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Gordon Ramsay Reportedly Relocating Restaurant Headquarters to Texas as California Exodus Continues

Voting with your feet is one of the greatest expressions of freedom. Just ask Gordan Ramsay.

Image Credit: Flickr-gordonramsaysubmissions | CC BY 2.0

Surly celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is reportedly heading to Texas—or at least his corporate headquarters is, the Dallas Morning News reports.

CEO Norman Abdallah, who runs the Hell’s Kitchen star’s restaurants across North America, told the paper he’ll oversee the debut of 75 company-owned locations over the next few years, including multiple locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area scheduled for 2022 and 2023.

While many high-profile people, including Joe Rogan and Elon Musk, have taken up residence in the Lone Star State, the newspaper reports this is not necessarily the case for Ramsay.

“[The] new Gordon Ramsay North America restaurant headquarters in D-FW does not signal that the British chef is moving to [Texas],” the Morning News reported.

Blazing a Trail

Ramsay’s announcement comes the same week that YouTube star Dave Rubin announced he’s giving up the Golden State for Florida. While we don’t know Ramsay’s reasons for relocating, Rubin was transparent with his own thought process.

“[California has] the top marginal income tax rate in the country, 7 percent sales tax, our gas tax is 50 cents, and now they’re trying to push through a retroactive tax, an exit tax for rich California residents who leave,” Rubin said in a video announcement. “They want to tax you for leaving! They stole all that stuff from you and now they want more because you make the decision to leave. California is the most regulated state in the country, with LA being probably the most regulated city in the state.”

Texas and Florida, in contrast to California, have no income tax.

But as Rubin makes clear, it’s not just about tax rates. California is also one of most regulated economies in America, and lawmakers show little sign of relenting. Just this week Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he was reinstating a state-wide indoor mask mandate. (Newsom last year was caught violating his own mask mandate while attending the birthday party of a lobbyist at the French Laundry restaurant.)

Despite its progressive tax policies, California suffers from some of the highest rates of homelessness, poverty, and income inequality in the US.

For all these reasons, some Californians appear to be souring on the Golden State. Last year saw California experience its first decline in population ever recorded.

The Ultimate Expression of Freedom

Many Californians no doubt love their state and have no intentions of leaving, and that’s perfectly fine. But it’s also good that Americans are free to pursue their dreams in other states that are more suited to their values and ambitions.

The truth is many lawmakers have grown downright hostile to private property. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, for example, said Americans have a “socialistic impulse” but “what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights.”

If Americans or the lawmakers who govern them wish to indulge this alleged “socialistic impulse,” they are free to do so. Fortunately however, because of the American system of federalism, businesses and individuals are free to go their own way.

Entrepreneurs in California can move their enterprises to Texas—like Rogan, Musk, and Ramsay. Goldman Sachs can relocate to Florida, if it’s so inclined. If you don’t like what the government says you can build on your property because of government building codes, you can buy a ranch in Wyoming—if you have the scratch—and take your company with you, like Kanye West did when he left California.

Decentralization is one of the great strengths of the American system, and a key to preserving liberty and peacefully coexisting in a country as large and diverse as the United States.

Voting with your feet is one of the greatest expressions of freedom, and one more Americans should appreciate. Just ask Gordan Ramsay.

  • Jonathan Miltimore is the Senior Creative Strategist of at the Foundation for Economic Education.