IS PA a Friendly Place for Job Creators?

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

Gov. Rendell frequently claims that his policies—namely increased government spending on "economic development", and the higher taxes and debt that accompany that—make Pennsylvania more friendly to businesses and job creators.

But independent rankings of Pennsylvania’s economic climate give the Commonwealth poor marks relative to other states:

• Forbes – 41st "The Best States for Business"
• CEO Magazine – 37th Best States to do Business
• Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council – 28th Best Business Tax Climate
• American Legislative Exchange Council State Economic Competitiveness Index:
o 46th Best Economic Performance
o 42nd Best Economic Outlook
• Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council – 24th Best Policy Environment for Entrepreneurship.
• United Van Lines – 47th Best in State Migration
• Beacon Hill Institute – 39th in State Economic Competitiveness
• Pacific Research Institute – 46th Best on Index of Economic Freedom
• Pacific Research Institute – 45th Best in State Tort Liability Rankings
• Fraser Institute – 49th Best Labor Markets in the US and Canada (out of 60)
• Alliance for Worker Freedom – Tied for Worst on Index of Worker Freedom
• Tax Foundation – 28th Best State Business Tax Climate Index.
• Tax Foundation – 40th Lowest State and Local Tax Burden
Data also confirm Pennsylvania’s economic growth lags the national average, and ranks Pennsylvania among the worst states in the nation. Indeed, under Governor Rendell (2003-2008) Pennsylvania ranks:
• 33rd in Job Growth;
• 40th in Personal Income Growth; and
• 43rd in Population Growth.
For more facts visit

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Spending Tip: Reduce Occupational Licensing Mandates
Pennsylvania spends over $33 million each year to monitor restrictive licensing and professional standards. Even though these regulations make PA less attractive to prospective entrepreneurs and undermines the ability of individuals to enter their chosen career, the legislature continues to add additional regulations.

Recently, state government has cracked down on individuals giving manicures, selling on eBay, giving rides to the Amish, and braiding hair without a license from government. The cost of these licensing requirements are frequently enough to drive individuals out of business entirely – in fact, that is what many proponents of occupational licensing want.

Consider that a massage therapist license requires 600 hours of education or training, and a natural hair braiding license requires 300 hours (all of which must be approved by the state board) – yet security guards only need complete 40 hours to obtain a license to carry on gun on the job
For more Spending Tips, read the full report, Government on a Diet: Spending Tips 2009, or visit

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Please, No More Taxes! Video Contest

Enter a video contest that offers a fun and rewarding way to raise awareness of Pennsylvania’s punishing tax burden. The first-prize video will earn $2,500, while second and third-prize winners will receive $1,000 and $500, respectively. The deadline to enter is June 1st, and winners will be announced on June 15th. Get the contest and rules at

Recent video submissions are available at Please rate and share these videos (ratings will be considered in awarding prizes) .

Other ways to get involved include:

• Tea Party events are being planned in the next few weeks, many on Tax Day, April 15th. Click here for Pennsylvania Events.
• Stay informed through your cell phone – text message the word ‘tax’ to 25827.
• Become a 10-Minute Citizen. Get info on how to contact your lawmakers, media, and be an active citizen by clicking here.
: : : is a project of the Commonwealth Foundation,