Why the GOP Cannot Attract New Business to Florida

A lot has been written about this past week’s Q-poll. But one takeaway is while Floridians may be split on cultural issues such as Same-Sex Marriage and on lean against the legalization of marijuana, the GOP has a problem on education issues. Higher education has suffered dramatically under the reforms pushed by former Governor Jeb Bush, making Florida’s colleges and universities less competitive academically and in terms of research with their counterparts from outside the state.

The continued problems Florida has with primary and secondary education have affected the state’s ability to attract businesses. Despite the bravado of the state legislature and GOP leadership about creating jobs and attracting business they have failed.

We constantly hear about how a positive climate for business needs to be created in Florida. The Republican majority as well as complicit Democrats constantly bring this topic up. Floridians of different political and ideological persuasions all agree that we need to attract new business to the state.

But with the exception of the much ballyhooed Scripps facility attracted by the Bush Administration to Palm Beach County efforts to attract large companies to relocate administrative headquarters and large facilitates to Florida have fallen flat. At the same time, Florida’s public universities have faced remarkable cuts in budgets and as a result a drop in national reputation.

Florida is the fourth largest state by population in the country but yet is home to the corporate headquarters of just 16 Fortune 500 companies. That ranks 11th in the country behind eight states with a smaller population including Minnesota and Virginia.

For all the tax incentives and rhetoric of Republicans in the legislature and executive branch they have proven over the past decade they are consistently unable to attract business to the state. Interestingly, Republicans in neighboring southern states have fared much better at attracting large corporations to either relocate or set up major operations. That could be because the Democrats in those states have offered differing ideas or simply because the RPOF is arrogant and more into rewarding cronies than those who actually create new jobs in the state.

Despite a tax rate lower than most states and “right to work” status which prevents unions from effectively organizing, Florida’s Republicans have failed badly.While unable to attract new businesses or foster a climate of innovation that develops successful companies the Republicans have done more damage with cuts to Higher Education that have resulted in the plummeting national reputation of the state’s top universities.

The bottom line is this- the GOP’s rhetoric on creating business doesn’t match the actions of the legislature and Governor. Cuts to higher education and continued tinkering in the name of education “reform” pushed by Jeb Bush and others has hurt Florida’s competitive position. No amount of tax cuts or union busting can undo that damage to the state’s business climate.

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4 thoughts on “Why the GOP Cannot Attract New Business to Florida

  1. Do not forget the failure of the GOP to develop any type of culture of innovation around high tech business.

  2. The problem with Florida is how the voters, blindly follow, listen and believe everything the republicans tell them. So what ever happens there is the voters fault.

    The voters follow the con. Many of us call them broke republicans. People whom want to be rich and hope some of the rich money will rub off on them. But they have to see sooner than later that the rich will not share their wealth. They may promise to do so, but history has shown that they do not.

    People like Vern Buchanan Sarasota Congressman promise for years change, jobs and improvements. He has delivered nothing.

    Even when the voters are shown fact/given, hard documents and evidence to show the true sides of people like Vern. They disregard the hard proof and still vote for the con.

    Part of these hard facts is his record in congress. His promises to the voters are not backed up by his voting record in congress. In fact it is in directly opposite.

    He recently used the fact that he is a successful businessman and would use his experience to make lives better for his voters, create JOBS AND PROTECT the net worth of the voters, to get elected, He has done none of that.

    Back to business as usually. Being the used car salesman that he is; promise the world, con the voters, get elected and then do everything he can to improve his net worth at the expense of the voters and consumers.

    Look at his latest interview on Sandy Hook killings of 26 Angels. He never offered one prayer or a sorry for any victim or their families. He refused to commit on gun control: even tho if anyone knows about that subject it is him and his office. He heads the division of the republican party that collects money from lobbies and political contributions. He knows, set up and collects millions from gun lobbies.

    I was raised in Tampa. Have friends and family in Florida and I care. Why can’t the voters care enough to protect themselves.

    Duane overholt Consumer Advocate

  3. The only reason Scripps came here was the 300 MILLION in TAX DOLLARS they received. Do not forget the tens of millions Burt and his buddies washed down the drain purchasing land for Scripps that they never built on. PBC taxpayers are still footing the bill for that one. As in Texas, the only was Republican’s ever attract jobs is buy giving away tax money to corporations. In the end we only get a net return of a hand full of jobs. No real expansion of the Economy. This is corporate welfare at it’s worst. Yet these same guys will not fund education or health care , things that make a workforce more productive.

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