The Cato Institute’s Jim Powell examines how the once-prosperous Connecticut economy became one of the worst performing in the nation. His answer? Misguided big government policies that squandered the state’s proud legacy of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Perhaps with the complacency of old money, Connecticut policymakers came to believe they didn’t need to compete for investors and entrepreneurs – the key people who make prosperity happen.

The devastatingly accurate piece points to Connecticut’s economic performance in recent years, drawing heavily from the Yankee Institute’s List of Lasts. While many politicians scapegoat the closing of major factories, Powell rebuts this argument:

Many politicians like to blame Connecticut’s decline on things beyond their control like factory closings, but there’s nothing new about losing employers. Change has been the natural order of things since the beginning of time.

He also points to the coming exodus of high-wealth individuals from the financial sector as calamitous for Connecticut’s economic future:

Thalius Hechsher, who heads global development for Apex Fund, also moved his business to Florida. He said, “There’s no need to drag people down here. It’s a zero-income-tax jurisdiction.”

The piece brings into sharp relief the stakes in the contest of ideas between big government, centrally planned solutions and the free market, limited government solutions offered by the Yankee Institute. Hopefully Connecticut’s elected officials will get the message before it is too late.


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