You need to check out the 2005 Competitiveness Redbook, a bit of a bestseller around these parts. It is a small but powerful publication — think of it as our version of the “little red book.” On every one of its 43 pages, the 50 states are ranked #1 – #50 on various criteria, like tax rates, business climate, unemployment insurance costs, teacher salaries, condition of roads, state immigration and emigration, etc. (Here’s a link to the Table of Contents.) On the theory that what you measure improves, this book is self-evident. Some of our members have purchased copies for every one of their state legislators. You only have to pick it up and page through it to instantly see its worth. If you’re in a state that’s in the bottom half, or bottom quarter, on one of these indices, it alone makes the case for trying to improve your standing. One of our Board members, irritated because his state only ranked fifth in an important area, sent it to his state’s economic development czar, asking why they weren’t #1.
Here’s a link to a sample page of the book, just to give you an idea of how it looks, and here’s a link to where you can buy it. It is very inexpensive — only five bucks — and will pay back a hundred fold the investment. You’ll see why this has become such a popular publication among manufacturers and businesses all over the country.
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