Pella Chronicle

Opinion

June 19, 2009

McKinley’s Memos

Concerns about the economy, job security, retirement savings, health costs, higher taxes and the consequences of inflation as a result of too much government spending are prevalent on the minds of Iowans right now. Disappointing news reports of more job layoffs, plant and business closures, worker furloughs, wage cuts and hour reductions are leaving Iowans searching for answers. John Deere cut 700 in Ottumwa, Principal Financial Group let 140 go in Des Moines, Electrolux downsized in Webster City, H&H; Foodservice in West Union said goodbye to 90 employees, Rockwell Automation announced they are closing a plant in Sumner and there are many other small employers throughout Iowa who have felt the economic strain even if the cutbacks did not make the news headlines.

With over 90,000 Iowans unemployed and more newly minted high school and college graduates now joining the job market, Iowans are looking for economic leadership in creating jobs and opportunities and I have been working hard to answer that call.

I believe we must be committed to working to remove many of the roadblocks and barriers that are hindering – not helping – to create and retain jobs in Iowa. Earlier this year the news magazine U.S. News & World Report released a study noting that Iowa is now the second worst state in the United States when it comes to business climate as determined through indicators by several esteemed and respected business indexes. Only West Virginia had a employer climate less desirable than Iowa’s. In making their pronouncement, they cited Iowa’s high government interference and very high, burdensome taxes.

Throughout Iowa’s history, there have been many wonderful examples of employers, businesses, inventors, entrepreneurs and manufacturers who have taken a dream and vision and built a legacy that has shaped our communities and touched generations of Iowans. Many of these successful individuals have created wonderful opportunities for many fellow Iowans. However, they did not get their start by first coming to the capitol with a glossy brochure to see what kind of deal or handout they could get from legislators or bureaucrats – they got their start because they found local investment and worked hard to build the business into a success from the bottom up. I know that every big business once started as a small business and every smaller businesses once started as a good idea.

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