Saturday, May 05, 2012

West Coast States Rank Poorly on Best/Worst States for Business 2012 List

The eighth annual Chief Executive’s survey of CEO opinion of Best and Worst States in which to do business was recently released and to no surprise, Texas still ranked the number one state for businesses.
California, once the most attractive state for business retains the dubious distinction of being the worst state for business. As stated at,
“The economy, which used to outperform the rest of the country, now substantially underperforms. And its status as the most ruinously contentious place to operate remains undisturbed in eight years. Its unemployment rate, at 10.9 percent, is higher than every other state except Nevada and Rhode Island. With 12 percent of America’s population, California has one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients. Each year, the evidence that businesses are leaving California or avoid locating there because of the high cost of doing business due to excessive state taxes and stringent regulations, grows. According to Spectrum Locations Consultants, 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state in 2011, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year and five times as many as in 2009.”
With California ranking the worst, it boggles the mind that either Oregon or Washington would follow their example for dealing with businesses, but that is exactly what both of the Democrat majority held states have done, Washington seeing a drop of 3 ranking positions to number 37 and Oregon gaining their own dubious distinction of the largest one year drop in this year’s ratings, falling from number 33 to number 42, placing them solidly in the 10 Worst States for Business.

Over the 5 year period starting from 2008, Oregon has dropped a whopping 15 positions and continues their slide. As one CEO said,
“Oregon has wasted its competitive advantage with its beauty and natural resources and great work force….It’s been replaced with a State Government that loves to penalize achievement and success…”
Washington hasn’t quite made the 10 Worst list yet, but it seems we’re working on it, sliding down from the 34th Best State to the 37th Best State for Business. As Chief states,
“Lack of income tax strains to hide other financial and regulatory snares for business.”
Taxes and Regulations rank high on the list of the Worst States as each is also a “forced union” state. Each of the 10 Best States are “Right to Work” states.

Wisconsin’s embattled governor Scott Walker has his state headed in the right direction as Wisconsin has shown a 4 point improvement, moving up to number 20 from the previous position of number 24.

Indicating the hard opposition especially from public sector unions, Chief Executive states about Wisconsin,
“Governor Scott Walker’s battle with the unions in Wisconsin…, demonstrates that the struggle for a pro-growth agenda can be contentious. As one Badger State business leader remarked, ‘Finally, Wisconsin is headed in the right direction’.”
I would say that will depend a lot on the outcome of the heavily union backed effort at recalling Governor Walker. Should he be replaced by a strong union supporting governor again, overturning the many reforms he has gotten passed in the legislature, surely Wisconsin will join Oregon and Washington in sliding backwards.

As Kimberly Morin writes at US Daily Review,
“This survey cannot come as a surprise to those who have been watching the absolute thuggery that unions across the country have been using against states where Governors have decided to give workers a choice. Right-to-Work doesn’t end unions but gives workers the choice of whether or not to be a part of a union without being forced to pay fees if they decide to opt out. If workers want to unionize in Right-to-Work states they have that option and right. On the flip side, in Forced Union states, workers who do not wish to belong to the union are still forced to pay union fees if they want to keep the job.”
We see examples of this in Washington State as even though a little over half of our state budget goes to education, it is never enough for the teachers unions who continually demand and demonstrate for more, even though our children over all aren’t receiving the education they should.

We see it as unions strive to force more and more small companies into their unions with the state collecting dues for them.

We see it in the efforts of the unions and Democrat Representatives like 49th district’s Jim Moeller filing a lawsuit against the people of the state to overturn the clearly stated “voice of the people” in requiring a two thirds majority vote to impose or raise taxes.

We even saw it in this last legislative session as our $1.5 Billion budget gap took a back seat to wasting half of the session on passing homosexual marriage rights instead of working out reforms to get our state back on track.

Even after finally getting a balanced budget written on paper in special sessions, we still face the prospect that Next Year’s Budget Could be $1.7 Billion out of Whack!

We don’t have to continue this backwards slide in our state, we can stop it this year. We have a chance to change the face of Olympia with this year’s elections.

We saw how 3 moderate Democrats joined forces with Republicans to stop the Democrat majority from shoving another unsustainable budget off on us to keep funding their pro-union, tax & spend policies.
But that one act did not get us out of the woods, we have more we must do.

And that begins with electing a Republican majority for the first time in over a decade.
But, just being Republican isn’t good enough. We need people who will take a strong stand against public unions, demand reforms in education so that our tax dollars go to educating children, not just giving administrators more benefits and wages.

We need to elect people who will finally take a stand against illegal immigration.

It’s up to us to stop this backwards slide that I costing us jobs and leaving taxpayers paying for boondoggle projects that give little if any benefit to our citizens.

It is up to us to educate ourselves as to who or what we are voting for this year.

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