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 average gas price rose more than ten percent in April, allowing pandering politicians to promise relief. They don't say that consumers will suffer worse consequences if the government begins dictating how much oil companies and refiners can charge. And they ignore that government regulations and taxes already are largely responsible for high fuel prices. Instead they offer fantasy.
India may have the Taj Mahal, but when the CityNorth project is complete Phoenix will have the Taj Mah-Mall. We hope you enjoy this second political cartoon from John Taylor. This picture may be reprinted.
Maybe its a good idea. A music-themed amusement park in Eloy just might work. True, the park would be in the desert between Tucson and Phoenix with a limited available work force and limited infrastructure for large numbers of visitors. Still, there have been surprises before. Who could have predicted Branson, Missouri?
The recent political squabble in Arizona over whether to extend unemployment benefits from 79 weeks to 99 weeks underscores a broader problem with the unemployment insurance (UI) system in the U.S. today.
The system was created in the 1930s and was designed to be centralized. The states collect unemployment insurance taxes and send the money to the federal government. Although states control the tax rates, benefit levels, and eligibility requirements, the federal government controls the money.
Arizonans are facing down a speeding locomotive of utility rate hikes. This runaway train is fueled both by increasing demand for electricity and by regulation that forces utilities to generate electricity from costly sources. Worse, the current system of state-sanctioned electrical utility monopolies ties consumers to the tracks--giving them no choice but to pay whatever rates are forced upon them.
How can we ensure that even the world's poorest children have a chance to go to school? University of New Castle professor James Tooley offers a surprising answer in his new book, "The Beautiful Tree."
The Arizona League of Cities recently threatened to file a lawsuit because the Arizona Legislature imposed a two-year moratorium on development impact fees during Governor Brewer's special session. The League argues that the fee freeze is unconstitutional because it had nothing to do with the budget issues the special session was called to address. But the League's challenge should fail because the fee freeze is no different than a targeted tax cut and no more out of place during the special session than a targeted tax hike.
Many aspects of environmental and energy policy divide the authors of this column. But we join together to urge the Arizona Corporation Commission not to squelch an innovative approach to solar energy that benefits private and public entities alike.
Arizona’s consumption of electrical power has been growing at about three times the rate of the United States’ as a whole. Unless we open the market to let more suppliers in, Arizonans will be at risk of electricity shortages, spiraling prices and miss out on the benefits of innovation in renewable energy spurred by competition for their business. That’s why the Goldwater Institute recommends restructuring Arizona’s electricity markets for competition.
Arizona state parks continue to make news and be used as a pawn in the budget chess game. Budget reductions approved by the legislature in December will likely result in some park closures. Parks that make money like Kartchner Caverns, Slide Rock, and Lake Havasu will stay open, while money losers will close. Many legislators continue to decry budget reductions to the Parks department, but also refuse to look at realistic alternatives.