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  • Alicia Warren

Kevin O'Leary slams 'wasteland' San Francisco over store closures, bad policies: 'It is not America anymore'

"Shark Tank" star Kevin O’Leary lambasted the political mistakes that have led to San Francisco’s demise, arguing that the once-bustling city is now a "wasteland."


The O’Leary Ventures chairman discussed the political mishaps by California leadership that are plaguing the state’s largest cities, and encouraged viewers to see the downfall for themselves.


"Walk around San Francisco. It is not America anymore. It just isn’t," he stressed Monday on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast."


When it comes to the city’s rapid decline, O’Leary blamed it on bad policies, bad taxes and the lack of a sensible legal system.


Earlier this year, San Francisco Centre, the city’s largest shopping mall, was reportedly only 25 percent occupied after another slew of retailers announced their closures.


In June, the mall’s owner, Westfield, announced that it would be handing the property back to a bank due to "the challenging operating conditions in downtown San Francisco." Days later, Cinemark Holdings announced that it would be closing its theater at the mall.


"What a wasteland. All of these places shutting down. It is not a partisan argument. When a Walgreens shuts down and a drug store shuts down and a convenience store shuts down, a bodega shuts down, that’s nothing to do with whether you’re blue or red," O’Leary explained.


"Don’t listen to me. Go try it out. You wouldn’t run a convention in San Francisco. You have to take an Uber one block to your hotel, or you get executed," he stressed.


The TV personality said that you must "blame the top manager" as well as city administrators and mayors for the current standard of living — or lack thereof.


O’Leary, a vocal critic of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s "lack of executional skills," didn’t mince words when discussing the poor policies put in place by the state’s chief.


Recently, California’s $20 minimum wage hike has become the latest thorn in many business owners’ sides.


"It’s a mistake, it’s a Gavin Newsom mistake," O’Leary said when discussing the newly enacted law.

"It's not just fast food and convenient dining that's shutting down because they're unprofitable at $20 a minimum wage. Lots of other businesses are leaving that state," he continued.


O’Leary admitted that he doesn’t invest in startups in California anymore. Despite having done so with a few, he said that he would move their headquarters out of the state.


He told FOX Business’ Ashley Webster that the state is being "hollowed out" and that taxpayers, businesses and high net worth individuals are moving to places like Tennessee, Texas and Florida.


"It [California] is not a place to do business. It’s not in business," O’Leary said.


"I think Gavin Newsom, for his interest in running for president, should probably fix California now, because everybody in the country has figured out that place is a disaster," he urged.

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