Saturday, January 16, 2016

Ducey's vision for growing Arizona's economy: Uber alles?

Blake Morlock at Tucson Sentinel pokes some big holes in Ducey's plan for AZ. Does Dicey want investment in bio tech? Nope. In joining the knowledge economy? Nope. In renewable energy? Nope. In fixing our infrastructure? Nope. In our K-21 education? Nope (and Prop 123 sucks).

So what does he want us to do? Join the "sharing economy." An Uber or an AirBnB in every pot. (Don't get me wrong - I am a fan of Uber. But as a state policy, an economic end game? Read on.)

... this is what you get when you do what Arizona has done for 25 years and reach the end of the cul de sac. The state has the most limited food stamp program in America, the most restrictive welfare program in America, is the only state without an federal SCHIP program for kids' health care and we rank 49th in K-12 spending.

Morlock explains with the headline: "Ducey's SoS: Sharing in no way means caring. Gov's vision for Arizona's economy is downright Hobbesian, brutish and hustling."

Here is just one example illustrating how Ducey may not have any economic depth to his vision.

Here's a big problem for Arizona and the sharing economy: It requires that benefits like health care be regulation and provided by the state.

See, when workers in the sharing economy don't get benefits like health care, they need to have it provided for them by the only other game in town. The government.

Don't believe me? There's this guy Travis Kalanick who argues the same thing. He founded a little company called "Uber." This is what he said about Obamacare as a lynchpin of Uber's success:

“It’s huge," he said, according to BuzzFeed. “The democratization of those types of benefits allow people to have more flexible ways to make a living. They don’t have to be working for The Man.”

Yet working for The Man is actually how the bulk of Americans still make a living and raise families. This may not be the case in Haiti, but here in the U.S., we're still what they call "an advanced civilization." Together advanced civilizations make investments in institutions that allow the broader economy to grow.

But Il Duce does not want "investments in institutions that allow the broader economy to grow." I conclude, therefore, that Duce does not qualify as a member of any advanced civilization.

Morlock caps it.

... Ducey is looking at a state that has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country and promising to cut taxes further every year. From his speech: "Together, we will lower taxes this year. Next year. And the year after."

This means — eventually, I'll do my piece on the Laffer Curve later — collapsing revenues cause budget crises that squeeze state expenditures down to levels they do not recover from just so politicians can say, "We cut taxes."

In the absence of institutions like health care and public education, Arizona isn't going to be able to cash in on the Knowledge Economy — but Ducey wants us to swallow its backwash as the primary staple of our diet.

But it's all good. I heard you can do really well in the sharing economy without burdensome regulation. Why just the other day, I heard about this Nigerian prince who wants to share my bank account and he'll give me....

Consider alternative expansions of the acronym "SoS." State of the State, sure. Secretary of State, OK. But in my junior high school cafeteria we had another version that applied to a particularly unappetizing dish. That's what Ducey dished up to Arizonans on Monday.

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