North Dakota should fire Kevin O'Leary now

Build it and they will come.

JSSP Letter to Editor

So, the state of North Dakota has contracted with a reality TV star, who calls himself Mr. Wonderful, to manage $45 million of investments. Kevin O’Leary then tries to impress us by comparing Moorhead to Cuba and going on Fox Business to spout false population numbers to argue his point. Obviously, this is not someone we can take seriously. Fire him. Now.

O’Leary has been on Fox News saying that the tax base is going to leave the Blue (Democratic) states and move to Red (Republican) states with low taxes and less regulation. Of course, that means businesses will move across the border from Minnesota to North Dakota.

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently released economic growth numbers for the last quarter of 2022. Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.6% nationally, 0.7% in North Dakota and 1.3% in Cuba, er I mean Minnesota. Personal income increased at an annual rate of 7.4% nationally, 3.8% in North Dakota, and 5.8% in Minnesota. Incidentally, California, which those like O’Leary use as their bad example, had an 11% personal income annual growth. Actually, looking at the numbers by states, there does not appear to be any correlation with Red or Blue states and the success of their economies.

To have a prosperous economy, we need some things like good infrastructure, good public schools and clean, safe communities. To be successful in any business, one needs to invest, and that include public investment. We also need reasonable rules to make business fair and prevent corruption and cheating. So the states with the lowest taxes and the least regulation may not be the places that are most attractive to businesses or to the people they want to employ. Actually, I would be hesitant to trust any person or business that moved to my community for the sole reason that we had less taxes and less regulation.

To Governor Burgum and the North Dakota Legislature: Tell Kevin O’Leary goodbye. Forget all the culture war stuff and the income tax cut for rich people. Get our infrastructure in top shape. Make our public school system one of the best in the nation. Make our communities attractive and safe. We don’t need the lowest taxes and least regulations. We need a reasonable, balanced tax system with reasonable effective regulations. Build it and they will come.

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