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 and a people who mean to be their own governors

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Jon Corzine’s New Paradigm For New Jersey

Our reader Socrates asked us at about 11:00 pm tonight if we would “care to comment on the speech Corzine just made, and the plan he's set out. What's good and what is bad?” He provided two links Economic Blueprint and NJIT Speech. Due to the late hour, we only have had time to scratch the surface of Corzine’s Economic Blueprint. We promise to continue our analysis over the coming days. We think it is probably better for us and our readers if we take this a bit at a time.

Jon Corzine will bring a different set of experiences to the office of Governor. He will move the state from a pattern of tax, borrow and spend, to a new paradigm: invest, grow and prosper.
Anyone would bring a different set of experiences to the office of Governor and Jon doesn’t identify those experiences that make him uniquely qualified. We have previously written why we believe Corzine is not the right person for Governor of New Jersey and our most recent post on the subject may be read here.

Corzine promises to move the state to a new paradigm (a buzz word beaten to death in the ‘90’s) of invest, grow and proper. The socialist philosophy is not aligned with ours and we believe socialism has long since proven to be a losing economic model. We are not looking for the State (government) to invest, grow and prosper. We want the people of New Jersey to be free to invest, grow and prosper.

Invest, is a euphemism for spending taxpayer’s money, so there’s nothing new there and our concern remains how much more tax money Corzine would like to “invest;” grow, state government is already growing at an unsustainable rate, the people of New Jersey can’t afford any more state growth; prosper, in our book state employees are prospering quite nicely without any additional help from Mr. Corzine.

Corzine believes that growing New Jersey’s economy and creating good-paying jobs cannot and will not happen unless we achieve four important things first: (We will pick up our analysis with the four important things in a later post)
The government is incapable of growing an economy or creating private sector jobs - good paying or otherwise. The state can create good paying government jobs, but these jobs do not create wealth, they subtract from the capital available for wealth creation. Every communist government has tried this approach, as have the socialist countries in Europe with disastrous results. So there’s no need to repeat those mistakes in New Jersey.

The government can create a climate that ranges from hostile to favorable towards business and economic growth. A look at Corzine’s Senate record and ratings by various business and consumer groups complied by Project Vote Smart, do not inspire confidence in Corzine’s philosophy or record for economic growth.

Corzine received 27 ratings ranging from a high of 50% to a low of 0 %. We believe this would be considered an “F’ under anyone’s grading scale, even in New Jersey. There is nothing in Jon Corzine’s record to suggest he would be successful in growing New Jersey's economy or as we would say, creating a pro growth climate in the state.

Small business is the great job creating engine in the United States. For the years 2003-2004 the National Small Business Association rated Senator Corzine 0% (zero) and the Small Business Survival Committee gave Corzine a 20%. (We will continue this area of research and report any additional information.) To date, here are the findings:

2004 U.S. Chamber of Commerce 47 %
2004 Small Business Survival Committee 20 %
2003-2004 National Association of Manufacturers 9 %
2003-2004 National Federation of Independent Business 0 %
2003-2004 Business-Industry Political Action Committee 4 %
2003-2004 National Retail Federation 12 %
2003-2004 Associated Builders & Contractors 10 %
2003-2004 National Small Business Association 0 %
2003-2004 National Restaurant Association 14 %
2003 National Retail Federation 12 %
2003 Associated Builders & Contractors 0 %
2003 Business-Industry Political Action Committee 4 %
2003 U.S. Chamber of Commerce 27 %
2003 National Federation of Independent Business 0 %
2002 National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association 36 %
2002 American Coalition for Ethanol 0 %
2002 U.S. Chamber of Commerce 50 %
2001-2002 Associated Builders & Contractors 22 %
2001-2002 National Federation of Independent Business 25 %
2001-2002 Small Business Survival Committee 0 %
2001-2002 Business-Industry Political Action Committee 0 %
2001-2002 National Association of Manufacturers 0 %
2001 National Federation of Independent Business 17 %
2001 U.S. Chamber of Commerce 36 %
2001 National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association 40 %
2001 Small Business Survival Committee 0 %
1999-2004 National Ready Mixed Concrete Association 20 %


At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corzine has had a lot of practice at Goldman Sachs appropriating other peoples' wealth so I'm sure he will be very efficient at ripping apart what little is left of the middle class in New Jersey....what continues to amaze me is the sheer stupidity of New Jersey voters who vote either Democrat or Republican based on blind party loyalty without considering the character and competence of the person they are voting for....maybe as a group we deserve what we get as I find it inconceivable that one such as Corzine can be elected when Goldman Sachs has been "allegedly" linked with doing business with at least one foreign government that traffics in slavery, and through "alleged" laddering schemes has directly or indirectly destroyed businesses-putting workers on unemployment lines-and yet Corzine has the balls to call Bush a "Hitler" and the VP "Saddam Hussein" when Corzine disagrees with their economic policies...is this the type of name-calling behavior that got him thrown out of Goldman Sachs in the first place? This is unprofessional conduct to say the least for a so-called "statesman" who seems to know only how to take and not to build and it makes you wonder by his comments if he is just a wee bit insane. I'm beginning to wonder if he has a rage issue stemming from the Sachs firing that he hasn't dealt with.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is the kind
of a man that you would use as a blueprint to build an idiot. ...

At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naw, you're missing the point....

Any map of Corzine's policies for New Jersey will be a "con"-tour map.......with emphasis on the "con"

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see......Corzine's ENRON debacle cost New Jersey teachers 60 million dollars from their pension funds. "Great start" Jon for trimming (in your own inimitable way) that "fat" pension budget your buddy Codey is complaining about (with the exclusion of his brother, of course)-I'm sure the teachers were "real pleased" about your "contribution" to their financial stability-hehe

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really trying to see things from Jon's point of view, but I can't get my head that far up his ass. My bad.

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget the Giants & Jets. To help with the budget deficit, let Messrs. Corzine and Cody float a bond for "James E. McGreevey Bi-Partisan Memorial Pay Toilet Rest Stops" along the Turnpike and Parkway to be used on a first come first served basis and, as a sentimental gesture, allow McGreevey the honor of drilling the first glory hole.

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Chris Toto said...


I disagree that the potential of "invest, grow, prosper" is impossible for NJ, including the impossibility of *public goods* and reformed public policies to help grow a bigger economic pie for all of us, for a "plus zero, win-win outcome." Unlikely perhaps, not impossible.

Public goods and policies that are disciplined with market oriented incentives and more accountability can add value to market society. Conrad & Gabler's "Reinventing Government" hinted some things in this direction.

Unfortunately, unless Corzine has some enormous surprises that he's keeping secret, I doubt he has little clue about how to implement a practical "invest, grow, prosper" recipe beyond the old "cost plus" approach to social goods spending. In fact, I doubt if anyone in either major party has a real clue.

The only real positive possibility for Corzine, is that only a mega Democrat like him could deal with the NJEA and the excessive public school system tax costs to NJ. Just like only a commie-baiting icon like "Nixon could go to Red China," only a Corzine could seize the reigns and tame down the NJEA to reason. If he has more guts than we can tell.

Although several core problems infest the NJ public school system, a major problem is that there is no economic incentive for a cost minimizing, value adding ROI kind of budgeting process. Despite the words of Byrne, Kean and Hughes for "Thorough & Efficient" education, the system lacks any economic incentives for economic efficiency, in real world terms of how much learning is achieved per dollars spent. Despite all the prattling about equality between funding of Abbott vs non-Abbott school districts, nary a word has been spoken about the IN-equality of corruption that exists between different school districts.

A first good step would be to stop giving the NJ Savers Rebate to families that use public schools. On average, such public school user families already recieve roughly an $8,000 per student-year transfer subsidy from their local neighbors who don't use the public schools. Why give an additional subsidy to families that are causing the property tax problem in the first place? Instead of increasing the subsidy in favor of more "cost-plus public school budgeting," why not incentivize those who do not use public schools, who do not inflate public school district taxes?

Turn the NJ Savers Rebate into a modest public school non-users exemption credit. Later on, consider granting further partial exemptions from local school taxes for non-users. Incentivize more people to bring new net investment to communities, instead of net takers. Like, when local public school budgets become greater than one fith of local land rental values, allow local referendums to yield up to a 50% exemption credit from school taxes for non-users.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Chris Toto, you are exactly right, there is no incentive for cost minimizing in public school education, and in fact just the opposite incentives are in place. In addition, the public has been sold on the concept that more money equals better education and that a poor educational outcome must be remedied with even more money. While there are no incentives for holding down costs, there are also no penalties for poor performance, at least not for those responsible for the performance.

We like your idea of incentives (tax breaks) for those that do not avail themselves of public schools. We’d even go so far as to recommend the separation of school and state. But that’s a topic for another day.

Reinventing Government by Conrad & Gabler may offer some interesting ideas for integrating government and business but only in theory as their model has yet to be successfully implemented.

We agree the current model for government is not meeting the needs of citizens. We would argue that government has moved into delivering services that would be best left to the private sector. Government is an inefficient provider of many services and lacks the capacity or incentive to change as citizen’s need change.

However, we believe more government services can and should be provided by the private sector. Wherever possible government services should be supplied on a fee for actual services received basis. We need to break the illusion that government services are free. This would provide an incentive to hold down costs and improve quality.

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Ken Adams said...

Chris, there's a term for the non-public-school-user tax credit you propose. It's commonly called a school voucher.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Ken, Chis means a tax break for all those that do not send children to public schools, not just those that send children to private schools. The majority of taxpayers do not have school age children. Let's not create another group for us to subsidize.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Ken Adams said...

I agree, but it would have the effect of a voucher program for those who chose not to send their kids to public schools.

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