Race to the top

Tennessee is ranked at the top for low taxes and limited regulation, so how does that translate to economic performance and quality of life?  Not so well.  We're 48th in median household income, for example, and we have high unemployment. Steven Strauss, writing in The Huffington Post, notes that in a ranking by the American Human Development Index that considers health, education, and income, "Tennessee was ranked 44th -- where 50th is worst-performing."  Hmmmm.

Steven Strauss: A Disturbing Glimpse of GOP's Low Tax/Limited Regulation Utopia
Recently, the US Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) ranked Tennessee No. 1 among our 50 states for its low taxes and limited regulatory environment, and recommended Tennessee as a role model for the nation.

The Chamber, Tea Party, GOP, Grover Norquist, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich tell us that low taxes and limited regulation will solve America's economic problems, including giving us a balanced budget. Indeed, the Republicans are making a major push to eliminate or reduce state income taxes across the US. Norquist (and others) claim that government programs are a waste, no job is ever created by government, and so on. Tennessee, under their theory, should be a low tax/limited government utopia.

Instead, Tennessee's results imply -- 'you only get what you pay for.'


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