In response to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal that characterized the American South as “falling behind,” ALEC Legislative Analyst Skip Estes and Chief Economist Jonathan Williams penned a letter to the editor, detailing the economic growth in the region:
The article argues that relatively low taxes and right-to-work laws are to blame for the South’s “poverty” by damping the power of unions, underfunding education and leaving the South unprepared for globalization. However, right-to-work laws are proven to have an opposite effect. In fact, right-to-work states see increased economic growth, higher long-term wage growth and increased manufacturing employment than forced-union states.
It is precisely because of low taxes and protected right-to-work laws that companies formerly located in the Northeast have flown south. The South’s economy isn’t falling behind. It’s just getting started.