Wednesday, February 1, 2012

No evidence for Walker's claim that government regualtions impede job creation

The Walker administration's job creation strategy is based on two erroneous
The first is that tax rates drive investment and business location decisions.
There are no credible studies that support this position.

Surveys of business executives indicate that tax rates are far less
 important than demand for a firms' product or services, access to markets,
including skilled labor, and the proximity to supplier chains. Tax breaks
are not effective because they have little impact on the fundamental
determinants of a firm's  demand and costs.

I have written about this elsewhere so won't belabor the point. President

George W. Bush's first Secretary of Commerce and former Alcoa CEO,
Paul O'Neil, summed it up nicely when he told Congress:"As a
businessman, I never made an investment decision based on the Tax Code. ..
(I)f you are giving money away I will take it. If you want to give me
 inducements for something I am going to do anyway, I will take it. But
good business people do not do things because of inducements, they do
it because they can see that they are going to be able to earn the cost of
capital out of their own intelligence and organization of resources."

Walker's second article of faith is that onerous government regulations
impede economic growth.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has examined this claim and its
findings reject it.

The BLS studied layoffs, job losses, and UI claims that employers report 
are due to government regulations or interventions. They are miniscule—
in only one case in the table below did they ever account for more than
half of one percent. And in the most recent quarter, they were all about
zero (technically, the number reported was too small to meet BLS
sampling criteria).
Source: BLS, Table 2

The problems facing Wisconsin and the nation are not due to high
business or personal tax rates (effective rates in the U.S. are lower
than those in virtually all advanced countries and Wisconsin's business
taxes rank in the bottom half of all states) or "job killing regulations."
The problem we face is inadequate demand, a byproduct of the nation's
growing inequality.


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