Welcome to O-Pinion. I'm associate editor Fannie Flono, your host today. Let's talk business. Make that business rankings.
Tuesday, CNBC counted down its rankings for top states for business in 2012, and guess what? North Carolina came in at No. 4. If you've been listening to the haranguing from many Republicans especially Charlotte's former mayor Pat McCrory, who's salivating for the N.C. governor's job, about the state's alleged bad environment for business, you'd be shocked to hear that. Republican McCrory has said Gov. Bev Perdue and other Democratic policymakers have tarnished the N.C. "brand" with bad economic and political decisions.
Don't tell that to business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness, who helped rank the 50 states for CNBC on 51 measures of business competitiveness that were then narrowed to 10 broad categories. The 10 metrics CNBC used included cost of doing business, quality of workforce, infrastructure, education, economy, business friendliness, technology and innovation, cost of living, access to capital and quality of life.
And on this score, Gov. Perdue has another reason to say we don't want to be Mississippi. That state came in 46th on the list. Florida, another alleged role model, came in 29th. Our neighbor to the south, who some lawmakers also want to mistakenly emulate on economic and education issues, South Carolina, came in 32nd. Coming in at No. 1 was Texas, followed by Utah and Virginia.
North Carolina has finished in the top 10 in all six years of CNBC’s business rankings. It was No. 3 in 2011. North Carolina has also come in No. 3 in ranking for the best states for business by Chief Executive, Site Selection and Forbes magazines over the last year.
To be sure, policymakers have work to do on making the state more competitive, getting people back to work, helping small businesses (a Thumbtack poll had the Tar Heel state 26th in small business friendliness - what do you think, N.C. small business owners?) and improving the state's overall economy. True tax reform needs to be on lawmakers' to-do list to accomplish that. But this is not a bad state for business by any stretch of the imagination. Politicians should stop promoting the myth that it is.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Posted by Fannie Flono at 10:35 AM