The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

SCPC Launches Drive for Free Enterprise, Economic Growth

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Unleashing coverSixty years ago, South Carolina ranked No. 45 in terms of per capita personal income. Today, we remain the sixth-poorest state in the nation, even though we’ve thrown billions of dollars in tax incentives at companies and spent tens of billions on public education.

Not only have these failed strategies not helped the average South Carolinian, they have actually made things worse by increasing taxes and stifling entrepreneurship.

To help rouse South Carolina from its economic lethargy, the Policy Council is beginning a year-long campaign to promote a new path for free enterprise and economic growth in the Palmetto State.

This effort begins tonight with the release of Unleashing Capitalism, published by the South Carolina Policy Council Education Foundation.

“Our state needs a complete paradigm shift in its thinking and government policies if we’re truly going to compete and create wealth for our citizens,” says Policy Council President Ashley Landess. “Unleashing Capitalism provides a compelling roadmap for why and how to do so.”

The release of the book – edited by noted economists Peter T. Calcagno of the College of Charleston, Joshua C. Hall of Beloit College and Russell S. Sobel of West Virginia University – is the first phase of an ongoing three-part campaign by the Policy Council to promote free enterprise in South Carolina.

The book includes contributions from more than a dozen economists and other experts. Among its findings and recommendations:

  • While South Carolina has an overall mid to low tax burden, our tax structure is detrimental to economic growth. For example, South Carolina has the highest manufacturing property tax in the country. Unleashing Capitalism recommends a flatter and simpler tax structure.
  • Politically popular policies like “clustering” and targeted “economic development” incentives are discredited by the reports as inefficient and ineffective at generating long-term economic growth.
  • The state’s recent spending increases on education have done little to improve educational performance. To reverse this trend and produce real results, the book recommends increasing educational choices and implementing weighted student funding in the public school system.

South Carolina has ranked near the bottom of the nation in economic growth pretty much since the end of the Civil War, but, as Unleashing Capitalism points out, it doesn’t have to be that way.

By embracing the ideas laid out in Unleashing Capitalism, the Palmetto State can open its doors to economic progress unparalleled in state history.


Written by Cotton Boll Conspiracy

November 12, 2009 at 8:11 pm

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