In talking about the economy, President John F. Kennedy noted, on more than one occasion, that “a rising tide raises all boats.” And while the phrase didn’t originate with the former president, it does concisely capture the idea that everyone benefits when general economic conditions improve.
With that in mind, all Georgians have to feel good about some of the things happening in the state in terms of economic development and new business growth.
Since his election in 2010, Gov. Nathan Deal has made job creation and improving the state’s economy a priority for his office, and seeds sown early in his administration are beginning to bear fruit.
On April 19, the governor’s office announced that Baxter International will build what is expected to initially be a billion dollar facility east of Atlanta in Newton County. The biomedical center is expected to generate about 1,500 new jobs in its first phase, and has the potential for hundreds more.
The Baxter decision came on the heels of two other major announcements this year, with Carter’s Inc. planning a facility in Braselton that may be employing 1,000 by 2015, and Caterpillar locating near Athens with a new facility that expects to have 1,400 jobs by 2020.
What is particularly exciting about the Baxter announcement is that that the international health care concern is expected to generate high-paying, quality jobs with annual compensation in the range of $50,000 and up. Those are the sorts of jobs Georgia needs as its workforce morphs into more modern skill sets and technologies.
The recent run of good news on the job front is no accident. With Deal championing the cause, the state has been working diligently to rebuild an economy that has been staggering in recent years.
To make job creation a reality, the state has taken action on a number of fronts, not the least of which is a slate of pro-business tax reforms. This year, Deal has signed into law legislation that eliminate sales taxes on energy used for manufacturing, legislation that allows local governments to hold referendums on eliminating business inventories from taxation, and legislation to create a tax review board to oversee disputes between businesses and the state Dept. of Revenue.
Easing the tax burden on businesses so that money can be invested in job creation and expansion is a sound way to rebuild the state’s economic engine.
Back in January, when he released the recommendations of the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative, Deal said “Our goal is for Georgia to be the No. 1 state in the United States for business.”
That’s a goal we all can support, knowing that a rising tide of new jobs will improve economic conditions for all Georgians, regardless of where those jobs are located.