Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Utah still in the race to the bottom

Governor and billioniare John Huntsman Jr. is reviving his "tax reform" proposal that creates a "flater tax" designed to appeal to the uber-Rich, to entice them to move to Utah. That is why the rule against perpetuities has been basically abolished (estates can keep divvying up the dead man's money 1,000 years after he's gone by will).

Utah's Republican leadership still believe in the economic fallisy that if you give away enough to the rich and/or corporations, they will want to move here and spend their money/create jobs in this state. This is what I call joining the race to the bottom. Because other cities and states are playing the same game, all trying to out bid another by stripping out their tax revenue, giving away land, giving favorable loans, etc. The result is that all of these states lose. The best way to create economic growth that will aid the state coffers and make live better is to create an environment that employees not employers, find appealing.

Attract the smartest, most tallented, creative types, and you get the high paying jobs that contribute back to your community. How do you do it? Create great schools, safe neighborhoods, clean livable streets, nice shoping centers, walkable downtowns, a nightlife, and lower cost of living by lowering or eliminating taxes on groceries, clothing, etc. Utah already has a great advantage over other states. We have great weather, great outdoor activities, a relatively low crime rate, cheep housing, friendly people, and relatively light traffic.

But our public schools are a mess, and traffic/crime are getting worse without any leadership from Johnny on either. Didn't Huntsman run primarily on education, and moving the prison out of Draper? Funny where his focus ended up being: on the ultra-rich and mega-corporations. You shouldn't have to bribe companies (or sports teams) to move to your state. It is better for everyone if they move because they want be in the ideopolis.

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