Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Keeping Virginia Open for Business

Victoria Cobb, President
The Family Foundation of Virginia

To some, the only job of our elected officials is to make sure everyone has a good job and that the economy is rolling along nicely.  Usually, the argument is made that legislators waste time on pesky “social issues” at the expense of economics, as if jobs and the economy are unrelated to our moral values.
Of course, that argument is always aimed at those of us who share Godly principles.  It’s never applied both ways, as we saw time and again during this year’s General Assembly.  Case in point is the ongoing debate over same-sex marriage and special protects for sexual behaviors in our state’s hiring laws.  Opponents of natural marriage argued when seeking to repeal Virginia’s marriage amendment that having the natural definition of marriage in our Constitution is “bad for business” and prevents business types from moving here.  They made the same argument about adding “sexual orientation” to the state’s non-discrimination law, and that not passing the law would make Virginia unattractive to new business and intellectual capital.
All of which makes for good media sound bites, but as usual, flies in the face of the facts.
Analysis of several economic factors in states with and without marriage amendments shows that states that recognize natural marriage are doing better economically than those that have chosen to redefine marriage.  The report by the National Organization for Marriage shows that states like Virginia continue to outperform states that have redefined marriage in employment, job growth, business climate rankings and more.  Conversely, states with same-sex marriage make up 30 percent of the states with the highest rates of unemployment.  The report says, “States with marriage amendments make up sixty percent of the total number of states. They make up ninety percent of the top states in overall job growth, eighty percent of the top states in four categories (CEO grading, domestic migration, public employment, and personal income growth), seventy percent in middle-class job growth, and are proportionately represented in four categories (GDP growth, low unemployment, tax burden, enterprising states).”
Of course, states with marriage amendments tend to be more conservative economically as well, meaning they have better tax and regulatory climates than those states that lean liberal socially and economically. 
Beyond that, natural marriage provides more buying power for families, something that is good for business, at least until that buying power is shattered by burdensome taxes!  Businesses with a desire for growth are going to go where they can keep more of their profits for growth and expansion and where there are people with the capacity to spend money.  It isn’t rocket science, its basic economics.