Palmetto State: This Is Your Economy
South Carolina’s economy is “stuck in the mud,” according to a Charlotte, N.C. economist.
The quote from Wells Fargo managing partner Mark Vitner appeared earlier this month in The (Rock Hill, S.C.) Herald - which offered its readers a rare glimpse at economic realities ignored by most Palmetto State outlets.
In addition to Vitner’s remark – which the S.C. Democratic Party prominently featured in a pair of emails to other reporters - The Herald‘s Don Worthington became the first mainstream media reporter to reference South Carolina’s record low labor participation rate.
That’s something S.C. Cheerleader-in-Chief Nikki Haley wants to keep completely out of the papers if at all possible … particularly the closer we get to November 2014.
So … what is the real state of South Carolina’s economy? Haley’s office boasts of having created 37,000 new jobs (and $9 billion worth of capital investment) – but she’s been busted lying about job creation numbers in the past. Also Haley’s calculations fall short on two critical fronts. First, her numbers don’t factor in the jobs and capital investment South Carolina has lost since she took office. Second, Haley doesn’t say how much taxpayer cash was shelled out for the 37,000 jobs she allegedly “created.”
Because in the Palmetto State taxpayer-funded incentives – doled out largely in secret – have been the primary method of “economic development” for years.
How’s that approach working? Not well …
First there was South Carolina’s “Lost Decade” – which we chronicled in this piece. But things haven’t gotten any better under Haley.
A report released earlier this year ranked South Carolina as one of the worst states in America try and make a living. Other recent reports showed the Palmetto State as having a terrible business tax climate as well as zero upward mobility for its citizens.
And while Haley has been more than willing to grow government, a recent analysis of private sector job creation among America’s governors ranked her No. 34 out of 45 (five governors were excluded from the study because they took office in 2013). One of those five governors, North Carolina’s Pat McCrory, recently signed a massive $2.5 billion tax cut – which will only further diminish South Carolina’s competitive position.
Given all that, “stuck in the mud” seems to fit …