The big names in Silicon Valley are so angry at a Donald Trump win, they are calling for a Brexit of their own.
The Golden State is a stronghold for the Democrats and has a large number of racially diverse populations. It is also the biggest economic center in the United States and the second most high-tech place in the world after Tokyo. According to the IMF, it is the sixth largest economy in the world with a gross state product of $2.5 trillion in 2015.
A Trump presidency can pose a problem for the technology firms in the Valley. The president-elect has made no bones about the fact he wants to impose steep tariffs on goods manufactured in low-income countries like China and Vietnam (despite the fact that Trump-branded menswear itself is made in China) and has outright voiced that he wants Apple to stop making their phones in China.
“As tech is oftentimes defined, you’re talking about Silicon Valley,” said Gregory Autry, an assistant professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business. “Trump is definitely a problem for that model. His economic policies are focused on punishing China for its trade abuses and returning manufacturing to the U.S.”
Beyond the fact that higher tariffs would make products more expensive and even force some companies to manufacture their products in the U.S., Silicon Valley also have a lot invested in immigrants.
The H-1B visa program, which brings skilled workers from overseas and helps them acquire a green card, has been threatened by Trump who has asserted the American people should be given those jobs. The president-elect has said he would shut down the program once he becomes president and has criticized Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg over his efforts to push for immigration.
Now high profile technologists are already calling for California to secede from the United States. The independence campaign — Calexit, Califrexit and Caleavefornia — has been regarded as a fringe movement, but now it is being backed by influential investors like Hyperloop co-founder Shervin Pishevar, Internet entrepreneur Jason Calacanis and social network Path co-founder Dave Morin.
1/ If Trump wins I am announcing and funding a legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation.— Shervin (@shervin) November 9, 2016
@shervin I was literally just going to tweet this. I'm in and will partner with you on it.— DAVE MORIN (@davemorin) November 9, 2016
Others Silicon Valley tycoons have also showed their dismay at the surreal win.
...so, we're gonna have to learn the hard way then. ??— M.G. Siegler (@mgsiegler) November 9, 2016
i'd like to wake up now please— Sam Altman (@sama) November 9, 2016
i've never felt as alone in a room full of people as i do right now— Sam Altman (@sama) November 9, 2016
Earlier this year, about 100 tech leaders signed an open leader claiming how a Trump presidency would be “a disaster for innovation.”
The only public supporter of the loud-mouthed billionaire was Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal and a Facebook board member, yet even he acknowledged the severity of the situation.
“We’re going to need all hands on deck,” he said in a statement. “He has an awesomely difficult task, since it is long past time for us to face up to our country’s problems.”