In Jim Cook's Archive


The political campaign recently focused on the sorry economic conditions in Ohio. What caused this misery in our industrial heartland? High taxes for one. Federal and state taxes take money away from businesses that would be used for growth. As T.J. Rogers so aptly put it, “Taxing the rich to fund poorly managed government programs is simply a self-destructive decision: It does nothing more than move money and investment decisions away from proven moneymakers (read: job producers) to Washington amateurs. In both cases, Americans lose.”

That’s not all. Business invests enormous time and energy in complying with laws and regulations. Regulators are a police force intent on tripping up errant businesses, levying fines or worse. A single regulation can exterminate an entire industry. Too much of management’s attention given to regulation detracts from a company’s efficiency and profits.

U.S. business spends too much time and money defending against litigation. Suits emanating from the government can paralyze a company for years. Product liability lawsuits make innovation less likely and wipe out whole segments of commerce.

The main expense of any business is labor. Foreign competition enjoys lower labor costs. Our unions may crow about raising living standards and wages, but they also price companies out of the market and cause job loss.

Welfare benefits, unemployment benefits and other subsidy programs weaken the work force. Certain workers will sluff off, report late, miss work or abuse chemicals if they know a government check will replace their paycheck should they be fired. The government provides incentives that erode the work ethic. The government has fostered a national epidemic of getting something for nothing. This burdens business with phone lawsuits, employee theft, trumped up medical claims, insurance fraud and an increase in bad character.

There are legal barriers to starting a business such as permits, bonds, licenses or regulations. Business pays for all or part of health care costs, unemployment benefits, workmen’s compensation insurance, product liability insurance, Social Security benefits and Medicare. When you add to this, non-productive legal costs, licensing fees, property taxes, sales tax, income tax and excise taxes, you have a thoroughbred carrying a 300-pound jockey. In other parts of the world they don’t have to carry this much weight.

So, what’s the prescription for Ohio from the candidates on the left? Higher taxes and more government programs; the exact reasons for Ohio’s economic decline. Liberals in America apparently have the same mind-set as Robert Mugabe or Fidel Castro who turned their reasonably prosperous countries into third world hell holes. If you think that can never happen here, you’re wrong.

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