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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wayne Root Praises Nevada For Economic Freedom

2008 Libertarian Party vice-presidential nominee Wayne Root today responded to a review of his book Conscience of a Libertarian that was posted here on IPR yesterday. The review cited a CNBC study that ranked Nevada 47th of "America's top states for business". Root pointed out that Nevada is ranked 4th in the Tax Foundation's seventh State Business Tax Climate Index released today. Root said "Guess what 3 states rank LAST in USA according to Tax Foundation? California, NY and New Jersey. The same 3 states that I attack nonstop in my new book." CNBC ranks NJ #24, CA #32, and NY #36.

Several other rankings bolster the Tax Foundation's findings. The Small Business & Entrepeneurship Council's Business Tax Index 2009 ranks NV #2, while ranking NY #46 and CA #47. Last month the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked NV #7 in "economic outlook", while ranking CA #43 and NY #50. The Public Policy Institute ranks NV #12 in "economic freedom", while ranking CA and NY dead last.

It turns out that the CNBC study used "40 different measures of competitiveness", in categories like Quality of Life, Workforce, Technology and Innovation, Education, Access to Capital, and Cost of Living — none of which have much to do with whether a state government's policies are friendly to business. Indeed, by its own sub-metric of "Business Friendliness", CNBC ranked NV #20 (compared to 42 for NY and 49 for CA).

Comments after the break are from Wayne Root today:

The reviewer's central argument is how I'm trying to use the "Nevada model" for entire country. That is central theme of my book…comparing Nevada to California, NY and New Jersey. The reviewer tries to make me look bad by quoting some obscure study that shows Nevada is at the bottom of business world. Really? Every poll I've ever seen has Nevada at the top…usually in Top 5.

A new study by RESPECTED Tax Foundation rates Nevada as #4 in USA for Business Climate. It's the headline in Las Vegas Review Journal this morning.

Only Alaska, Wyoming and South Dakota have a better business environment- and that's only because we (Nevada) raised taxes on business (payroll taxes) recently. I'd say being rated #4 in the country is a pretty darn good model for the rest of America. And by the way…would you rather move to Alaska, South Dakota, Wyoming…or Las Vegas to open your business? I think the answer is clear. That's why Nevada has been #1 in population growth and new business growth for 25 years. Las Vegas is still the BEST place in USA to own a business by far.

By the way…most business studies are skewered towards BIG business. Another recent study rates Nevada #1 in USA for SMALL business.

If that reviewer is a "Libertarian" he should applaud a state with zero income tax, zero business income tax, no cap gains tax, no inheritance tax, and 16th lowest property taxes in USA.

He's saying I'm not Libertarian enough because I praise Nevada? Huh? Nevada is far from perfect…taxes are still way too high in my opinion…but it is heaven compared to anywhere else in USA. Nevada defines "as Libertarian as you get" in USA. It is the Libertarian model for USA.

By the way…the point of my book is that states with high taxes are worst for business. Guess what 3 states rank LAST in USA according to Tax Foundation? California, NY and New Jersey. The same 3 states that I attack nonstop in my new book.

And Reason rated Las Vegas as #1 city in USA for personal freedom.

So explain how I'm wrong to hold up Nevada as the model for Libertarians?