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Helen Harwood: SCV Voices

Posted: March 9, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 9, 2013 2:00 a.m.

I do wish sometimes that some of your regular contributors to The Signal’s Letters to the Editor would spend less time writing unsubstantiated clichés and more time reading up on economics.

I have to reply to Texas Job-Poaching letter from Lois Eisenberg published Feb. 28.

The author is upset that a governor from another state is trying to poach jobs from California.

The main point of the author’s letter is that we need to boost jobs in California by investing in the standard liberal go-to shopping list of green jobs, public safety, education, transportation, etcetera. The word "invest" is used eight times.

When anyone says we need to invest, what he or she is really saying is we need to spend. Any money spent by government in California is money taken from the individuals and businesses who have earned it.

Government is not better at deciding what to do with that money than the people or businesses they are poaching it from.

The current financial debt and budget deficit in California is ample evidence that our state is clearly not able to manage money and make good spending decisions.

Massive unfunded public employee retirement benefits, bankrupt city governments, high-speed train boondoggles to nowhere are just a few examples of the collective "we" she refers to "investing" — or really spending — unwisely.

California is ranked second on a list of worst states in which to do business. Californians have the highest sales tax in the country and pay the second-highest income tax.

We will soon have the highest gas tax, too, added to our burden. Our cost of living is one of the highest in the country.

For individuals or businesses to realize they can be more successful and invest less in what the state wants — and more in what is best for their own businesses or families — if they go elsewhere is completely logical.

Just as individuals always try to get the most value for every dollar they spend, the same is true for any business or corporation that hopes to be successful. Successful businesses hire people. Individuals allowed to prosper spend their money, driving economic growth.

I am glad there are still states that welcome and encourage hard work and economic growth. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has the right idea by offering up his state as a better place for businesses to thrive.

The question is will California figure it out before it runs out of hard-working individuals and businesses to poach from.

I doubt it.

Helen Harwood is a Saugus resident.


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