by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Not if you consider the sources of that growth, as Alex Adrianson points out for the Heritage Foundation’s “Insider Online” blog. Adrianson’s headline proclaims: “For recent economic growth, thank fracking, right-to-work, and low-tax states.”
In other words, as Steven Malanga notes, the credit goes to things that President Obama either had nothing to do with or actively opposed:
Michigan, with a 19 percent increase in industrial jobs, and Indiana, with a 14 percent gain, have seen the greatest manufacturing job growth (on a percentage basis). Texas, meanwhile, with 71,000 new jobs, has led the way in creating the largest number of new industrial positions.
Employment in Michigan and Indiana got a boost in 2012 when both states passed right-to-work laws letting individuals decide whether or not to join a union. […] But since adopting right-to-work, Michigan and Indiana have each added about 28,000 industrial jobs, some of them coming back from overseas in a process known as reshoring. The jobs wind up in right-to-work states, because they allow American companies to be competitive on labor costs with goods made overseas.
Still, labor law alone doesn’t account for all the industrial growth in Indiana and Michigan. Both states have emphasized keeping taxes low and reforming corporate levies to make them fairer. Michigan governor Rick Snyder eliminated the state’s ineffective Michigan Business Tax and replaced it with a flat corporate tax. This year, the state voted to kill a tax on business equipment. Indiana, ranked by the trade magazine Area Development as the seventh-best state for doing business (and the best in the Midwest), has kept its corporate taxes among the lowest in the nation. …
The National Association of Manufacturers […] has projected that declining energy costs will add 1 million new industrial jobs in America over the next decade. …
… America has achieved remarkable gains—cutting its dependence on foreign oil from 60 percent of American consumption to just 28 percent since 2006—thanks to a technological breakthrough that was largely unanticipated and unheralded until a few years ago: hydraulic fracturing. America is consequently becoming the world’s largest energy producer—poised soon to be a net exporter of energy to the rest of the world. The gains can also be seen in terms of new investment and jobs created.