Tennessee ranks top ten Rich States in ALEC Rich States, Poor States Edition

The free-market, pro-growth champion American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released the 13th edition of Rich States, Poor States, which evaluates each state’s competitiveness and economic outlook using 15 equally weighted policy variables and examining trends from past decades. “The evidence is clear that competitive tax rates, thoughtful regulations, and responsible spending lead to more opportunities for all Americans,” says ALEC, which is also circulating a letter calling for no bailout of states. “State economies grow and flourish when lawmakers trust people, not government, to create long-term prosperity.”

This year’s publication examines the policy choices made across the 50 states in 2019, before the pandemic. Author Dr. Arthur B. Laffer says the data show “how economically competitive states thrive and how those that don’t make proactive pro-growth reforms, like Connecticut and Illinois, are left in the dust.” The 57-page report shows that reforms have helped Wyoming, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Delaware and Montana improve their national rankings this year.

The top 10 and bottom 10 states for 2019 are below. A look at Site Selection’s rankings over the past nine months shows North Carolina — No. 5 in ALEC’s estimation — to be the strongest ALEC Top 10 performer across the board, ranking No. 2 in our November Business Climate rankings, No. 6 in overall projects in our Governor’s Cup rankings and No. 6 in our Prosperity Cup rankings published in May. Indiana and Tennessee are also Top 10 material in both ALEC and Site Selection rankings. ALEC No. 1 Utah did not make the top 10 in any of our most recent rankings, though it placed No. 7 in the executive survey portion of the Business Climate rankings. Where do our No. 1s rank from ALEC’s perspective? Business Climate champion Georgia is No. 21. Governor’s Cup cumulative champion and Prosperity Cup winner Texas is No. 15. And per-capita Governor’s Cup winner Ohio is No. 29.

ALEC ‘Rich States, Poor States’ Rankings

Top 10                        Bottom 10

  1. Utah                    41. Maine
  2. Wyoming            42. Oregon
  3. Idaho                  43. Rhode Island
  4. Indiana               44. Hawaii
  5. North Carolina   45. Minnesota
  6. Nevada               46. California
  7. Florida                47. Illinois
  8. Tennessee          48. New Jersey
  9. Oklahoma           49. Vermont
  10. Arizona               50. New York

Source: ALEC, by Jonathan Williams, Dr. Arthur B. Laffer & Stephen Moore

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org


Published August 14, 2020