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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

"Best" is good

This is good news:

Indiana is the best place to do business in the Midwest and the fifth-best nationwide according to a survey by Chief Executive magazine of more than 500 chief executives.

The magazine's ninth annual Best & Worst States survey asked CEOs to evaluate states based on business tax policies, regulation, workforce quality and livability factors.

Some will downplay it, though. Recently, I was defending the governor's modest income tax cut by saying that in addition to any boost it might bring in economic activity, it was a good idea simply because in this weak economy it's a good thing to have a reputation as a business-friendly state. Well, she replied, we've had that reputation for years, and how many companies has it brought here?

I guess my answer is that, while having such a reputation might not bring obvious tangible rewards, not having it would be devastating. Let's face it, this state does not have anything remarkable or unique to offer companies. We have no breathtaking geographic features, no spectacular weather, no fabled history, no noteworthy cultural reputation. If we don't make an effort to be business-friendly, why in the world would companies look here? If they had to face the same tax and regualtory framework here or in California, why would they choose here?