What Others are Saying

“Governing on many of the economic policy principles advocated in Rich States, Poor States has led our state on a path to prosperity. The work done by Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams is second to none.”

-Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona 

“State policymakers across America depend on Rich States, Poor Statesto provide an annual report on their current standing in economic competitiveness. Hardworking taxpayers want their states to follow the best policy solutions that will lead to greater economic opportunity for all. This publication provides exactly that roadmap for economic success in the states.”

-Senator Leah Vukmir, Assistant Majority Leader, Wisconsin; 2016 ALEC National Chairman

“We have made modest progress by lowering the income tax, streamlining agencies and bringing fiscal responsibility to state government, but Maine still ranks near the bottom of the ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index. Rich States, Poor Statesshows policymakers just how much work we have to do to make Maine truly competitive nationally. We need only look at the states now enjoying economic success to see that lower taxes, less regulation and more free-market policies lead the way to prosperity.”

-Governor Paul R. LePage, Maine

“By promoting pro-growth tax and fiscal policies, we can help every American unleash their full potential. In South Carolina, we have seen these policies lead to an economic boom, with companies large and small choosing to locate and succeed in our great state. Publications such as this one serve as valuable tools to provide policymakers with a blueprint for job creation and economic success.”

-U.S. Senator Tim Scott, South Carolina

“As the national economy continues to remain far below trend, ALEC’s measures of state economic policies and how these policies contribute to state-level economic performance are more important than ever for understanding economic growth and opportunities. This publication provides fundamental knowledge for evaluating the policies that enhance economic growth, and those that lead to economic stagnation. It is a must-read for policymakers and anyone interested in how our states can grow and provide their residents more opportunities to succeed.”

-Lee Ohanian, Professor of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles

“For years now, policymakers across our nation have looked to Rich States, Poor States as an essential guide to evaluate how their state ranks in economic competitiveness and job creation. We have taken this message to heart by significantly reducing taxes and working to ensure that hard working Iowans keep more of what they earn. This publication is a fantastic resource for state policymakers interested in creating more economic opportunity and enhancing the level of well-being for the citizens of their state.”

-Speaker Linda Upmeyer, Iowa; ALEC 2014 National Chair

“A society based on true fairness is one that creates opportunity for everyone. Rich States, Poor States highlights the states whose public policies best empower citizens to earn their own success.”

-Arthur C. Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute

“Pro-growth tax and fiscal policies outlined in Rich States, Poor States help to foster an environment full of opportunities for taxpayers across our nation. In my home state of Washington, we do not tax individual income, which enables greater opportunities for entrepreneurs to start their own businesses, and gives taxpayers greater opportunity to provide for their own families. Anyone interested in bringing economic success to their own state will benefit from this publication.”

-Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington

“The evidence is clear: Economic prosperity is attainable for those states that exercise discretion and discipline in spending and taxation. Pro-growth tax and fiscal policies-like those championed by ALEC and throughout Rich States, Poor States-set a clear path to a renewed national economic recovery.”

-Governor Rick Perry, Texas

“I am pleased to see Rich States, Poor States in its 6th edition. This edition, like its predecessors, reviews fiscal policies that contribute to economic growth compared to policies that detract from such growth. It has become a go-to source for state policymakers”

-Governor Matthew Mead, Wyoming 

“As Justice Brandeis noted, one of the happy aspects of the federal system is that a state may serve as a laboratory and try novel policy experiments. In 2012, the ‘Texas Experiment’ of light taxation and regulation produced more jobs than any state, and an economy growing at twice the national state average. Anyone interested in bringing similar success to their state should read this book.”

-U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Texas

“I want to thank the authors of Rich States, Poor States and ALEC for providing policymakers and the public with this valuable resource. There is no question that states like Utah are reaping the benefits of sound fiscal policy. It is clear that limited regulation, low taxes, low debt, and balanced budgets create the best environment for business, investment, and jobs.”

-Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, Utah

“It is important for policymakers to have a publication that helps and encourages economic growth and competition between states to encourage economic prosperity. Publications like this one help educate legislators and governors with the tools to understand which policies work and which policies waste taxpayer dollars. The end goal for politicians should be the promotion of liberty, free markets, low taxation, and smaller government.”

-U.S. Senator Rand Paul, Kentucky

“Each year, Rich States, Poor States puts the focus on pro-growth policies that are helping expand economic opportunity in states across the nation. Their no-nonsense approach helps lawmakers cut through the rhetoric and put together data-driven, proven strategies to make their home state a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

-Governor Pete Ricketts, Nebraska 

“If you want to understand the best way to expand opportunity all you need to do is look to the states. While Washington, D.C., offers one-size-fits-all solutions, states are coming up with innovative models that can be studied by all and adapted by anyone. No other publication does a better job of highlighting where to look than Rich States, Poor States. It is a must-read for policymakers, taxpayers, and journalists alike.”

-State Treasurer Ron Crane, Idaho National Chairman, State Financial Officers Foundation 

“A few short years ago, Michigan’s economy was the worst in the nation, our population was declining, and the state ran so short of funds that it shut down twice. Now, Michigan is a national leader in job growth, our unemployment has fallen by two-thirds, and families are coming back home. We needed to identify what went wrong and change course to pursue smarter, pro-growth policies. Publications like Rich States, Poor States are a tremendous resource that allow us to look at real, measurable results from around the country, learn from best practices, and make better-informed policy decisions.”

-Speaker Tom Leonard, Michigan

“Most state legislatures across the country are focused on reducing spending, lowering taxes, and growing their economies. Rich States, Poor States continues to generate in-depth policy information that is critical to making decisions that will move states in a more economically sustainable direction. This publication is an important tool for policymakers, and I consider it essential to understanding what makes each state competitive in global economy.”

-Senator Thom Tillis, North Carolina

    Rich States, Poor States 17th Edition

    The 17th edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index is the latest in our annual series examining each state’s competitiveness and economic outlook. Used by lawmakers across the states…
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