If you keep tab on business news you will know that the stock market has recently reached new staggering heights. This means that in an environment where corporations are making record profits and businesses are experiencing consistent breakthroughs, Scranton remains a forgotten city. Why? Why is it that there is so much growth all over the nation and none of it seems to be visible in Scranton.
Regulation and Taxes
If you ask any business person what is the biggest obstacle to starting and growing a business, the answer you will receive is high cost barriers. What this means is that if you want to start a business, the worst thing to happen to you is to have too much cost you have to absorb upfront before you can turn a profit. Thus, when the best and brightest have an opportunity to create a business, why would they pick a place like Scranton? The Scranton government is corrupt and completely not responsive to the Scranton people. The tax burden in this city is staggering. In addition, the Scranton government slaps you with a “business privilege” taxes to operate a business in Scranton. Government is supposed to function like a referee. The Scranton government acts like another business that competes with the private sector. When a government competes with the private sector the private sector will lose because the government has far more power than a small business. Thus, a stroll through Scranton will yield sights of business after business closed up.
It is truly difficult to create wealth in an environment that is rampant with corruption and greed. Again, someone with talent who could create a good business can create such a business anywhere. Living in an environment where the citizens hate their government, the government is bent on blocking progress, and the morale is really low, doesn’t create the proper culture of inspiration necessary for growth. If you go to the Silicon Valley, you immediately get the feelings that something is always happening and something can always happen. This is the same feeling you get in any prosperous city. The people of Scranton need to truly understand that the biggest obstacle to jobs and growth in Scranton is the corrupt policies of the Scranton government. Everyone in Scranton knows that the city operates to help the politically connected and fosters a culture of nepotism. These sorts of conditions basically choke progress because one thing the ambitious hate the most is incompetence. World class companies aren’t built through incompetence. The praise and promotion of ability is the foundation of any stellar enterprise. Scranton fails because there is so little talent in the Scranton government. Let’s be honest, if the Scranton government was ran by the people who run Facebook, Google, Chase, or any successful business, would they city be in ruins?
What made America a rich nation was the ability for the average American to have an idea, create a product and test it out in the market. We used to praise this sort of ability because we knew that invention could benefit everyone with a great new product and job creation. The shrinking pie that we witness in Scranton is due to the idea that good ideas cannot change things. We can create an entirely new pie. We can create new jobs! We can do the same things that made this country great in the first place. In fact, we can even do it better this time around.