Economy & Budget

Republicans dominate “America’s Top State for Business” list

Republicans dominate "America’s Top State for Business" list

As if we need any more proof that reckless spending and high taxes impede economic growth, CNBC’s new survey, America’s Top State for Business, is another indictment of progressive economic policy. The survey finds that Texas – for the third time in five years — is the most accommodating state for business. And it’s no mystery why.

We already knew that Texas, which, over the years has instituted a number of free-market economic reforms, leads the nation in net creation of jobs with 410,400 between May 2007 and May 2012. In the meantime, 41 states have yet to reach their pre-recession job levels. California, for instance, has lost 891,200 since the recession started in 2007.

You’ll also notice similarities between states that rank high on the CNBC list — namely that most of the leadership in those states supports economic policies that mirror the national Republican platform.

Here are the top 20 most-friendly business states according to CNBC:

1.Texas
2.Utah
3.Virginia
4.North Carolina
5.North Dakota
6.Nebraska
7.South Dakota
8.Colorado
9.Georgia
10.Wyoming
11.Minnesota
12.Iowa
13.Idaho
14.Indiana
15.Kansas
16.Tennessee
17.Wisconsin
18.Oregon
19.New Hampshire
20.Arkansas

Seven out of the 10 states featured in the top 10 have both Republican governors and legislatures.  By contrast, within the bottom dwellers, six of 10 have Democrat monopolies on state government.

The top 10 features two Democrat governors — and John Hickenlooper of Colorado, it should be noted, is about as business friendly as any politician can be in today’s Democratic Party. In the top 20, there are only five Democratic governors.

It would be too simplistic to make a snap judgment about states because they happen to have Republican leadership. It is indisputable, however, that most of the top states that occupy the top of the list feature lower tax burdens, little union power, and bureaucratic regimes that are less inclined to get in the way of economic growth.

Here are the bottom 10 states:

40.California
41.New Jersey
42.Louisiana
43.Delaware
44.Connecticut
45.Nevada
46.Mississippi
47.Alaska
48.West Virginia
49.Hawaii
50.Rhode Island

CNBC compiles the list using 51 criteria — developed with the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. It doesn’t only weigh factors that some perceive as ugly capitalistic ventures  (deregulation, for instance).  The CNBC survey also takes into account quality of life, infrastructure, transportation, education and other issues that are supposedly neglected by Republicans governors who adhere to fiscal conservative policies. Hardly.

(Updated to reflect that there are two, not one, Democratic governors in top ten.)

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