Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Top Business-Friendly States Share Common Traits: Low Regulations, Low Taxes, Happy Workforce

May 9, 2013 by  

Top Business-Friendly States Share Common Traits: Low Regulations, Low Taxes, Happy Workforce

A survey of more than 700 corporate chief executives has produced a ranking of the Nation’s most business-friendly States, using a few basic criteria. Not surprisingly, the States that top the list have a lot in common.

Chief Executive magazine received responses from 736 American CEOs — “the highest response on record” in the survey’s nine-year history — on a series of questions framed by “metrics” that included taxation and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment. The abstract explains the significance of those three criteria:

In the minds of most leaders, a state’s friendliness is closely aligned with its tax and regulatory regime. Similarly, workforce quality also measures the perceived cooperativeness of workers with management, as well as the people’s general work ethic and education attainment. The living environment metric measures the perceived quality of education and public health facilities, as well as the affordability and quality of real estate, the transportation system and related environmental factors.

Texas finished at the top of the list, followed by Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana.

California finished dead last, preceded by New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

The Internet is filled with mentions that the top 10 States all have Republican Governors, while seven of the bottom 10 States are governed by Democrats. But the formula for fostering capitalism isn’t the intellectual property of one political party; it’s simply one more facet of the ongoing, fundamental disagreement between Republican and Democratic politicians over how most effectively to manipulate public opinion to their benefit.

To no one’s surprise, it turns out that Republicans are generally winning that argument when it comes to commerce, because when you reward ambitious people who possess the resolve to risk their own capital, you often please both business owners and the people whom they hire.

That’s nothing new; the survey has continually revealed an unchanging pattern among States regarded as business-friendly, as well as those that aren’t. That many States’ rankings change little, or not at all, from year to year further indicates the proven consistency of what works and what doesn’t in the top- and bottom-ranked States’ policies. Each of the top five business-friendly States were ranked in exactly the same spot in last year’s survey, and only one of the bottom five (New Jersey) shifted its rank (sliding from 45 to 46) over the same period.

The CEOs quoted in the abstract say it best:

‘[A] good state is one that understands the private sector pays for the public sector and makes it easy for the private sector to conduct business and grow,’ remarks David N. Willis, CEO of CRW Parts, a Baltimore wholesale distribution firm. ‘California, New York and Illinois have high costs of living, high taxes and high regulation,’ says Mark Larsen, CEO of Maxxcap Group, a mid-size financial services firm. Additionally, each of these states makes it difficult, and often worse, than other places to do business. By contrast, ‘states like Texas and Ohio are consistently trying to help us grow our business and are listening to the leaders of companies to help solve problems,’ says Toledo-based Impact Products CEO Terry Neal.

The abstract can be found here, with the full interactive State-by-State ranking here.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Top Business-Friendly States Share Common Traits: Low Regulations, Low Taxes, Happy Workforce”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.