As Matt mentioned Tuesday, Charlie Collins talks quite a bit about his “Good Jobs Magnet (GJM)” “plan,” and it’s not something new. He’s been talking about it for years, and it doesn’t seem like his plan has changed in the least.
Ultimately, Collins focuses purely on Republican dogma, talking mostly about tax rates and occasionally adding healthcare and unemployment rates. But it’s his focus on tax rates that really occupies his mind, and they don’t actually have anything to do with creating a #GJM, as the not-at-all-cool kids would say. It makes sense that it’s his focus, however, considering that kowtowing to the wealthiest Americans is the #1 priority of Republican economic theory.
The top result when googling “best cities to work in usa” is a link to that liberal (or not!) website Business Insider. Here are the results along with a general political disposition of each city (2016 presidential voting advantage):
- 15. Cleveland, OH: Hillary Clinton +35.1%
- 14. Columbus, OH: Clinton +25.9%
- 13. Kansas City, MO: Clinton +17.4%
- 12. Detroit, MI: Clinton +37.1%
- 11. St. Louis, MO: Clinton +16.2%
- 10. Oklahoma City, OK: Donald Trump +10.5%, though who the hell wants to live in Oklahoma?
- 9. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN: Clinton +34.9%
- 8. Raleigh-Durham, NC: Clinton +20.2%
- 7. Salt Lake City, UT: Clinton +8.9%
- 6. Austin, TX: Clinton +38.7%
- 5. Washington, DC: Clinton +86.8%
- 4. Boston, MA: Clinton +67.7%
- 3. Seattle, WA: Clinton +48.8%
- 2. San Francisco, CA: Clinton +75.3%
- 1. San Jose, CA: Clinton +52.1%
That’s rather lopsided, I dare say. Aside from Oklahoma City, each of these cities are clearly liberal, even Salt Lake City. Of course, there’s a liberal bias built into this review because bigger cities have a tendency to be more liberal.
That’s also my point.
There’s a reason Amazon builds warehouses in cities such as Union City, GA and Plainfield, ID while software development is located in cities such as Austin, Detroit, San Francisco, and Seattle. This isn’t rocket science or even Economics 101.
Cities like Austin and Seattle are #GJM, not because of tax rates, but because they offer their citizens what they want. Good jobs are almost always staffed by college educated personnel, so education is probably important for that group. If you want to be a #GJM, being ranked 42nd in education ain’t gonna cut it.
Aside from education, a short, non-comprehensive things that make cities attractive:
- The arts.
- Green space.
- Good city amenities (roads, libraries, garbage collection, the little things).
- Inclusive (especially including LGBTQ).
Every city in the list above, aside from Oklahoma City, of course, checks every box I just listed. If you are looking for college educated type jobs, then you need to attract college educated people, who have a stronger tendency to be liberal. If your legislative priorities are wand raping women, erecting the Ten Commandments on state property, and arming teachers, you aren’t going to attract many college educated people.
Truly, it’s no mystery what actually makes cities good job magnets. Unfortunately, for Collins, that means having to ignore Republican economic dogma and face actual facts, something we all know isn’t going to happen.
If Collins wants to turn AR into a #GJM, the first thing he can do is introduce liberal legislation to make AR more attractive via the list above and burying his tax rate infatuation. Divorcing Art Laffer would also be a great start, as that’s one gay marriage that hasn’t worked out at all.