Readers may already have come across Fayetteville State University Accounting Professor Robert McGee’s new ranking of states for business friendliness:
This study is the first annual McGee Report on the best and worst states for business. The fifty states are ranked based on the extent to which they facilitate business creation and expansion. This study incorporated the data collected from five other studies, which included the examination of hundreds of variables. Utah was found to be the most business friendly state; California was least business friendly. States that voted Republican in the 2016 presidential election tended to be more business friendly than states that voted Democratic.
Rhode Island, if you couldn’t guess, is in the bottom five — 46th, to be specific.
Pepperdine University School of Law Tax Professor Paul Caron emphasizes just how much voting habits tend to correlate with business friendliness:
The Best And Worst States For Business: 90% Of The Top 10 Voted For Trump; 80% Of The Bottom 10 Voted For Clinton
Of course, how one looks at these results will depend a great deal on how one looks at the world. Some would (correctly) note that business friendliness is not the only important measure of a region and point out the advantages of California and the Northeast, where most of the bottom states are located. Others would (even more correctly) argue that the biggest advantages of those regions have nothing to do with their style of governance and that business unfriendliness correlates with general suppression of people and, especially, their ability to improve their plight.
The epithet I used to hear a lot about Rhode Island was that it’s a playground for the rich. Business unfriendliness tends to indicate that that’s still the case.