How to Create 10,000 Jobs


…MORE OR LESS.

In the 1990s, politicians spoke constantly about “the children” and/or “education.” Now they tend to talk about “jobs,” as if the whole purpose of government were to create them.

South Carolina’s governor and legislators, for example, tout the jobs they “create” through taxpayer handouts to already successful companies like Boeing and Amazon – which coincidentally puts a greater and greater share of the tax burden on the small businesses that still have to pay the higher standard tax rates. According to the Small Business Administration, in 2009 small businesses totaled 357,900 in South Carolina and accounted for 97.1 percent of all employers in the state. While larger businesses contribute to our state’s economy as well, all types of businesses, big and small, should be given the same level playing field to work on. 

Instead of promoting the trend of cronyism by doing favors to large and well-connected corporations, we propose a far simpler and more straightforward method of job creation.

According to our state’s 2012-13 budget, South Carolina is estimated to collect $190 million in corporate taxes, $23.8 million in business license taxes, $94.4 million in corporation tax license taxes, and $966,428 in retailers’ license taxes. If these taxes were eliminated, a total of around $309 million would go back into the hands of businesses across our state. This would give a needed boost to our economy, as small businesses employ, as of 2009 (the latest year for which date is available), roughly 750,000 workers in our state. Sadly for our legislators, they would no longer be able to dole out this money to big companies, non-profit lobbyists, local pork projects, and for pay raises to high-paid staff.

There’s an up-side for everybody else.  Theoretically, if this money were left in the hands of the state’s small businesses, they could create a total of 10,320 jobs paying a $30,000 salary – or 6,192 jobs paying a $50,000 salary. Even if not all of this returned money would go to new positions, businesses would be given the opportunity to make their own decisions about their finances, instead of this money remaining in our legislators’ government-promoting economic development machine. Businesses would be given a better opportunity to expand, create higher paying jobs, and even lower prices of their products and services – resulting in an added bonus for consumers as well.

Our politicians talk a great deal about “creating jobs.” Here’s their chance.

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