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.
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.
A new Arizona law takes effect today that weeds out needless government red tape: Senate Bill 1221.
In 2003, the legislature repealed an exemption that had allowed gardeners to spray weeds without first having to obtain three separate licenses from the Structural Pest Control Commission (SPCC). Last year, the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter sued the SPCC over one of those licensing requirements that required 3,000 hours of experience to spray over the counter weed killer.
The Phoenix-Mesa metro area just topped the Entrepreneurial Hot Cities ranking published by Entrepreneur.com and the National Policy Research Center thanks to new-business growth.
It's no secret that people are flocking out of California. In fact, some Californians are waiting up to a month just to get a moving van.
Like millions of Americans, my first job was working at a fast-food restaurant for the minimum wage, or $3.35 an hour at the time. Like millions of Americans, that was also the first and last time I earned the minimum wage.
The truth is that among workers over age 25, less than one percent are earning the minimum wage. Why? The more we learn, the more we earn. The average income of minimum wage employees increases 30 percent within one year of employment.
There is a ballot initiative to make it illegal to work in Arizona for less than $6.75 an hour. The idea is quite popular because higher wages are popular. No one likes the idea that someone can work hard, play by the rules, and still be poor.
But a minimum wage law is a threat to voluntary exchange between consenting adults.
If an employee voluntarily agrees to work for $5 an hour, and the employer volunteers to pay, they both benefit or they wouldn't do it. They don't threaten each other.
Economic girl power is sweeping the nation. In 2004 women owned and operated 5.4 million small businesses in the U.S. and generated $167 billion in sales. But in designing her targeted tax relief plan, Governor Napolitano appears to have forgotten the ladies.
In her 2007 budget, Governor Napolitano proposes a health care tax credit of up to $1,000 for small businesses employing two to 24 workers. Unfortunately 81 percent of women-owned businesses are sole proprietorships. In Arizona, that means over 60,000 self-employed women won’t qualify for this tax credit.