George Mason University has released their findings on State Freedoms. What they found was that the more free a state is, the more employers relocate to it.
The "Freedom in the 50 States" study measured economic and personal freedom using a wide range of criteria, including tax rates, government spending and debt, regulatory burdens, and state laws covering land use, union organizing, gun control, education choice and more.
Red states saw stronger job growth, lower unemployment and bigger gains in per capita income than blue states, during the economic recovery. The data also show that blue states have generally become less free over the past decade, while red states have tended to gain additional levels of freedom. The states with the biggest declines in freedom were Wyoming, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Kansas. Those with the biggest gains were Oklahoma, North Dakota, Idaho, Utah and New Mexico.
South Carolina, which prides itself as a freedom loving state comes in at a rather disappointing 15th. The things George Mason University found that have restricted our freedoms include government spending and serious need for tort reform. We rank 39th in tort abuse! Rhode Island is 38th to give you an idea of how sue happy a state we are. We need to address tort refor as employers aren't attracted to the land of lawsuits. I believe one of our problems is a lot of our Legislators are also attorneys. 17 of the members of the SC Senate are lawyers and 25 in the House. This seems to impede their ability to rewrite legisaltion in favor of people over attorneys. Our friends in VA have passed some tort reforms that have helped free up their state a lot the past 2 years. And believe it or not the freest state in the land when it comes to lawsuits is Delaware! I would encourage our legislators to take a looksy at how those 2 states along with Utah, and the Dakota's (specifically North) have fixed their legal systems.
As for Government spending...why do we have to have so many state employees? About 20% of South Carolinian's work for the tax payer. South Carolina is right in the middle of state size by population ranking 24th with about 4.8 million. So you can't say we have just as many jobs to do as the big states but fewer people to chose from. Vermont has 625,000 residents and only 13% of them are employed by the state. Pennsylvania has close to 13 million residents and they too have 13% of their population collecting paychecks from the state. Even Florida with close to 20 million people is rocking a 14%. If we cut 5% of our state employees, we'd still be at 15% but have a lot more money for other things. For example we have budgeted 100 million dollars so far of what the state estimates is a 29 billion dollar road improvement project. Do you see where I am going here? SC has been doing pretty well at attracting jobs but we're still ranked 42nd in unemployment at 8.7! So in order to attract a lot of jobs we probably need to cut a few. And for you state employees muttering under your breath at me as you read this, remember government almost never, and I mean ever cuts jobs. So don't expect much to happen. But if they did, you'd probably land a better job out here in the private sector real soon. The goal isn't to get people fired but to get more people hired!