South Carolina is not our competition

Today comes news that Forbes magazine has issued its list of America’s Fastest Growing Cities, and Raleigh-Durham has come in at number Four. That’s right, four. Forbes comments (with my emphasis):

Fourth on our list is the boomtown of Raleigh, N.C. Situated between Raleigh and nearby Durham is the Research Triangle Park, where more than 170 companies have outposts, including major corporations like EMC, Cisco and First Citizens National Bank. Raleigh is also home to a multitude of universities and colleges, helping create a highly educated population: Roughly 50% residents ages 25 and older have college degrees.

Over the past two decades ending in 2010, the Raleigh area’s population and jobs market grew at some of the highest rates in the U.S. The population is currently expanding at a rate of more than 3% annually and job growth was 2.3% in 2012. “We have been able to grow the worker pool by attracting a good deal of the graduates from the local colleges with a great quality of life at an affordable price. In turn, it’s attracted companies in search of talent,” explains Harvey Schmitt, chief executive of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. “Our employment numbers now exceed those at the beginning of the recession.”

The only other city in the South on their list is Charlotte. North Carolina.

Many of you saw that in 2012, Forbes magazine ranked North Carolina as the 4th Best State in the Nation for Business Climate. South Carolina came in #22.

As ranked by Forbes last fall:
Buisness Costs
NC 2 That’s second best in the nation for the costs of doing business.
SC 28

Labor Supply Rank
NC 3
SC 18

Regulatory Environment Rank
NC 3
SC 5

Economic Climate Rank
NC 21
SC 42

Growth Prospects Rank
NC 12
SC 17

Quality of Life Rank
NC 34
SC 44 (out of 50....)

South Carolina is not our Competition. The current administration wants to throw out the old way of taxing corporations because they say it is so bad for business. If it were that bad, NC would not be coming in so high on Forbes’ lists. North Carolina seems to be on the right track. By the way, I found an article from a South Carolina budget publication (2012) titled “Strong Corporate Taxes bouy state’s budget outlook.”

But let’s just take a quick look at some other ways of comparing ourselves with our sister state, South Carolina.

Square Miles
NC 53,818.51
SC 32,020.20

NC 9,730,300
SC 4,706,400

Percentage of change in Real GDP by state, 2011
NC up 1.8% SC up 1.2%

Real State Growth, 2011
NC 3.4% SC 3.1%

Gross State Product, 2011
NC $482.6 billion SC 181.5 billion

High School Graduation Rates
NC 80% SC 74%

Scholastic Aptitude Test Scores
NC 1469 SC 1427

Education Levels
Adults aged 25-34 with a college degree
US 37.8% NC 36% SC 34%

Pay Gap between Men and Women, 2011
NC women make 80% of what men make
SC women make 70% of what men make

Murder Rates, 2011
NC 5.3 per 100,000 people
SC 6.8 per 100,000 people

Poverty Rates, by household income, 2009
US 12.6%
NC 13.1 %
SC 15.0%

Poverty Rates by State, 2011
NC 17.9%
SC 18.9%

Child Poverty Rate, 2011
NC 26%
SC 28%

Life Expectancy
NC 77.2
SC 76.6

Minimum wage, $7.25 in both states.
Both are non-union states.

Number of Golf Courses (someone somewhere will care about this...)
NC 556 SC 351

Most Southern states’ scores come in lower, as a group, than other states in the Union. But we still manage to out pace SC on a regular basis across a broad set of measurable items. It is clear that what our current administration wants to legislate into existence has little to do with growth and everything to do with putting into place a conservative political agenda that puts corporate profits ahead of citizens and the well being of the state. The proposed changes to our tax structure will only benefit corporations, who will get away with not paying any state income tax and will probably turn around and order their office supplies to be shipped in from out of state to avoid our higher sales tax. South Carolina is not our competition. Unless we want to fall behind....