Liberal States Are Good For Business

April 15, 2007 at 10:48 pm | Posted in American politics, liberals | 6 Comments

Take a look at the numbers. Look where most Fortune 500 companies reside. Here are the numbers, and see for yourself. Most Fortune 500 companies are in liberal states. The only conservative state to really break the trend is Texas, but that’s mostly thanks to energy. Otherwise it is all New York and California. Seems liberal philosophy ain’t so bad to business as many conservatives like to falsely portray. 😉


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  1. Maybe it would be better to look at a list of best places to do business per Forbes Magazine.

    1 Raleigh NC
    2 Provo UT
    3 Boise ID
    4 Des Moines IA
    5 Knoxville TN
    6 Albuquerque NM
    7 Durham NC
    8 Fayetteville AR
    9 Nashville TN
    10 Olympia WA

    Score 8 of 10 for red states including the entire top 5.

    Unsurprisingly, New York City, San Jose, San Francisco, Boston, and Cambridge MA are the top 5 most expensive places to do business. California stole the top 5 most expensive places to live and the top two for worst educated, plus one of the top 5 for crime AND two of the worst places for job growth. (I guess the Bay area is still reeling from the collapse of the dot com era.) California couldn’t break the top 50 best places to do business. The best New York could pull was 33rd for Rochester.

    It would appear that conservative states are playing their cards right. Can you argue with Utah’s 2.4% unemployment? 😉

  2. eh, those numbers are not surprising. It is much harder to start and succeed in a new business in a region where lots of powerhouses reside.

    The Fortune 500 numbers, however, show that liberal states are certainly not anti-business. In fact, it seems, outside energy businesses, the strongest businesses reside in liberal states, so there!

  3. Most of the companies on that list are decades old. They can’t easily uproot their headquarters and move to somewhere more business-friendly but they certainly are opening new operations in other states. Google’s moving on to rural Oregon and North Carolina with brand new data centers. The auto industry is relocating to Alabama. (The Mercedes plant just got things started on a major manufacturing boom in the Deep South.) JetBlue uses VoIP and VPNs to create a location-neutral team of reservations and customer service agents.

    In short, using Fortune 500 HQs as a metric of economic competitiveness is living on past glory. The real measure of where a state is going lies in small businesses, a component accounting for 2/3 of our economic activity. To quote Real Genius: “That was yesterday. What have you done for me today?”

  4. Is there something wrong with companies that are “decades old?” Does that not show that those companies are successful? Heck, I’d love to have a company that lasts that long. And no, they don’t live on past glory. These companies continue making excellent profits TODAY.

    Finally, let’s look at small businesses, because as you say, this is where “the real measure of where a state is going lies.” You and I have done this before, if I recall correctly. And if I recall correctly, California had a higher rate of small businesses than Utah per capita, as an example, which seems to undermine your point that liberal policies are counter productive to the business world. This page here has all our info.

    For example:

    California for 2002-2003 Job Gains in the thousands:
    New job gains: 810
    Expanding establishments : 1494

    With counting the closing businesses and downsizing California had a net of:

    Net change in employment: 135.5

    Not bad for a state of 32 million.

    Now, Utah’s numbers:

    New job gains: 67.8
    Expanding establishments: 88.4

    After counting the closing businesses and downsizing, Utah had a net of:

    Net change in employment: 0.0

    Conventional conservative wisdom would have those numbers be backwards, that Utah has a higher increase, and California is stagnant. Now, granted Utah has a very low unemployment rate, so perhaps we need to look at a state more comparable to California, say Texas.

    New establishments: 559.6
    Expanding establishments: 895.2

    After counting losses, Texas had a net of:

    Net change in employment: 60.3

    Maybe no state can compare with California. After all, if a country on its own, California would be ranked, what, fifth in the world in GDP?

    How about New York:

    New establishments: 398.9
    Expanding establishments: 830.4

    after loses, New York had a net of:

    Net change in employment: 191.6

    Huh, liberal New York still has a better increase than Texas or Utah. What about other conservative states. How about Oklahoma?

    New establishments: 58.7
    Expanding establishments: 121.6

    after loses, Oklahoma had a net of:

    Net change in employment: -16.9

    Oklahoma had a negative net.

    These are small business numbers, those which you claim are “the real measure of where a state is going,” in terms of “our economic activity.”

    It seems small businesses thrive in liberal states, contrary to conservative talking points. 🙂

  5. I don’t know what the reality is in California today, but one of the major reasons Grey Davis got recalled and Ahhhnold won the governorship was because the perception was that California was very unfriendly to business and that businesses were leaving the state in droves.

  6. Mark,

    as you can see from the numbers, that just isn’t the truth. Sure, plenty of businesses move, but look at the overall numbers and you see that California has a net increase in small businesses. It is well past time to debunk yet another conservative talking point that was repeated far too often. It was repeated enough so that many thought it must have been true. Alas, the numbers tell the whole story.

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