Economic Development

Skip Estes and Jonathan Williams in The Wall Street Journal

The South’s economy isn’t falling behind. It’s just getting started.

In response to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal that characterized the American South as “falling behind,” ALEC Legislative Analyst Skip Estes and Chief Economist Jonathan Williams penned a letter to the editor, detailing the economic growth in the region:

The article argues that relatively low taxes and right-to-work laws are to blame for the South’s “poverty” by damping the power of unions, underfunding education and leaving the South unprepared for globalization. However, right-to-work laws are proven to have an opposite effect. In fact, right-to-work states see increased economic growth, higher long-term wage growth and increased manufacturing employment than forced-union states.

It is precisely because of low taxes and protected right-to-work laws that companies formerly located in the Northeast have flown south. The South’s economy isn’t falling behind. It’s just getting started.

Read the complete letter (as well as responses from Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and Senator Rick Scott of Florida) in The Wall Street Journal.


In Depth: Economic Development

The United States is among the most developed economies in the world. This has led to a standard of living that is simply unmatched throughout the world or throughout history. Even in such a developed and comparatively wealthy nation, policymakers still must allocate resources appropriately to encourage further economic development …

+ Economic Development In Depth