Avoiding a foreseeable race to the bottom
Here is a cautionary tale for Ontarians from the New York Times about two ‘failed states.’ These are not African or Asian broken countries run by local dictators. These two failed states are in the United States: Kansas and Louisiana.
- Both bought into the tax cut = prosperity nonsense being peddled here in Ontario;
- Both states were bamboozled into a belief that slashing taxes would somehow spark an economic boom, and expand the state economy, which of course never happened;
- Both Kansas and Louisiana saw their state revenues plunge;
- Both states cut education, social and health programs that benefit lower and middle income earners;
- Neither state was able to invest in essential infrastructure: roads, bridges, schools, energy; post-secondary education;
- In both states, the wealthy took the tax cut money and ran.
How did it all work out?
In middle-America Kansas, the state legislature came to its senses, and undid the tax cuts to restore some of its ability to provide services and maintain infrastructure. Kansas is slowly recovering.
Louisiana remains mired in state legislative gridlock. This week, the Louisiana state governor ordered some 100 of the state’s bridges closed permanently because they are now hazardous, and in danger of collapse.
Read for yourself
- New York Times, March 8, 2018 – Louisiana, ‘a Failed State’
- Louisiana Clarion Ledger, April 10, 2018 – Governor declares emergency, orders county bridges closed