Last week, I had an opportunity to speak at The Federalist Society meeting in Orlando to discuss how free enterprise and economic development go hand in hand. The Federalist Society, an organization that seeks to promote legal order and individual liberties, provided an opportunity for us to share our state’s success story. In Florida, you cannot discuss free enterprise without pointing out the economic development successes we’ve seen. Consider the following:
- Since December 2010, Florida businesses have created more than one million private-sector jobs,
- Florida is the third most populous state in the nation and the 18th largest economy in the world,
- One out of every 11 jobs in America is created by a Florida businesses,
- Our state’s unemployment rate remains below the national average, and
- More than 3,000 taxes and regulations have been cut since December 2010.
The path to Florida’s success was and is paved by a united businesses community that rallies behind a competitiveness agenda that focuses on free enterprise. Yet, as I shared with leaders last week, our work is far from over. If Florida’s economic success is to be used as an example on how to lead the nation and move our economy forward, we must:
- Continue to pursue targeted tax reforms that eliminate “double-taxation,”
- Focus less on special interest ideals that would dictate “one-size-fits-all” federal minimum wage and instead, focus on creating greater opportunities for Floridians to find jobs and further their skills, breaking the cycle of generational poverty and building solid educational foundations that will enable all Floridians to prosper,
- Encourage international trade agreements like TPA or TPP that would create Florida jobs, and support the continued authorization of Ex-Im bank, which since 2007 has supported $8.17 billion in export sales and more than 52,000 Florida jobs,
- Work to market Florida nationally as the number one place to do business and grow jobs,
- Continue to make infrastructure investments that will support the nearly six million more residents estimated to call Florida home by 2030,
- Become a hub for technology and innovation by welcoming new and “disruptive” technology and innovators, and
- Continue to champion legal reform and finally rid Floridians of the $3,400 per family lawsuit abuse tax.
Free enterprise principles create jobs and economic opportunity for all Floridians, and help ensure each of our 67 counties are moving toward the same goal—securing our state’s long-term future.
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To learn more about the Florida Chamber’s economic development efforts, visit our issue page.