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