When I put this question to business analysts, several pointed me in the direction of Louisiana, which has applied a number of Romney’s principles. Its governor, Bobby Jindal, is a former McKinsey & Company consultant who has focused on making his state more attractive to businesses. Since taking office in 2009, Jindal helped cut antiquated taxes (like those on certain factory machines) and streamlined regulatory burdens (like lengthy permit processes). He and Stephen Moret, his secretary of economic development (and another former McKinsey guy), have also used state tax incentives in creative ways. A few years ago there were virtually no video-game designers in Louisiana; today, digital media is on pace to make up 5 percent of the state’s economy. In 2011, according to Southern Business Development magazine, Louisiana attracted more new business-development projects per capita than any other state in the South. Its unemployment tracks below the national average, too. Romney would presumably be encouraged by the comparison.Read the full story here.
Regardless of whether this growth was achieved by a federal infusion [of Katrina recovery money] or conservative policies (or a combination of both), it is not necessarily clear that it has even worked on a statewide level. Many of Jindal and Moret’s highest profile projects focus on specialized industries, like pharmaceuticals, renewable energy and digital media, which offer a disproportionate number of jobs to already in-demand workers in gentrified urban areas. The median wage for a software developer is more than $90,000 a year, and new jobs are expected to grow at more than double the national average and nearly four times the state’s average income. Moret was eager to point out one recent success story — a new G.E. software office in New Orleans. The facility, however, will largely employ computer engineers, software developers and other information-technology professionals. It’s unlikely to have much of an impact on the city’s poorer residents.
Moret contends that growth, no matter where it starts in the economy, will eventually effect everyone. “If we’re able to grow faster,” he said, “you can have a surplus of tax revenue, without raising tax rates, that you can invest in education.” But when I pressed him on how job growth among programmers in Baton Rouge or engineers in the Garden District would enhance the lives of the chronically unemployed in the Lower Ninth Ward, Moret said, “We’re not there yet.” The state has successfully recruited some manufacturing and call-center businesses that employ high-school graduates, he said. These jobs, however, are unlikely to reach Louisiana’s truly poor. “We haven’t done well enough to see the reduction in poverty we’re looking for,” he said.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 2,312 from the previous week's total of 2,543. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,627.
The hip little River Ranch shop will open in the Acadiana Center for the Arts in time for the September ArtWalk.
Lafayette’s first-ever Whole Foods Market will open its doors in September.
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.
Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Midsouth Bank has released its second quarter earnings report, showing a year-over-year increase for shareholders.
The parent of Investar Bank says its second-quarter earnings fell to $1.1 million or 26 cents a share from $1.7 million of 44 cents a share in the same period a year ago.
1,554 rigs were exploring for oil and 315 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,770 active rigs.
Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage when people charge money to drive others in their personal vehicles.
Louisiana's 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier.
Business First Bank has announced plans for a Baton Rouge market expansion through a merger deal with American Gateway Financial Corp.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.
By launching a Super PAC to end all Super PACs, our Top 50 keynote speaker hopes to change the game in Washington.
Oil Center-based private facility extends its offerings with special events venue in failed women’s store.
One year later, is his expansion plan paying off?
Newspaper industry insiders question John Georges’ expansion plan.