The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

Improving Business Climate Key to Reducing Unemployment

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Greenville News associate editorial page editor Paul Hyde has a solution for South Carolina’s third-worst-in-the-nation unemployment rate: spend more state tax dollars on higher education.

While Hyde is right that education plays a huge role in job opportunity, simply calling for legislators to pump more money into higher ed is a simplistic concept in a state where at least one third of kids don’t even graduate from high school.

But beyond that, Hyde is incorrect when he asserts that a large factor behind the Palmetto State’s high unemployment rate is state lawmakers’ failure to invest appropriately in higher education.

More than half of our state’s General Fund is devoted to education, K-12 up through higher ed. To put more money into higher education, while well intentioned, would mean funding would have to be drawn from other areas, either by cutting into legislators’ pet projects or taking from core services, neither of which are likely to happen.

If South Carolina wants to make more money available for higher education, its leaders must create a business environment that is more inviting to employers, businesses and entrepreneurs.

That’s because in order to have more money available for higher education, we have to grow the pie so the money is available in the first place.

The real problem isn’t that South Carolina has purposely underfunded higher education, it’s that we’ve purposely created a business climate that discourages economic growth and prosperity.

Until that changes, unemployment will remain a constant thorn in South Carolina’s side.


Written by Cotton Boll Conspiracy

June 10, 2009 at 10:22 am

Posted in Public education

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