When Site Selection Magazine put out last week its top ten rankings for 2013 most competitive states based off of state economic development success, Colorado was nowhere to be found. What should be even more disheartening to supposed business-friendly Governor John Hickenlooper is that Colorado cannot even make the top five for the Mountain region. Hell, the potato farmers up in Idaho even beat us out! The only thing Idaho should ever beat Colorado in is famous authors with the last name Hemingway who have committed suicide there (Idaho-1, Colorado-0).
Hickenlooper’s ass has been covered on the economy by a booming oil and gas industry he seems too weak to protect, and a recovered construction industry that has finally regained its legs after going bust during the recession. Yet, this is just another ranking that looks at the deeper factors that underpin an economy that say if Colorado doesn’t soon change its anti-business ways, we’re all going to be screwed.
Of the top five states in the Mountain region (Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, and Idaho) only Arizona and Utah should be competitive with Colorado. Yet, four years of Hickenlooper has chilled Colorado’s business climate to the point where runts like Wyoming and Idaho are not only nipping at our heels, but even surpassing us in some areas.
If Colorado not only wants to compete with and beat fellow states, but become one of the best economies in the country, we’re going to have to adopt a more Texas-like mindset when it comes to our economy, rather than follow the failed experiment that is California. Surely, all the Californian transplants who fled here should understand supporting the same policies they supported there will lead to the same results here. Then again, that may be giving sun-baked Californians too much credit.