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.
“Byzantine” is the word members of the nominating committee for the local flood protection authority often use to describe the complicated, multi-layered matrix of qualifications that must be met to fill a vacancy on that board.
In the Pelican State, Benjamin Franklin buys you about $109 worth of stuff.
Brittan Bush joins Liskow & Lewis, Blake David installed as the Third District Member of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s board of governors, and Simien & Miniex announces 2014 scholarship winners.
“In some cases, we’ve found that these parts are nothing more than used junk yard parts. In others, we’ve found them to be foreign knock-off parts of questionable quality.”
The old Daily Advertiser building on Jefferson Street is being rehabbed as the owner prepares to move it back into commerce.
Its fourth leader gone after two years on the job, the facility struggles to balance the tension between its two missions.
Hub City Cycles hits the ground running through small-business center opportunity.
The future of the coastal loss lawsuit could rest in hands of board’s nominating committee.
Leaders from the local tech community ponder the question: What's missing from Acadiana's tech ecosystem?
AT&T’s U-verse heads our way. Here’s what it means for you.
LITE’s virtual environments are changing the way local employees learn how to do their jobs.
Local tech gurus will go the distance to call Lafayette home.
A look at recent hires, promotions and other news from Acadiana's business community.
New Johnston Street eatery catapults to No. 1 spot in nearly 200-location chain.
By identifying companies that match the output of its post-secondary educational institutions, Lafayette is creating opportunities that keep highly trained graduates in the area.
Gideon’s Promise lauds G. Paul Marx’s work to improve the quality of indigent defense and helps train five new public defenders.
What will INNOV8 4.0 look like?
Courtesy Ford is honored; EatLafayette fêtes itself
AG says 50-year-old Terry Francis Savoy sold fraudulent Workers Compensation and Employers Liability insurance policies throughout the state.
The state's jobless rate rose to 5.4 percent in July from 5 percent in June. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in July 2013.
Oil Center eatery plans drive-thru location on Ambassador Caffery
Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell drilling rights in shale formations in Louisiana and Wyoming for $2.1 billion in two transactions.
Local skate shop collaborates with sneaker giant to create the "Crawfish Dunks"
Lafayette-based drilling fluids/frac sand distributor enhances service lines with purchase of Erath company.
A national banking publication has named local banker Kevin Latiolais one of its Top Lenders for 2014.