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Business Observer Friday, May 16, 2014 4 years ago

Deep in the heart of Florida

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Florida's star continues to shine bright in a leading national survey on the best states to do business in from Chief Executive magazine.

Florida's star continues to shine bright in a leading national survey on the best states to do business in from Chief Executive magazine.

The Sunshine State came in second place in the survey, behind Texas. It was the second straight time Texas and Florida were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the survey. But Florida improved its quality of living ranking, the magazine says, and is getting closer to the top spot.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott tells the magazine the state has learned from Texas how to tell its story better. Scott also tells the magazine that Florida has reaped the benefits of what “Good to Great” author Jim Collins calls the flywheel effect: More big relocations and expansions entice other big relocations and expansions. Scott, in the article, specifically cites companies like Hertz in Lee County and Amazon in Hillsborough County.

Florida, on specific metrics, is ahead of the national average in state GDP, lower unemployment and state-local tax burden, according to the survey. The state's domestic migration rate was 91,484 people in 2013, second in the nation. The survey also cited Florida's recent machinery tax exemption for an example of a positive development.

Measurements and Scott's musings aside, the most blistering comments in the survey came in the form of an economic prediction from an anonymous CEO about makers and takers.

“California, Illinois, New York, Oregon and others do not have a viable long-term strategy for achieving economic balance and therefore will only get worse,” the CEO says in the survey. “Other states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona have a growing economy and reasonable rules and regulations and a positive attitude toward business. The former states are steadily declining into disaster territory such as Detroit. The other states will continue to become stronger and stronger. The difference will ultimately be similar to a productive and industrious northern Italy and a lazy unproductive southern Italy. Any attempt to force the productive states to subsidize the unproductive states will result in civil unrest.”

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