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.
These days, most states have some sort of government agency responsible for bringing jobs into the state. Most of them, including Arizona’s new Commerce Authority, focus on “target” industries. Whether the focus is the solar industry or another group of companies, the punchline is always the same: a centrally-controlled body – either the agency or the state legislature – should direct taxpayer-financed resources to nurture specific companies for the good of the state’s economic future.
Excessive regulation is needlessly destructive to the economy and job creation – and the Goldwater Institute’s annual Legislative Report Card shows that elected officials in both parties fail to recognize the problem.
May 16, 2005 was a great day for fans of free markets and especially wine. For on that day, in Granholm v. Heald, a case I had the honor of arguing, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws prohibiting the direct interstate sale of wine to consumers.
When state legislatures reconvene in January, a priority for many will be passing some kind of “jobs” bill. What form that might take is open to debate, but there are already lessons to be learned on what not to do.
In 2009 the Arizona legislature, like many other states, passed a bill providing “tax incentives” (AKA subsidies) for renewable-energy industries. The legislature partly responded to pressure from those who thought they’d found the next big thing in "green jobs." It also followed on the heels of a new solar panel factory in Tucson, Arizona.
State legislators looking to spur job creation should reject federal stimulus efforts as a model. In fact, there are at least two lessons in what not to do that policymakers can learn from President Obama’s failed effort to energize economic growth through government spending and temporary tax gimmicks.
Cindy Vong is a tiny woman with a problem as big as the government that is causing it. She wants to provide a service that will enable customers “to brighten up their days.” Having fish nibble your feet may not be your idea of fun, but lots of people around the world enjoy it, and so did some Arizonans until their bossy government butted in, in the service of a cartel. Herewith a story that illustrates how governments that will not mind their own business impede the flourishing of businesses.
Want a thriving economy? The Goldwater Institute knows that best business climate is one where low taxes and minimal regulation benefit all employers – not one where subsidies and special tax breaks offer an advantage to a chosen few. When a government agency can decide which businesses to favor, it opens the door for the misguided pursuit of investment fads or, at worst, the potential for corruption and abuse. Our research offers sound policies for government, and we’re not afraid to fight when we see bad ideas that put taxpayers at risk.
SIERRA VISTA -- When the city of Phoenix decided to give nearly $100 million subsidy to a Chicago-based mall developer, it wasn't just inappropriate, it was unconstitutional, said Clint Bolick, litigation director of the Goldwater Institute.
Bolick and other officials from the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix visited Sierra Vista on Wednesday to share their current work and hear about local concerns at the Windemere Hotel and Conference Center.
The Goldwater Institute is asking the state Supreme Court to strike down rules that require Arizona Public Service Co. to get a certain percent of electricity from renewable sources such as solar.
The organization filed a petition last week arguing that the Arizona Corporation Commission overstepped its authority by requiring APS to charge customers a monthly tariff to support renewable energy.
Officials said they are hopeful that by targeting the APS tariff, they can get the renewable-energy rules stricken and free other state utilities from the requirement.
In the upcoming election, three of the five seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) are up for grabs. Besides having the authority to set utility rates, the ACC has created a renewable energy standard that, as it currently stands, will require utility companies to produce 15 percent of their energy by renewable means by 2025.
Kris Mayes, one of the current commissioners and one of the strongest advocates of the standard, contends that the standard will help preserve the environment and lower electricity costs over time.