We had hoped that a change in leadership at the S.C. Chamber of Commerce this year might have caused this historically-leftist, big government entity to start actually representing South Carolina businesses for a change, but based on the release of the organization’s so-called “Competitiveness Agenda,” it appears those hopes were without foundation.
The Chamber’s agenda – a hodge-podge of new government spending and minor alterations to our anti-competitive regulatory and fee climate – is with a few exceptions precisely the opposite approach our state should take in the event it wishes to become economically competitive.
Sure, it’s not as purely socialist in nature as the recent “Jobs plan” put forward by our state’s so-called Republican leadership, but it nonetheless represents the same fundamental commitment to government control over the economy (and government growth) that continues to dominate decision-making in both Washington D.C. and Columbia S.C. these days.
That’s profoundly disappointing, because when you look at South Carolina’s skyrocketing unemployment, stagnant income growth, declining revenue situation and ongoing failure to educate our children, it’s obvious that the unprecedented growth in government spending over the past four years has done absolutely nothing to stimulate our state’s economy.
The Chamber deserves credit for recommending some additional loosening of the trial lawyer vice grip on our state’s workers’ compensation system, but that’s about the only thing they got right.
Even their stated support for the “continued expansion of the Charleston and Jasper ports” lacks a commitment to the public-private partnerships necessary to turn this long-overdue economic development dream into a reality … the sort of partnerships that other states have turned into revenue-boosting capacity expansion.
After all, our socialist State Ports Authority has been saying for over a decade that they want to expand our port infrastructure, yet it still hasn’t happened, all because SPA leaders have refused to relinquish a “total state control” model of port management.
Also, there’s no mention whatsoever in the Chamber’s agenda of cutting taxes or support for a revenue cap that would automatically refund “excess surplus” back to the taxpayers.
Instead we get recommendation after recommendation for “full funding” of various government programs that have clearly failed to accomplish their intended objectives.
Clearly, the Chamber is continuing to operate under the demonstrably false assumption that you can grow the economy by growing government.
Which means the organization that should be our state’s most vocal “pro-business” advocate remains hopelessly beholden to the government bureaucracies that are running our economy even further into the ground.
To view the S.C. Chamber of Commerce “Competitiveness Agenda” for yourself, click on the icon below …