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Vermont dead last in 50 state economic rankings

In the American Legislative Exchange Councils (ALEC) first economic ranking of all 50 states, Vermont, with its high personal, business, estate, and property taxes, high minimum wage and workers compensation costs, and its forced unionism, ranked dead last. The report, entitled Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, was a collaborative effort from authors Dr. Arthur Laffer, nationally recognized economist, and Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal. "Clearly, the report shows that Vermont has a lot of room for improvement if we are to remain competitive with the other states for job growth and retention, said Vermont State Sen. Kevin Mullin in response to the report. Mullin is also the state chairman for ALEC. We cannot continue to deny that Vermont has an affordability problem which will squeeze government resources. We need to quickly take steps which will make Vermont more attractive to economic growth." The authors identify 16 policy variables with a proven impact on the migration of human and investment capital in and out if states. According to their findings, a record eight million Americans moved from one state to another last year, revealing which states have the most dynamic and desirable economies, and which are "has-been" states. The winners in this contest are generally the states with the lowest tax, spending and regulatory burdens. The biggest losers are California, the northeast, and the midwest. States are in direct competition with each other for human capital and business investment. State governments that think they can attract jobs and people, and grow their economies, by taxing their citizens at a higher rate than their neighbors are sadly mistaken. Legislators should take a close look at where their state ranks in this book and use it as a tool to help them improve, said Arkansas State Sen. Steve Faris, ALECs 2008 national chairman. The complete book is available online at www.alec.org; each state can be downloaded individually. Also available is a link to the C-SPAN video presentation by the authors.

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