Report: Connecticut Needs to Invest, Not Cut
HARTFORD, Conn. – A new report suggests Connecticut's quality of life and business environment are better than state leaders appear to believe. Like most states, Connecticut suffered job losses and economic decline when the Great Recession hit - and since then, perceptions of the state's economy have continued to be overwhelmingly negative.
But according to Jared Ragusett, an assistant professor of economics at Central Connecticut State University and report co-author, their analysis of publicly-available data tells a different story.
"The State of Connecticut has economic advantages already, and has economic advantages that few states currently have or have improved since the end of the Great Recession in 2009," he explained.
The report says Connecticut has the lowest total effective business tax rate in the region, and that a large majority of state residents are satisfied with the areas in which they live.
Ragusett notes that states like Minnesota, which has raised wages and invested in state services, are now doing quite well, while those that have continued to cut taxes and services are falling further behind.
"The austerity policies that Connecticut has pursued and may continue pursuing are a warning that if we don't continue investing in the advantages that we have, then those negative stories may come to fruition, indeed, in this state," he added.
He says to prosper, Connecticut needs to invest in those aspects of life that make it a good place to live and do business.
"Our biggest advantage is in education and especially, in advanced educational attainment," he said. "This is an advantage that you don't get in other states, even if in those other states the cost of living is, let's say, lower."
The report, titled "Opportunities for Growth," was commissioned by the AFLCIO.