‘What Would John Do?’

By March 14, 2006General

So how does Georgia or Indiana attract these jobs? By creating a climate that allows manufacturing to flourish, that’s how. On the “Cost of Doing Business” index from our Competitiveness Redbook, both Georgia and Indiana are in the bottom half (#s 31 and 34, respectively). Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts and California top that particular list. (Wonder where your state ranks….?)

In Michigan, there was a great piece in the Detroit News on Sunday by Nolan Finley entitled, “What Would John Do?’, comparing former Governor (and current NAM President) John Engler’s excellent economic record to that of current Governor Granholm. Engler created a tax and legal system that allowed business to flourish, and saw an unemployment rate well below the national average throughout most of his term. These days, they’re way north of the national average, sadly.

The bottom line is that states attract investment when they create an economic climate that makes businesses want to locate there. Incentives are great, but they are temporary, and not the primary reason why companies locate, contrary to popular belief. It’s access to a skilled workforce, to a steady and affordable supply of energy, a good tax system and a legal system that doesn’t put the trial lawyers in charge. This is something John Engler well understood for his 12 years as Governor of Michigan. There are many Governors today who could take a page out of his book.

OK, gotta go ask for a raise….