The Pacific Research Institute released their 2008 Economic Freedom Index rankings and for North Carolina the results are ghastly. In 1999 North Carolina ranked 17th in terms of economic freedom and business friendliness. By 2004 that ranking had dropped to 24th and now today in 2008 the state has sunk down to number 36. What does this say? Mike Easley and the State Assembly suck at their jobs. North Carolina has become increasingly less competitive over the past decade and the boom growth that this state has experienced is going to taper off and reverse if this trend continues. When I see states like Massachusetts and Maryland ranking higher I am disturbed.
When you look at the breakdown of the individual categories that make up this ranking the reason for North Carolina’s downturn becomes more apparent. In terms of fiscal responsibility the state ranks 37th out of the 50. That’s not surprising at all. The legislature has been on a spending spree over the past several years which have caused vast tax increases and debt. In regulatory friendliness the state has fallen to 33. In the judicial category, in terms of lawsuit abuse and high jury awards the state ranks 39th. In size of government the state has fallen all the way to 41st meaning the scope of government in North Carolina has drastically increased, which I think should be obvious to even the occasional observer. In welfare spending the state falls in at 21.
What’s in North Carolina’s future? The answer to that lays within the choice you make at the voting booth in November. You know who has been running Raleigh for the past decade. Do you want more of that or are you looking for a new, positive direction?
Posted by Sam