California has often claimed leadership on many big issues and movements. It’s time for policymakers to claim leadership where it matters most — growing our job base. A 12.4% unemployment rate, a $20 billion state deficit, a manufacturing sector that lost more than 607,000 jobs since the decline started, and a negative 5.97 public-to-private sector job ratio since 2001 leaves California in a stranglehold of deterioration.
Both parties introduced jobs packages in the last 24 hours that indicate the Legislature is now focused on leading us out of this mess with a policy environment that at least thinks of job impacts first. Up until now, the employer, employee and unemployed communities in California were left wondering why California leads on everything but jobs and our economy.
Both parties deserve credit for working to put something together, but there are delineations in the two proposals that must be pointed out. The democrat proposal is almost solely based on government created jobs, while the republican proposal sends signals to the private sector that California will create a competitive job creation climate with reduced costs and flexible regulations. (The latter covers many of the themes in CMTA’s campaign asking policymakers to understand economic and job impacts of existing and new regulations.)
An answer to the two different proposals lies in a look at California’s private-public sector job ratio and Texas’ job and revenue growth. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics data, for every new California government job since 2001, the state LOST 5.97 private sector jobs. That hurts … bad. It translates into an environment that has literally picked the winner in California — government. On the flip side, over the same nine years the Lone Star state’s focus on flexible regulations and lower costs (CA is 57% higher in taxes than Texas) has given them 484,600 new private sector jobs and, consequently, the money to pay for important government services — to the tune of a $2 billion surplus in 2009. In other words, produce the wealth first, then pay for increased government.
With a plan that cuts costs, eases regulations with flexibility, and eliminates lawsuit abuse, the Republicans understand that our recovery starts with a competitive environment for our large and small businesses.
While there are quality proposals in the democrat plan — such as streamlining small business permitting with one-stop shops — they rely too heavily on spending dollars we don’t have to create new government programs and new government jobs. Part of their plan actually eliminates furloughs and redirects tax dollars into more public sector jobs.
The re-directed leadership is appreciated by all working families and employers in California, no doubt. Now it’s just time to get it right. If we do, we just might get on the cover of Time Magazine for the leadership this state deserves.