Did you miss Jon Gabriel's op-ed in the Republic this weekend?

Read why Gabriel says Arizona was ranked the #1 state in the nation for economic performance in the annual "Rich States, Poor States" study.

Numbers don't lie. Arizona's economy wins with a Republican like Ducey in office

Opinion: Another week, another company chooses Arizona. It's because of Gov. Doug Ducey's shrewd policies - and that's a lesson on what's at stake in November.

By: Jon Gabriel

On Tuesday, LG Energy Solution announced a $1.4 billion battery manufacturing facility on a 600-acre site in Queen Creek, which will produce batteries for electric vehicles.

“With the establishment of our new Arizona plant, LG Energy Solution aims to deliver unparalleled consumer value in the rapidly growing cylindrical battery market,” Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution, said in a press release. It will be the first facility of its kind in North America.

LG Energy Solution joins companies like Intel, TSMC, Lucid, Nikola and ElectraMeccanica in bringing high-tech manufacturing to the Grand Canyon State.

Meanwhile, in California, nearly 300 corporations have moved their headquarters out of the state since 2018, according to Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

None of this is an accident. Instead, it is Gov. Doug Ducey’s shrewd economic policies that welcome job creators instead of chasing them away.

“Global technology leaders like LG are choosing Arizona because of our world-class business environment, advanced workforce, unbeatable quality of life and culture of innovation – one that’s delivering unparalleled opportunity for current and future generations,” Ducey said.

Arizona outperformed all states last decade

If the steady stream of businesses moving to our state doesn’t convince you, the numbers will.

American Legislative Exchange Council’s 15th annual “Rich States, Poor States” study was released this week. It ranks each state’s economic forecast based on policy choices and recent economic performance based on state gross domestic product, absolute domestic migration and non-farm payroll employment.

Arizona ranks third, behind Utah and North Carolina, for the economic outlook over the next few years. Meanwhile, California ranks 48th, barely besting New Jersey and New York, which take the bottom spots.

Of the top 10 states, eight have Republican governors; of the bottom 10, eight have Democratic governors.

Again, none of this is an accident. When a state government punishes employers with high taxes and reels of red tape, those companies simply up and move. At least those businesses not already destroyed by meddling bureaucrats and unnecessary regulations.

As for the “Rich States, Poor States” economic performance rankings, Arizona did even better. From 2010 to 2020, Arizona ranks first in the nation. That’s right: number one. A big reason was inward migration from other states, which also helped Florida (ranked third) and Texas (ranked eighth).

Arizona outperformed both of those states on gross domestic product and non-farm payroll employment, winning us the top spot overall.


Which future do we want? It's up to voters

Good policy creates good results.

“Cutting taxes, paying down debt and maintaining free market policies have significantly helped states attract new residents,” according to the study.

“Americans continue to vote with their feet toward states that have lower tax burdens and value economic competitiveness,” said Jonathan Williams, ALEC chief economist and executive VP of policy. “Rich States, Poor States teaches us that states with lower taxes, especially those that avoid personal income taxes, have seen significantly better rates of in-migration than states with high income tax rates.”

Williams credits Arizona’s recently enacted tax cuts with this year’s high rankings.

“It was a savings for hard-working Arizona taxpayers and I think the legislature and Gov. Ducey should be commended for such a commitment to getting tax burdens down in Arizona,” he said.

As the state chooses a new governor, remember the lessons learned over the past decade. We can continue our current record of growth and success or sacrifice our recent wins to all the states competing with us.

Do we want the good economic times to keep rolling, or do we favor California’s model of vanishing jobs, fleeing companies and the rampant income inequality that results?

The choice is ours.

Jon Gabriel, a Mesa resident, is editor-in-chief of Ricochet.com and a contributor to The Republic and azcentral.com. Follow him on Twitter at @exjon.


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