LET THEM EAT KENO

IF

CEO Magazine in its Best and Worst States to do Business survey of Chief Executive Officers ranks Connecticut among the worst (45th) places to do business.  In a deeper examination of what ails the 10 worst states – 10 Worst States for Business – the magazine provides the following quotes from two CEO’s (an archetypical commentary on our lovely state perhaps?):

“Connecticut is the worst. Poor leadership.”

“Lower taxes and realistic regulations that don’t send business elsewhere.  Connecticut is at the bottom.’

This week the US Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that Connecticut was dead last in the nation in terms of 2012 growth in real gross domestic output – with a negative 0.1 percent change. [The nation as a whole grew at a positive 2.5 percent rate and New England managed a paltry but positive 1.2 percent growth.]  And the Beacon Hill Institute just released their 2013 State Competitiveness Report which puts Connecticut at 37th in the nation.

Three different takes – same conclusion: Connecticut is flailing – badly.

Ok – I know what you are thinking – a swallow does not a spring make.  You think this is a one-off thing. Or that it’s a regional thing – all of New England is suffering – and therefore beyond our control.

I think not – but let’s take a look at the record.

Table 1 contains the rankings of the six New England states in terms of historical growth in real gross domestic output where 1 reflects the best outcome. Connecticut, the land of steady habits: proudly last in New England.

Table 1

Connecticut/New England

2009 Rank

2010 Rank

2011 Rank

2012 Rank

Connecticut…..

6

5

6

6

Maine…………….

2

4

4

4

Massachusetts

4

2

2

1

New Hampshire

2

3

1

4

Rhode Island…

1

6

5

2

Vermont………..

5

1

3

3

 

Table 2 now compares us to the rest of the country.  Again, Connecticut with a tight grip on to the bottom rung – actually managed to get worse over the last few years.

Table 2

Connecticut/US

2009 Rank

2010 Rank

2011 Rank

2012 Rank

Connecticut…………

34

39

46

50

Maine…………………..

19

34

41

43

Massachusetts……

24

11

25

18

New Hampshire…..

19

13

12

43

Rhode Island……….

16

40

44

33

Vermont………………

28

5

31

39

Source: US Bureau of Economic  Analysis

How ‘bout the CEO’s?  Table 3 contains the historical results for Best & Worst States to do business.  It appears that CEO’s are not too fond of New England as a whole.  I don’t know how you feel about misery and the company you keep – but it’s not too comforting: look who’s last on their list of New England states. Yessiree – that’s right – Connecticut ranked 45 out of 50.

Table 3

Connecticut/New England

2010 Rank 2011 Rank 2012 Rank 2013 Rank
Connecticut………….

44

44

44

45

Maine……………………

37

36

32

35

Massachusetts…….

46

45

47

47

New Hampshire……

18

18

26

26

Rhode Island………..

39

35

39

37

Vermont……………….

36

40

38

39

Source: CEO Magazine

Ok – how about the Beacon Hill Institute? These folks set out to provide – in their words: “a state-based inventory of what Michael Porter calls ‘the microfoundations of prosperity.’”   One way to look at the Beacon Hlll rankings is as a more forward-looking metric than the other two.  How then – do we look going forward?  Results in Table 4

Table 4

Connecticut/New England

2009 Rank

2010 Rank

2011 Rank

2012 Rank

Connecticut…………

26

28

26

33

Maine…………………..

23

32

28

30

Massachusetts……

1

3

1

1

New Hampshire…..

15

10

11

12

Rhode Island……….

29

20

19

23

Vermont………………

18

19

14

19

Source: Beacon Hill Institute

 

Can it get any worse for Connecticut? Last in every measure of performance – regionally, nationally.   And yet the enlightened, thoughtful, deliberate policy response from Harford is –

wait…

wait for it…

wait for it…

 

KENO!!

 

I feel better already.  Maybe next year we can take up House Republican leader Larry Cafero’s suggestion “What’s next? Cockfights and jai alai? Greyhound racing?”

 

arod

arodriguez@newhaven.edu

 

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