Earlier this month, Chief Executive magazine released its latest survey of 550 CEO’s. They were asked to rank states for their business environment based on a wide range of criteria, including taxation, regulation, workforce and quality of living. Oregon came in at a disappointing number 33. The top five states, in order, were Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia.
Last week, the co-authors of “Rich States, Poor States,” which ranks every state’s economic competitiveness, reported in the Wall Street Journal that two of the 15 policies they look at “have consistently stood out as the most important in predicting where jobs will be created and incomes will rise. First, states with no income tax generally outperform high income tax states. Second, states that have right-to-work laws grow faster than states with forced unionism.”
Authors Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore further noted that “between 2000 and 2008, 4.8 million Americans moved from forced union states to right-to-work states—that’s one person every minute of every day.”
Oregon doesn’t have either of these two most important business-friendly policies. Not only do we have an income tax, but it’s the highest in the country at 11 percent right now. And, we allow forced unionization.
Oregonians, and their elected representatives who are looking for ways to improve our business climate and create jobs, need look no further than these two policies. Eliminate our income tax and end forced unionisim, and watch Oregon grow.
Steve Buckstein is senior policy analyst and founder at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.