APPEL: We’re The 48th-Best Business Environment, And I Have Thoughts

Yesterday, this ugly story about Louisiana’s business climate made its way across the wires…

Louisiana came in at No. 48 in CNBC’s annual Top States for Business ranking, beating out just Alaska and Mississippi.

CNBC ranked states based on 10 categories of competitiveness, including the cost of doing business, workforce, infrastructure, and technology and innovation.

Louisiana scored highest in cost of doing business, where it bested 44 other states, but its overall score was dragged down by its low score in the infrastructure and life, health and inclusion categories.

CNBC weighed each category based on how frequently states use them as a selling point in economic development marketing materials. Louisiana’s place on the CNBC list stands in stark contrast to its 2021 No. 8  business climate ranking from Site Selection magazine.

I believe that the only path to a prosperous Louisiana can be found in three fundamental expressions, and I paraphrase;

  • A rising tide lifts all boats
  • Insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different outcomes
  • Government is the problem, not the solution

If we designed a strategy to move Louisiana from economic irrelevance to its rightful place as Queen of the south it must be based upon these precepts.

I believe that the reason Louisiana has failed to live up to its potential can be found in a different set of expressions, again I paraphrase.

  • A chicken in every pot
  • Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax the man behind the tree
  • I am from the government, and I am here to help you

These clearly define Louisiana populism, the cancer that has destroyed from within the ability of our people to benefit from our amazing assets.

Let me add that this philosophy is magnified many fold in the context of New Orleans.

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