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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

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Arthur Eckart

Sweden's economy is roughly the size of the U.S. state of North Carolina's economy. However, what may work in North Carolina may not work for the U.S. Nonetheless, U.S. states can learn from each other. California tends to be anti-business and ignorant about economics, perhaps, because one party has extensive control of government. Consequently, regions, e.g. San Francisco and Los Angeles, are run-down. However, the U.S. state of Colorado tends to be pro-business. Colorado's state, county, and city governments work together with business. Consequently, a lot of improvements are made. In Denver Colorado, there has been extensive economic development, e.g. a new international airport, three new professional sports stadiums (football, baseball, basketball/hockey), a new light rail system, new main library (where a G-8 meeting was held one year), new convention center, renovation of lower downtown, general improvements of city streets, etc. However, in Oakland California, there have been almost no city improvements. Yet, local and state taxes are higher in Oakland than in Denver. Oakland tends to focus on income redistribution and there seems to be extensive corruption (because of one party rule). Living standards for the poor seem much lower in Oakland than in Denver (including higher crime rates, rolling blackouts, garbage strikes, water shortages, etc.). On the state level, California government has little understanding of economics. Exxon wanted to build a huge refinery in California, because of projected future shortages. However, there were so many attacks on Exxon's reputation, lawsuits, and hostility in general by many groups, that Exxon concluded it would have to be out of its mind to build in California, which contributed to the highest gasoline prices in the country. The California Public Utilities Commission, totally controlled by one party, has attacked Wall Street, big business, and other states (which exported energy to California) for making money, and seems to have no understanding of economics. California has many policies that result in higher prices and costs, which lowered living standards. It's important that government and business understand each other's concerns, work together, treat each other equally, and with more trust and respect.

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