Business & Job Creation
Businesses need a friendly and fair business environment so they can compete, innovate, and create jobs. We’re keeping politicians from playing favorites by offering special deals and tax breaks to the favored few.
The City of Tucson recently enacted a discriminatory local bid preference ordinance, casting off the fundamental concepts of fairness, openness, and predictability in the public procurement process. In doing so, the city raised costs for taxpayers in Tucson and throughout the state, guaranteeing Tucsonans will pay more for public services, while encouraging other cities to discriminate against Tucson businesses that seek to do work outside Old Pueblo.
Thanks to a Goldwater Institute lawsuit and the courage of a local entrepreneur, the Arizona Board of Cosmetology has gotten a makeover.
Over six years ago, the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) expressed interest in buying some state trust land north of Tucson where it could build a switching yard. The state’s Land Department, however, has vacillated. While Arizona regularly hands out incentives to attract large companies – especially solar companies – it drags its feet on a deal that would cost the state nothing and bring in revenues, not to mention hundreds of jobs.
These days, many supporters of limited government seem concerned that the public isn’t with them on issues like the role of government in society. It’s hard to deny it’s true on some level or on some issues.
Two years ago, when the Legislature considered reining in handouts to the solar industry by the Arizona Corporation Commission, the hearing room was packed with lobbyists opposing the move. Solar subsidies, they argued, were the cornerstone of the state’s job creation program.
During the economic boom of the 2000s, the poverty rate – the percentage of the state population that lives under the federal poverty line – went down in many states. That’s not too surprising – a rising economic tide will usually lift all boats.
In the book Moneyball, Michael Lewis describes how the Oakland A’s manager assembled a competitive team on a budget by ignoring expensive heavy hitters and rocket-armed pitchers. Instead, he looked at very basic things in inexpensive players like on-base percentages and ground-out rates. The Oakland A’s went on to win two-thirds of their games in 2001. This approach could be instructive to policymakers considering how to set a state up for future success.