The Chief Executive Magazine released its annual best and worst states to do business in, and Colorado has fallen yet again. Now ranked 16th in the country, Colorado fell a further three spots from its ranking last year (13th), and a full eight spots from when we were 8th in 2010, the year Gov. John Hickenlooper got elected. Unfortunately for Colorado, the consensus of the 500 CEOs surveyed has Colorado trending negative, meaning it’s only going to get worse before it gets better PeakNation™.
What makes it even more frustrating is that there isn’t a big secret to being a business-friendly state with a thriving economy. Chief Executive even takes time to spell it out:
If there is a pattern in the survey, it is that states have diverged in recent years in their experimentation with economic freedom. Those lightening the burden of government have generally improved economic growth over those insisting that state-directed spending and governance is best.
… The problem is that states don’t invest effectively. States like Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, Indiana and others have figured out that economic freedom works.
… The question is why have states nearer the bottom of the ranking not acted on this insight? The answer is likely complicated, but it has much to do with power and control. There will always be leaders who have convinced themselves that they act from superior knowledge and wisdom… However, business leaders are not bound to indulge such delusions… [the Peak emphasis]
A leader who’s convinced he has superior knowledge and wisdom, say perhaps to the point that he feels he’s above the political fray? Couldn’t possibly be our current governor!?
If Hick and his administration have been consistent in one aspect during their time in office, it has been their complete arrogance. Whether they’re dealing with fractivists or Sen. King and his proposed aerial fleet, if you disagree with them they think you do it from a point of idiocy. Under Hick’s “leadership,” this is how CEOs are beginning to view Colorado:
“Colorado is trying to imitate California. We are Colorado headquartered, but the majority of our capital expansion plans will be in Texas.”
Despite how swell of a guy Hickenlooper believes himself to be, and despite how business-friendly he believes himself to be, those who are on the frontline of Colorado’s economy think Hickenlooper is leading Colorado down the wrong path. And, no amount of goat holding is going to change that.