The PJ Tatler

And the best state for business is...

Not California, according to Chief Executive’s annual state business climate survey. Not even close.

While the Lone Star State may not be perfect—many leaders would like to see improvements in its education system—it is Periclean Athens compared to California in the eyes of the 550 CEOs surveyed for Chief Executive‘s seventh annual report on the best and worst states in which to do business. It’s the seventh time in seven years running that Texas has led the states, and the seventh year California—to no one’s great surprise—ranked as worst state.

As I used to say in a previous life, if you want to have a job, own a business, raise a family and own a home, Texas is the best place to do it. The Golden State, on the other hand, is mired in progressivism that has left its economy strangled by overbearing government. And it’s not alone on that score.

But there has been some jockeying within the ranks. The Golden State was closely followed in the hall of shame by New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Michigan, with Illinois elbowing its way past New Jersey this year for the dubious distinction of third worst. Meanwhile, among the best states, Indiana jumped to sixth place from 16th in 2010, giving Hoosiers the third-biggest advance in the rankings in a single year.

Wisconsin and Louisiana posted the two biggest gains since 2010, with the latter, along with Oklahoma, also showing the biggest gains over the last five years. By proactively reshaping its posture toward business taxation and regulation, Louisiana has been quietly stealing pages from the Texas playbook.

I’m glad to hear that last part. Texas could use some competition.

It’s not a coincidence that the best states for business tend to be GOP states, though not for the reasons liberals might suspect. Liberals will say CEOs pick GOP states because CEOs tend to be Republicans. That’s not altogether true, but what is true is that CEOs look for environments where their businesses are more likely to thrive and turn a profit. Excessive regulations, strong union presence and high taxes, typical in the Democrat-dominated states, make it hard to start a business, let alone grow it to the point that’s profitable.

I just wish there was someone out there who would spread the Texas way to the national scene.