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.

<p>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.</p>

Arizona's corporate and political leaders may be worrying needlessly about the relationship between the state's rapid growth and its economic future.


That's because the state's continued growth over the past decade is evidence that business opportunities and a desirable quality of life are readily available, said Robert Franciosi, director of Urban Growth and Economic Development Studies at the Goldwater Institute.

Contrary to what some critics say, Arizona's superheated growth during the 1990s was good for the economy, the conservative Goldwater Institute concluded in a policy paper released Thursday.

Robert Franciosi, an economist with the Phoenix public policy institute, cited statistics that he said dispute claims that growth brought low-paying jobs and poorly educated workers to the state, and that more government spending is necessary to improve education, revitalize downtown areas and lure "new economy" companies and workers.

Santa Claus will keep his appointment with millions of Arizona children this Christmas after narrowly dodging a bureaucratic barrage.

The opening salvo came from the Department of Employment Services, which cited Santa for failing to pay a minimum wage - or any wage - to his helpers. "Working for 'the joy of it,' " the citation alleged, "is unlawful in Arizona."

Competition is usually a good thing except when the competition is among cities to see which can spend the most tax payer money on corporate welfare. Cities across Arizona are showering subsidies on businesses, with taxpayers picking up the check.

Opinion polls demonstrate strong support for a state minimum wage. The idea appeals to an innate sense of fairness. We don't like the idea that people can work hard, play by the rules and still be poor. Advocates argue that raising the minimum wage creates a more just society by reducing poverty.

Unfortunately, the price for increased wages is jobs. As former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan explains, "The reason I object to the minimum wage is I think it destroys jobs, and I think the evidence on that, in my judgment, is overwhelming."

Labor activist Dolores Huerta was criticized for telling students at a Tucson Magnet High School assembly that "Republicans hate Latinos, OK?" Clearly, her small-minded partisan drivel has no place in an educational setting. But that wasn't really the worst of her speech.

This year a ballot initiative is moving to establish a minimum wage in Arizona. The wage would initially be $5.95 an hour and would rise to $6.75 an hour in 2008.

Arizona currently has no state-required minimum wage, but employers are required to comply with the federal minimum wage of $5.15.

It's a safe assumption that most Americans want to reduce poverty and give all workers a chance at the American dream. But a higher minimum wage tends to put the lesser skilled among us out of work.

In 1965, the University of Florida football team faced a potentially devastating enemy-dehydration. University doctors set out to make a drink that would keep the team hydrated and winning.  The product they made is now known the world over as Gatorade. Not only did Gatorade energize dehydrated football players, but once licensed to a soft drink company, it reaped handsome profits for the University of Florida and sparked an ongoing race for universities to discover more profitable products.

Gas prices are climbing, and Arizonans want to know why.

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Terry Goddard have written letters demanding answers from federal officials. Napolitano is asking President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft to launch a federal investigation into rising gas prices. Goddard's letter asks Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to investigate.

Napolitano and Goddard are correct to seek answers from the federal government, because Arizona's high gas prices have their roots in federal policies.

Seventy years after the end of Prohibition, it is illegal for Arizona consumers to purchase wine directly from out-of-state wineries.

Arizona is one of two dozen states that prohibit the direct shipment of out-of-state wines to in-state consumers. Although the number of nationwide wineries and available wines has increased by over 500 percent over the past 30 years, wholesalers continue to dictate the availability of out-of-state wines to Arizona consumers.