Budget

Daniel Erspamer: Bold New Approaches Needed For Louisiana

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The Pelican Institute’s CEO, Daniel Erspamer, recently had an OpEd published by The Advocate, both in the Baton Rouge edition and the New Orleans edition.

Daniel Erspamer, Louisiana

Daniel lays out a bold new approach to create jobs and opportunity in Louisiana by reforming state spending and taxes, making it easier to do business in Louisiana, opening up government to greater transparency, and improving public safety via smarter sentencing legislation and re-entry programs.

Lou­i­si­an­a’s me­di­an house­hold in­come fell by near­ly $1,000 from 2015 to 2016, the big­gest drop of any state in the na­tion and one of only four states to see any de­cline at all. Overall, the coun­try saw an av­er­age 2.4 percent in­crease.

This re­cent news from the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau is a bit­ter pill for the state of Lou­i­si­an­a to swal­low — but it can hardly come as a surprise to Louisianans, many of whom are still without work. Near­ly 110,000 ac­tive job-seek­ers re­main un­em­ployed. Lou­i­si­an­a’s un­em­ploy­ment rate is 5.3 percent. Only New Mexi­co, Al­as­ka and the District of Co­lum­bia have a high­er un­em­ploy­ment rate.

As one example of the burdens faced by budding entrepreneurs in Louisiana, Daniel higlights some of the absurd occupational licensing Louisiana is home to, where 122 potential jobs require permission from the government to execute. Some examples include: shampoo assistant, librarian, interior designer, florist, auctioneer, and funeral director. Isn’t it time we made Louisiana a place young people flock to instead of away from?

Take a look at the piece, and share your thoughts on policy reforms that could bring jobs and opportunity back to our state.