Governor Perdue laid out initiatives for jobs and education in a recent speech to the Charlotte Chamber. Allegedly with a straight face, Perdue said the following:
“Make no mistake,” she told a Charlotte Chamber audience. “Our number one priority in North Carolina has to be jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs. … I am, and will continue to be, known as the ‘jobs governor’.”
I could see if she said she wants to be known as the “jobs governor” going forward as the state hopefully recovers, but to declare that she already is? Has anybody ever referred to her as such?
At any rate, let’s look at the numbers. Since January of this year, North Carolina has lost more than 64,000 jobs. Not exactly a record to hang her hat on.
Unfortunately, her prescription for jobs is the wrong one: more targeted tax breaks. This time the target will be small businesses. But targeting some businesses for a state-granted competitive advantage hurts those businesses that are not granted such breaks, and distorts the entrepreneurial decision making process to include efforts trying to lobby bureaucrats for special privileges rather than trying to efficiently combine scarce resource to meet consumer demand.
Furthermore, declaring that tax breaks are needed to “create jobs” is to admit that North Carolina’s tax structure is not conducive to job growth. Otherwise, why would the tax breaks be necessary? A better alternative would be to tax all businesses equally at a lower, evenly applied rate and eliminate the targeted tax breaks, special priveleges and government handouts.
When politicians get involved in picking winners and losers in the marketplace, it only hampers economic progress and results in fewer, lower-paying jobs.