2020 gubernatorial dossier: Job Creation

This is the sixth part of a series taking a deeper dive into various important topics in the 2020 Delaware gubernatorial election. On the 100-point scale I am using to grade candidates, job creation is worth 12 points. These will once again be presented in a randomized order.

Over the last few months I’ve become a subscriber to the e-mails emanating from a group called A Better Delaware. It’s a group which believes we need to improve our economy by streamlining government and eliminating regulations, pointing out that our economic indicators lag among states. It’s become even worse now because growth is probably not an option in 2020 thanks to the incumbent governor’s handling of the pandemic.

To various extents, all of these candidates agree we should open up the state. But it’s also revealing to learn their philosophy for business and economic growth, and that’s what this installment of the dossier is all about.

David Bosco: In listening to his weekly podcasts, I have found that Bosco is putting a lot of emphasis on small business. (As of this writing he is up to #13, I have caught the first 7. They last generally about an hour.) To get businesses back on their feet, David proposes interest-free loans, while dropping the additional $600 (at the time) stipend on unemployment. If elected governor, the state will tell small businesses and entrepreneurs “how can we help you?”

In reading through social media, however, I have one bone to pick with Bosco as he seems to come down too strongly on the anti-development side. Perhaps I’m biased thanks to my line of work, but I will forever contend that if an area doesn’t grow, it eventually dies.

As proof of his stance, I recently came across this statement, “As your Republican Governor I want to offer tax breaks only if stipulations are followed by the big business. They must have (for example) 75% of the work force must be a Delaware resident. Tax breaks should be per year and not all up front. They need to use in state construction and suppliers to build and start the business. I am not one for big business in Delaware. We have seen what happens when they up and leave. Look at Dupont. Look at General Motors. Look at Chrysler. Look at MBNA. The list goes on. I say let’s give breaks to the people here in Delaware. Help grow small business. Help start small business. Let’s make the road blocks for small business go away.”

R. Scott Walker: I sometimes think his idea for job creation comes in supporting the people who make the plastic and paint he uses for his handmade signs. Still looking into him.

Bryant Richardson: Bryant touts what he calls the “Job Creation and Small Business Support Act,”describing it as, “A commitment to job creation and a free market economy.”

He adds: “On my business card are these words: ‘We became the greatest nation on earth because of individual initiative, not by allowing the government to control us. If we recapture that spirit and allow God to lead us, we can once again restore our state and nation.’”

Bryant also calls for supporting small business incentives and training programs that help businesses fill job openings with qualified candidates, as well as a one-stop agency that helps them with start-ups and expansions.

David Graham: Graham’s campaign hasn’t been specific about this topic.

Colin Bonini: Colin adds a touch of context, although he’s not very specific.

“The key to restoring the health of our economy and bringing real opportunity to all our citizens lies with reversing the decades old policies of overtaxing, overspending, and over-regulating in this state. We are all too familiar with how these issues have been compounded over the last several months, but these policies were failing us long before the pandemic.

I would make sure I have private sector people around me, unlike the current administration.” That would be a step in the right direction.

Julianne Murray: The bread and butter of her campaign is the topic of job creation. Rather than cite her platform chapter and verse, I’ll simply inform readers she has put together what she calls a “Small Business Bill of Rights.”

Because we already have a Bill of Rights in the Constitution, I’m leery about anything else called a bill of rights, particularly in this case as they are granted by government and not inalienable. It’s more of a particular set of policy priorities, many of which make good sense, given a catchy name. Based on that I don’t see Murray as quite the small business zealot that Bosco is, which is good, but it remains to be seen how balanced of an approach she will take if someone like a Big Three automaker or large manufacturer sees an opportunity in Delaware.

All I know is that this is a group of people who want the working folks of Delaware to prosper. (One thing I’ve not seen touched upon, though, is right-to-work legislation.) Once we get the prosperity my next category asks if they’ll get to keep it as I talk taxation… if the candidates are willing to volunteer their plans, that is.

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