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.
Thursday’s explosion aboard an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico is now under investigation by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Money from the first and only settlement so far in a Louisiana flood board's lawsuit against dozens of energy companies will be placed in a special account dedicated to coastal restoration.
BP is heading to a federal appeals court in its effort to oust the administrator of damage settlement claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The 59-41 Senate vote was one shy short of the 60 needed to clear the House-passed measure.
Spot bonuses to employees who go above and beyond on projects one of several reasons national mag calls BR-based biz bank a cool place to work.
The Director Search Committee interviewed the five men still in the running via video last week and is set to trim the field this week.
Telecom’s decision to halt deployment to more than 100 cities while it awaits net-neutrality rules appears to be little more than a temper tantrum.
Environmental (and political) junkies got a double fix when The Lens hosted a discussion between its environmental writer and the lead attorney in the levee board suit.
Follow The IND to hear Lens environmental reporter Bob Marshall's interview with Gladstone Jones, the lead attorney in the lawsuit against the oil and gas companies for coastal damages.
The $35B deal leaves the burning question about what it will mean for the thousands of these two service giants' local employees.
Broussard & David set up shop at the corner of Jefferson and Vermilion.
in light of falling oil prices, Forbes asks, “Will there be more?”
Lake Charles lets Acadiana companies in on the action as our neighbor to the west prepares for unprecedented growth.
A new study analyzes the state of the Lake Charles region and the impact 19 industrial projects will have on residents.
A U.S. magistrate judge calls “garbage” on behavior of attorneys for Progressive Waste Solutions.
The Lafayette food truck scene is slowing down but not stopping.
Lake-area financial institutions seeing green.
As the Lake Charles region ramps up for record-setting growth, ABiz lays out the challenges and opportunities ahead for South Louisiana.
Who was hired and promoted in Acadiana business?
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns are driving innovation in Louisiana.
The boom is coming, and McNeese is ready for it.
It’s time for Lafayette and Lake Charles to embrace “coopertition.”
We can make Acadiana — in reality and reputation — the best place in the South for a great career in an idyllic family environment.
Lake Charles’ technical community college wasted no time developing programs to prepare the area’s workforce.
With the help of WISE grant funding, SLCC is poised to help meet the region’s exploding demand for skilled workers.