The big lie is when politicians say the same thing over and over expecting that repetition will make it true, even when it is not. The two Republican candidates for state representative in Arizona LD 14 both say they are “pro-business” and have said it for years. But the truth is another matter.
The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity has published a employment projection for the years 2016 to 2026. (You can find the document, Presentation: 2016-2026 Occupations Projections at https://laborstats.az.gov/employment-forecasts). Page 36 of this document has changes in employment for the 10 years for counties in Arizona. The total number of jobs projected to be created is approximately 543,000. This seems pretty good. But let’s look at projections for the three rural counties in LD 14, Cochise, Graham and Greenlee, Southeastern Arizona. The jobs gain for 10 years is projected to be 4,876 an annualized increase of .9%. Less than 1%.
This comes out to approximately 165 new jobs per county per year!
So, the state of Arizona’s own labor department, run by a Republican governor and controlled by Republican majorities in both houses of the state legislature, has projected just 165 jobs per year in our area.
Not one of our current Republican elected officials seems concerned with this projection.
Perhaps you can be “pro-business” but not pro-jobs? At least as it comes to our rural counties? I think this may be exactly the problem. Our elected state representatives routinely tout their business-friendly stances by voting for tax breaks, credits and exemptions. They will defend this policy as it will attract business to our state.
My question for them is, “how is this working out for our rural counties?”
These sorts of tax dollar giveaways always seem to go to business in Maricopa county and the surrounding area, or possibly to Pima county. Not to Cochise, Graham and Greenlee counties.
It is time to support investments in our area that can contribute to sustained economic growth and opportunity: good K-12 public schools, reasonably-priced college, and high-quality roads, highways, bridges and technology infrastructure. I believe this is what businesses want, because this is what their employees want.
Don’t believe that Republicans are pro-business and that Democrats are not. I have been a business owner for most of my adult life, for a total of over 40 years. I know what it means to have a payroll and provide benefits to employees. I grew a software development company from two partners to over 50 employees with a $2.5 million annual payroll. We never asked for any tax breaks from the government.
I am truly pro-business. I support investments that will begin to build our rural economy.