March 9, 2022

Government Funded? Who Pays in the Land of Make-Believe? – with Jonathan Williams [Ep. 112]

Government Funded? Who Pays in the Land of Make-Believe? – with Jonathan Williams [Ep. 112]

In the Land of Make-Believe money just appears, as if it grows on trees. The phrase “government funded” is often used to deceive people into thinking that government programs or services are free. Nothing is ever free, so who pays for government...


In the Land of Make-Believe money just appears, as if it grows on trees. The phrase “government funded” is often used to deceive people into thinking that government programs or services are free. Nothing is ever free, so who pays for government funded programs at local, state, or national levels? Which states are the most prosperous and why? What policies help or hinder the citizens they serve? How are current policies in your state affecting your livelihood? Linda discusses this and more with guest, Jonathan Williams, Chief Economist and EVP of Policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). We cannot live in the Land of Make-Believe if we are to prosper as a nation or as individuals. Listen to learn the realities of what you can do to help yourself, your business, and your country. 

© Copyright 2022, Prosperity 101, LLC

-----------------------------------------------------

For information and resources visit: https://prosperity101.com

Or click here to order a copy of Prosperity 101 – Job Security Through Business Prosperity by Linda J. Hansen.

If you enjoy this podcast, please consider becoming a sponsor. Contact us today!

 
 
The opinions expressed by guests on this podcast do not necessarily represent those held or promoted by Linda J. Hansen or Prosperity 101, LLC.
 
Transcript

Linda:

Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101- Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, your host, and the author of Prosperity 101: Job Security Through Business Prosperity, the essential guide to understanding how policy affects your paycheck and the creator of the Breakroom Economics online course. The book, the course and the entire podcast library can be found on prosperity101.com. I seek to connect boardroom to breakroom and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs. My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement and retention and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society.

Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit prosperity101.com. Thank you for tuning in today. We all know that inflation and recession lead to consumer depression. Our nation is suffering due to policies that limit our prosperity. What types of policies help or hurt our economy or our personal prosperity? To discuss this and more, I welcome my guest, Jonathan Williams. Jonathan is the chief economist and executive vice president of policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council, otherwise known as ALEC, where he works with state policy makers, congressional leaders and members of the private sector to develop fiscal policy solutions for the states.

He founded the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform in 2011 and co-authors Rich States, Poor States. The ALEC-Laffer Economic State Competitiveness Index with Reagan economist, Dr. Arthur Laffer and Steven Moore. Prior to joining ALEC, he served as staff economist at the nonpartisan tax foundation, authoring numerous tax policy studies. His work has appeared in many publications and he has spoken to audiences across all 50 states and provided testimony for the US Congress as well as numerous state legislative bodies. His work has been featured at the federal level by the white house, the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and the US House Committee on Ways and Means.

He's a frequent guest on talk radio shows and has appeared on numerous television outlets. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Ludwig von Mises award in economics. Jonathan has been on the podcast before, and I welcome him once again. Jonathan, thank you for making time to share your wisdom and insight with our audience.

Jonathan:

Well, thanks for having me back, Linda, as always. It's good to be with you, my friend, and greetings from the land of make believe in here in Washington, DC, as I always say. And anybody that doubted that before, if you watched the president's speech the other day, you absolutely know it's unfortunately the land of make believe and he's doubling down on a lot of these bad economic policies that have just continuing to fail us and across the board. So, happy to be here to talk about what's going on across the country.

Linda:

Well, it's really helpful to have your insight and you do talk about the land of make believe. And it's interesting to me how the president and many others in government, it's like money just comes out of thin air, right? It just appears. I wish that would happen in my personal financial life, but it seems to be what they claim in government. And we all know that the government has nothing until we, the taxpayers, give it to them first. And there is a huge disconnect in what taxpayers feel they should be paying to the government, what government thinks they need from taxpayers, and what government should do with the money from taxpayers.

And I know that this affects the states and our national economy, of course, but I'd really like you to update the listeners on the most recent Rich States, Poor States guide that we mentioned. I mentioned in the introduction. And this is something that I look to every year and I know many others do. We really appreciate the work of ALEC when put this out. Could you give us some updates and highlights from this Rich States, Poor States study?

Jonathan:

Well, absolutely. And you hit on some very important points there, and it just seems there's a lack of awareness of what it means to understand business and understand reality when it comes to economics and prosperity 101 and economics 101, and I know it's near and dear to your heart as you have educated so well for many years on some of these great, important economic concepts that, quite frankly, you don't need a PhD in economics to get. This is common sense economics, and it's something that anybody that says... is familiar with signing both sides of a check, for instance, and has employed people, know that [inaudible 00:05:22] when the president says, pay people more and just go ahead and reduce your costs, you can do that businesses. Like he said, in his speech.

It's kind of laughable, unfortunately. I was sitting there. I was trying to live tweet the state of the union with so many bad ideas. I couldn't tweet fast enough to get all of the responses out, it seemed like. But I thought, president Biden, why don't you start by cutting costs for government? Well, think about all this waste, fraud and abuse that's within government. Look at what's happened to our national debt that now sits above $30 trillion. Just an unthinkable number that even a decade ago, we would've said, there's no way we'd be at $30 trillion of national debt. One of the interesting and the positive things is, Linda, I try to be the happy economist is what is happening in the state level is the perfect counterbalance to what's happening and the bad news at the federal level.

And certainly, internationally, that's a whole different story with just the tragedy that's happening right now abroad. But at the state level, we're seeing some really, really impressive wins for taxpayers and for good common sense economic policies. And unfortunately, so much of the mainstream media ignores it because they don't believe in free market ideas, or they're just so obsessed with this inside the beltway group think; [inaudible 00:06:37] inside New York and LA and Chicago and DC group think that the elite mainstream media doesn't think that what happens, let's say in Iowa, which we'll talk about I know here today or some of the other great states that are moving in the right direction, they don't think it matters, or they don't think that people need to hear these stories.

I think you and I, and so many of your listeners, think the opposite of that, and realize that what's happening across the 50 laboratories of democracy or the 50 states and those great men and women out there working hard in the state capitals, not getting enough attention, or really praise for the good work and hard work that they're putting together. Folks, this is what's going to change America for the better is if we can harness the idea from our founders to say, let's make sure that we have competition amongst the colonies, of course, at that time, and then the states. Let the good ideas bubble up and let's make sure we learn from our failures.

And while there are some failures, certainly at the state level, California comes to mind, unfortunately. New York comes to mind, Illinois. People are leaving and businesses are leaving their states in droves. Republicans, Democrats, independents, libertarians, vegetarians, as I like to say, they're packing up and leaving the high tax states and moving to states that offer more economic opportunity. And this is not a partisan message. This is about the good government and actually what works, and the states that prioritize people, hardworking taxpayers, are the states that are winning out there today.

And for instance, just the new unemployment numbers by state give you a stark difference of those models of government. You look at states like Utah that ranks number one in Rich States, Poor States, and has for all 14 editions. So there's a whole episode probably in there to unpack what Utah has done. Well, states like that, like Indiana that's been a state that's been governed very well by people like Mike Pence and Mitch Daniels as governors. Those states are in the 2% unemployment rate category right now. Pete Rick is Nebraska right there as well. Kristi Noem in South Dakota.

So many of these states that are governed by common sense, economic and fiscally conservative policies. You look at the other side of the spectrum who ends up on unemployment rate closer to 6%, it's Washington DC, it's California, it's New York, it's New Mexico; states that have followed the tax and spend and anti-business, anti payer approach. So the whole idea around Rich States, Poor States now in nearly 15 years of putting it together with Arthur Laffer and Steve Moore, and it's really following on what works and what doesn't work across the 50 states.

And it turns out, since we've been tracking it so closely for this many years, the evidence is undeniable for anybody that has an open mind of actually what works and what doesn't. And so it's common sense economics, it's playing out in real life. Whether it's unemployment rates, whether census. We're just talking about... One of the biggest topics in the states right now is redistricting, reapportionment. And as Americans are leaving states and going to others, you're seeing the political dynamics and power across the United States shift. So, for instance, New York lost another congressional district. Illinois lost another congressional district. California, for the first time in state history, going all the way back to 1850 has lost its very first congressional district because of this momentum out of Nancy Pelosi's California and Gavin Newsom's California to the other states, and they're going to Texas and Florida, and states that are actually gaining.

So that's the, I think, the optimistic message in that lots of doom and gloom, big government socialism in Washington, DC, leading to things like this inflation crisis, the hidden tax on all of us eroding really our standard of living if we're not careful. We need to absolutely double down on what's working at the state level. 

Linda:

Those are some really great points. And we could probably, like you said, that do a episode on some of these individual states as well on what's happening, but you said it's common sense approach. And I always share what Dr. Laugher has often said, if you tax something more, you get less of it. If you want more of something, tax it less. I'm paraphrasing, but basically it's simple. And if we reward those people who are creating jobs and creating economic prosperity in their states and we reward them with lower taxes and fewer regulations, they can create more jobs and the growth of the state can be just incredible. So this Exodus that we've seen from these states like California and New York and Illinois, we've not only seen it just in people moving out of state, but we've also seen it where they choose to vacation too, which I've thought has been very interesting. And that alone speaks volumes, just to see that you mentioned some tax rates. You mentioned Iowa. Could you tell the listeners, what is the news from Iowa regarding tax rates? 

Jonathan:

Well, it's really an exciting story. And I've been asked quite often here in the last couple of months of, what states are moving the most this year and where we see the biggest opportunities for tax payers to see real gains. And I thought it was just so perfect that Governor Reynolds was tapped to give the response to the state of the union as really a leading light among governors. And it happens to be an ALEC alums. We're very proud of her. She served in the Senate in Iowa before becoming Governor Branstad’s Lieutenant governor. And then of course, when he was tapped by president Trump to be ambassador to China, moved up to be governor and she's done so much along with our great ALEC legislators there in Iowa over the years. 

But what they just accomplished and she just signed it into law, I believe probably the day that she gave her rebuttal response to the president, was they created a flat tax in Iowa. They also reduced individual and business income tax rates substantially and put it on a course of getting below 4% for individual income tax and five and a half for business income tax. And just a number of years ago, we were talking about Iowa's business tax rate above 10%, for instance, in their individual rate, about double of what they're going to end up with. They were closer to 8% on the individual side. 

And then so they created a single rate flat tax, one of the best things states can do, from really following the footsteps of states like North Carolina. That in recent years under then speaker Tom Tillis, now US Senator and moving forward in with the great conservative leadership in North Carolina, became a flat tax state. A lot of people miss this, and once again, this gets back to the mainstream media either conveniently ignoring or misrepresenting a lot of times what happens in good conservative policy at the state level, North Carolina legislators actually voted to phase out its business income tax all together by the end of this decade. So North Carolina will have a 0% business tax rate. This is after they did a flat tax and have been chipping away at the rates over the last decade. So I was really following then those footsteps. 

And what I quite frankly think Linda is, maybe not this year, but certainly getting into next year, especially as you see in Wisconsin and Michigan and other states maybe electing more free market, the governors in coming years, I do think this Iowa change is going to set off really a Heartland tax rebellion among states saying, Hey, we need to keep up with our neighbors, Iowa. Just up the ante in the Midwest. And so that puts a whole lot more pressure on Wisconsin, on Minnesota, on Nebraska, on states in the region to say, yeah, if we don't want the outflow leaving our states now going to Iowa for lower tax rates, we've got to actually match or go ahead of Iowa. So I think this is going to be the first domino and I'm very excited to see what's going to happen. Of course I'm a Michigan native and my home region there in the Midwest.

 

Linda:

No, that's great. Well, and you talk about this competition among the states brings to mind why I started Prosperity 101 so many years ago, because as I was traveling around the state of Wisconsin, speaking to business leaders and talking at events and things, I was learning from the business leaders at that time, this is before the 2010 election. So 2008 to 2010 election cycle. And so many of the business leaders literally showed me the paperwork that they had drawn up to leave the state if there was not a business friendly governor elected. And they had given up hope on conducting business in Wisconsin. And that's what led me to start Prosperity 101, because I realized that if employees didn't realize that those policies were driving their employers out of state, they would go to the voting booth and vote themselves right out of a job. So that was what was my first thought for Prosperity 101, but it really does matter in the states. 

And I look at, like what you've mentioned about Iowa and North Carolina, I imagine there's a lot of companies across the country right now that are looking to relocate to those states, just like some large companies like Rex Technologies or Tesla moved to Texas from their previous homes. So there's a lot of competition among the states. And I think state legislators need to pay attention and governors, whether you're a Democrat, Republican or independent, if you really want your state to be successful and you want to be revered as a governor, pay attention to these tax rate because it matters.

 

Jonathan:

It absolutely does. And I remember very well, Michigan was in a single state recession during the previous decade from 2001, recession in the 9/11 tragedy all the way up until really 2010 when Jennifer Granholm was governor during those dark years in Michigan. And that forced the hand of voters and businesses to say so many people are heading for the exits in Michigan, we've got to do something differently. And of course, then you had people like Mitch Daniels who was a phenomenal governor of Indiana, I think one of the best governors in recent memory who was looking at everything you could do to cut rates and become more competitive as a state in Indiana. 

Of course, then this is not an exaggeration about how domino effect can absolutely happen in a region after a big policy change, because what Mitch Daniels did and led the way on right to work for instance in Indiana, set off exactly this across the entire Midwest. And I never thought in my lifetime would see Michigan, the birthplace of the UAW union for instance, become a right to work state, but after Indiana did it, it put that much more pressure on jobs leaving, Michigan people leaving. That Rick Snyder came in as a new governor in 2010 and a new free market legislature that said, we've got to do it. And they said, I don't care. We're going to stand up to the bullies and the protests and everything else that happened to us. Same thing of course, with the legendary reforms in Wisconsin with act 10 and governor Walker and just the courage that he and the legislators showed during those years was just incredible. 

I know you've covered it many, many times over, and that's the story that needs to be told and retold and repeated for now, new generations of legislators now coming in to say, what does it mean to be a courageous leader when it comes to free market principled policy, regardless of partisan affiliation, as you pointed out, to make our state better off? And so we've seen it before. We're going to see it again I think in the Midwest. And one other region I'd really keep a close watch on not just North Carolina in the Southeast, which is really a powerhouse, you've seen billion dollar investments let's say even from Apple, I think recently announced going into North Carolina. 

North Carolina currently has the nation's lowest corporate income tax rate of a state that has a corporate income tax at 2.5%, of course, going to zeros we talked about, but they've already seen the capital inflow from businesses looking to invest in North Carolina. But another state in the region, of course, the Southeast is a region with powerhouse states throughout, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, no personal income tax states already that have just been some of the leading states nationally for many, many years, as you know well. But even Mississippi, which has been a slow growth state, GDP up until recently at least has been problematic, slow population growth if any, in some years there in Mississippi. 

The Mississippi House of Representatives and speaker Phillip Gunn, who serves on the ALEC Board of Directors passed a bill this year already with only four votes in the House of Representatives against it, that would phase out the Mississippi personal income tax over the next 10 years. Not just Republican caucus, but the vast majority of the Democrat caucus in Mississippi voted for this bill, because they knew it was good for tax payers and good to turn Mississippi's economy around. So there's a couple of regions right there, the Great Lakes Midwest region in the Southeast that I'm very bullish on in terms of states continuing to lead the way, and of course then businesses and individuals continuing to go to those states. 

Linda:

Well, exactly, and this highlights the importance of states’ rights and the ability for states to create their own processes for their taxing and their regulatory things at the state level. It's amazing to me how people will think that if you lower a business tax rate, you are only feeding the big guys. You're only feeding the elites and they don't realize that when you help a business to stay in business and you help cut costs for businesses, that means jobs. That means jobs for people. And it also means that there's an increased tax rate in the community because there's more people there.

So you have better parks, you have better schools, you have better fire and safety things. All of it feeds into it, but people often only think that the businesses must be taxed at this high rate because it's the fat cats that need to pay more. And they don't realize that you never get a job from a poor person or from a poor business. You need to have a business that's thriving and then they can provide the jobs for community members. 

Jonathan:

Yeah. And a couple of thoughts on that because you raise, this is such an essential point, but it's often forgotten. And in fact, in my normal slide deck for our rich states, poor states presentation that we've given in all 50 states now, and we're happy to come out, I'd love to do something with you in Wisconsin to do this again. But one of the slides I actually have right now is on exactly that point, which is probably the most forgotten lesson of good tax policy is businesses don't pay taxes, people pay taxes. And of course, businesses legally pay taxes. They have what we call the legal incidents of the tax. They cut the check to the government as a painful check, but who ultimately bears the burden of that tax? And it's you and I, and it's all of us. 

Whether it's the form of lower wages and through the foregone job opportunities and maybe not a bonus at Christmas time at the end of the year because you remember when president Trump signed the tax cuts in jobs act into law, that was just fundamentally a game changer for American business competitiveness. What happened? Hundreds of businesses across the United States gave raises and bonuses to their workers, and in many cases hadn't seen that level of bonus in many, many years, if ever. And they were announcements for months at a time afterwards that because of this tax reduction, this is what happened. It proves the point exactly that people are the ones that are paying corporate tax burdens. But also in terms of, when we're going to the store or we're going to the gas station, we're seeing this horrible inflation trend and eating away at all of our standard of living, corporate tax are passed along to us in everything we buy. It's a hidden tax on those things that doesn't show up anywhere on a receipt, but we know it's embedded in the cost of what we buy. 

And then finally, with another good full episode, probably in the future is talking about the massive unfunded pension liabilities across state defined benefit plans for government workers. When we lose opportunities in the marketplace, it's a lot of times driven by loss of corporate profits in the market, and these pension funds for firefighters and police officers and teachers are dependent on the market and on companies doing well. So that's another way that we pay business taxes. And so that's a really important point. It's sometimes overlooked by Republicans as well as Democrats and it's just such an essential point to get it right. The other thing I will say is, let's not… when we come to business taxes, so many of the business taxes are paid by small business and a lot of times those businesses pay onto the individual side of the income tax. 

So the business tax rate is a really important thing for competitiveness, but the personal income tax rate is so important because small businesses, the NFIB, mom and pop members across the country are the ones that have been hit hardest by the COVID lockdowns and government restrictions and just painful, painful stories of these longtime family businesses really struggling or going out of business because of what's happened in the last two years. They're the ones paying on the individual side of the code. So when you see things like Mississippi trying to phase out the personal income tax, that is a godsend for small business. And of course they're the ones that are creating so many of the new jobs across the United States as well. 

Linda:

Well, exactly and small business is the largest employer in the nation. And this is what I always tell employers too, is don't let the woke corporations be the only ones who carry the message into the media or especially to employees. Because once the employees understand all these principles about economic policy, then they can make better choices at the voting booth and employers who help to educate their employees on all of these issues, as well as helping them to know how to be an active citizen in their community so their education can have an impact, this is just critically important. And we care about all employers, of course, but the small businesses are the largest employer in our nation. And it's so often the family owned businesses, the sole entrepreneur businesses, and we really need to help them. So it's great to see that there's states stepping up and thinking this through so that they can really have a long term growth to prosperity. 

Jonathan:

Yeah. Absolutely. And one other, I think a central point on small business is, when a lot of times when we're talking about what good tax policy looks like at a state level, one of the enemies of good tax policy is what I like to call cronyism within the tax code and government picking winners and losers, which is the antithesis of free market economics and policy, but so many times, and this happens unfortunately in some of the highest tax states generally, is their form of a tax cut is a special favor to one company over another or one industry over another. And in so many times it's chasing new companies with special incentives to say, if you come into our state, we'll give you a check instead of coming for the reason of having low taxes across the board for everybody. And of course, what kind of a message does that send to existing businesses that have been in your state for maybe 100 years in multi-generation family businesses to say, wait a minute, I don't get this special tax break that you're trying to chase some big company from another state. 

So I think that gets to the difference of holistically good fundamental policy of low taxes, everyone paying something but lower rates versus the government handout or picking special winners and losers. And guess what, it's the small businesses that don't have the lobbyists in the state capitals to ask for this special handout. It's maybe the big guys that can afford that, and that may be part of their strategy. And of course, lower burdens is overall good, but let's think about what holistically makes sense. And also what's fair. Now, cronyism of picking winners and losers based on who has the best lobbyists or the best tax accountants or lawyers, that's not how to design a good tax system. 

Linda:

Exactly. It's not how to design a good government. And we see so much of it right now in our government. And it is just so astounding to see some of the decisions that are made. Before I forget, I wanted to ask you, you and I had talked before about Herman Cain’s 999 policy, which I had the blessing of being part of drafting that, and promoting that to people. And so many people still wish that that was our current tax policy. But you mentioned a state that recently adopted a 9% tax. Can you share that with the listeners? 

Jonathan:

Yeah, so it was actually, I adored Herman Cain, he was just such an American success story and a hero. And God rests his soul, he did so much good for the American people though because of his message and just his experiences. I happened to be giving a talk in Pennsylvania recently to a group of state legislators. And they're in the position in Pennsylvania of having a 9.99% corporate income tax. And it's just a huge inhibitor to economic growth because obviously the 999 was at the federal level, not to be a state level having that high of a corporate income tax is just absolutely uncompetitive, especially when competing with North Carolina at 2.5 going to zero and so many of the other states with lower rates. 

But I couldn't help but think about Herman Cain's plan when I saw Pennsylvania's rate is absolutely 9.99%. But if everything goes well in Pennsylvania, they're looking to really chop that down into something more competitive. Maybe not right now with governor Tom Wolf, who's been resistant to giving tax cuts, unfortunately during his eight years in office, but who knows what 2022 brings, right? Maybe a good crop of more free market Republicans and Democrats across the country. 

Linda:

Well, that's great. And you mentioned Republicans and Democrats, and even though we're living in a time where the partisan polarization is so noticeable, that there are people on all sides of the fence who truly care about sound fiscal policy. So I know that people would love to contact you, we'll get your contact information before we leave and help them understand how they can get access to the rich states, poor states study. But I also would like you to share some thoughts you have about how employers can help their employees to understand these principles. Could you give three ideas to share with employers? 

Jonathan:

Oh boy, I'll tell you. That's such a… I'm so glad you spent so much time thinking about that issue and writing about that issue and talking about that issue because obviously, reading prosperity 101, reading rich states poor states, getting armed up on why is it that some states have opportunity and some states don't? And it's not just as coincidental. Let's say, it's not coincidental at all that people are leaving California going to Texas. And by the way, they're not leaving California and going to Texas for better weather either. People like Paul Krugman. The, I think former real economist, Paul Krugman, who was once a serious thinker now is of course the New York Times hatchet man on big government economic policy ideas. He claims that people are just leaving high tax states because weather's better in the Southeast for instance, or Texas. 

But, obviously California's got the best weather on earth and people are still leaving that state in droves. So it throws that theory out of the water. But now I think it does really matter because when we're seeing people leave, you talk to state policy makers and they say, oh my gosh, how are we going to absorb all of these former Californians coming into our state? Are they bringing their bad economic ideas with them of higher taxes and things that they were used to paying there? Will they ask for so many government services? And then of course, drive taxes up over the long term? And I think this is exactly the point is that whether it's free market chambers of commerce, in some cases or business associations, or even more importantly, the individual business owners talking to employees themselves and saying, why is it you'd have a job here in Texas and you didn't have one in Florida or in California, I should say, or in Illinois or in New Jersey or in New York? 

Why is it that I was able to give you at the end of the year, a bonus or a raise when you do your performance reviews, let's say, saying obviously it's about individual performance, how you did. But then in terms of extra money, at the end of the year, you may have left over for bonuses or raises. Being honest it's, hey, because we had lower taxes here in this state, or because we had good policy makers reduce our tax burdens this year, we're able to pass along that dividend to you as employees. And this is the virtue of government living within its means and being as frugal as possible, right? 

And also providing court government services. But helping people connect the dots because people like us, we think this way every day, we talk this way every day, we follow the news on state policy, but the vast majority of working men and women are too busy out there keeping their jobs and getting their kids on soccer practice on time. And they're not following the policy discussion. So it's up to not only us, of course, but employers more importantly that have a direct stake in the game to have an educated workforce and what matters for their business. And of course at the end of the day, their workers’ paychecks to be as prosperous as possible. 

Linda:

It's so true. You talk about how employers have this unique position, really. And I truly believe that we talk about how all politics is local. Well, there's nothing more local than where you go to work every day, right? There's politics everywhere, every workplace and in the halls of government, right? But all politics is local and to help people understand just through genuine communication. So to any employers listening, please contact ALEC, it's alec.org, and you can see the rich states, poor states study there. But also the prosperity 101 materials are designed to help employers start the conversation. Like you mentioned, connect the dots. That's what I always hope to do, is just connect the dots. And you also mentioned there's a lot of us who live and breathe this every day. 

It's part of our job. It's what our passion is, right? But if you're a dentist or you're an eye doctor, or you're a teacher, depending on what you teach, you may not even have time in the day. You mentioned soccer practice and kids and people are caring for elderly relatives and there's so much going on. They don't have time to be in the weeds. And the headlines that media gives us do not portray the true picture. And people often respond emotionally because they think, oh, well, we need to help so and so, or yeah, it's right. People should get paid from the government for that. Well they don't think about what are the recurring issues that happen because of those choices. So it's just so important communication. So, how should people contact you? 

Jonathan:

Well, happy to reach out to anyone who has more questions about what we do at ALEC and our research. And you mentioned alec.org is a great area of research, not only in rich states poor states, but we cover topics across the policy spectrum at the state level. So we don't really get into social issues or moral issues, but anything economically that your state policy makers are looking at, we've got things for you as citizens and as taxpayers. But also yet for state policy makers listening a great amount of resource, whether it's model legislation, or whether it's policy studies as great non-partisan resources. Also richstatespoorstates.org is a very dynamic site that has all 14 additions of our report loaded onto it. But it also does a fun thing that allows readers to go through the website and say, pick out your state. 

And we have an ability for you to adjust the policies in your state to say, what if Wisconsin eliminated its income tax, what would that do to the Wisconsin Rich states poor states ranking? And you can click the adjust policies button. And then right before your eyes, you can see and play around as a policy maker would changing the course of your state's destiny, really when it comes to policy making. It's fun to be able to do that and see how much things move the needle when it comes to competitiveness. So jwilliams@alec.org, you can reach me that way. And also the websites are just a huge amount of information for anybody that wants to take the time. And I hope you all do. I think it's great, important information. 

Linda:

It really is. And it's highly informative. So listeners, please go to alec.org. That's A-L-E-C, it's the American Legislative Exchange Council. So alec.org, or richstatespoorstates.org and you can see how your state's doing and what you might want to recommend to your state legislators to make sure your state becomes more competitive and more helpful for your own family. So thank you, Jonathan. We so appreciate you taking time to do this interview again, and we look forward to having you back. 

Jonathan:

Well, very good. It'll all be great to join you, my friend. 

Linda:

Okay. Thank you. Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don't forget to visit prosperity101.com to access the entire podcast library, to order my newest book, Job Security Through Business Prosperity, The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, or to enroll you or your employees in the break room economics online course. You can also receive the free Ebook, 10 tips for helping employees understand how public policy affects their paychecks. Freedom is never free. Understanding the foundations of prosperity and the policies of prosperity will help you to protect prosperity as you become informed, involved, and impactful. I give special thanks to our sponsors, Mathews Archery Incorporated, and Wisconsin Stamping and Manufacturing. Please contact us today at prosperity101.com to let us know how we can serve you. Thank you.