Despite being number one in corporate welfare, Pennsylvania ranks in the bottom ten when CEO’s are asked about where they want to do business. Sadly, it isn’t just big businesses that have a problem doing business in the Commonwealth.
A recent survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kauffman Foundation highlighted the poor marks Pennsylvania received in terms of small business friendliness. According to the survey the Commonwealth scored no better than a "D" in any of the measures. Although altogether dismal, some of the grades are worth highlighting. Pennsylvania received: a "D+" for ease of starting a business, an "F" for ease of hiring, a D+ for licensing and a D+ for zoning.
This comment from a small business owner should make every elected official in Pennsylvania cringe:
"They could do things much better if there weren’t so many levels of useless paperwork and people trying to justify their employment."
The Economist, an international publication (hence the difference in punctuation) recounted this tale from a Philadelphia business owner:
"IAN TONER, an architect in Philadelphia, recently went to city offices for a permit to build a stoop for a client’s home. The city, he learned, had just imposed new requirements: he would have to get maps from gas, electric, water and other utilities to ensure the stoop would not disturb their underground lines and then resubmit his application. A process he thought would take a day took more than two weeks.
"That’s not all. Other new rules require that he prove that his builder has general liability, workers’ compensation and car insurance, and has paid all his taxes. Four times a year he must set aside a half day to ensure he is paying the state’s and city’s myriad taxes correctly. Mr Toner doesn’t question the need for rules and taxes; what galls him is the time and hassle involved in complying with them…."
Instead of focusing on the next photo-op where they can hand over a big novelty check, our elected officials must create a level playing field for all businesses in Pennsylvania. Imagine what could happen if a friendly business environment were coupled with the Commonwealth’s abundance of natural resources and world-class colleges and universities.
Pennsylvania could easily become the Texas of the twenty-first century, but first government has to get out of the way. In order to make that happen successful business owners, like Sen. Scott Wagner must step up and take a more active role in politics. Who would be better qualified to dismantle a broken system than someone who knows first-hand the obstacles government has erected to achieving success?
Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. By empowering the Commonwealth’s employers and taxpayers to break state government’s "Iron Triangle" of career politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Government lobbyists, this restoration will occur and Pennsylvania will prosper.