That's the laser-like thinking behind Republican Rep. Paul Gosar's message to Remington Arms, which assembles its weapons in the most anti-gun state in the nation, New York. Gosar let Remington know that they ought to make their products where the elected officials and many citizens really like them, not in a state where the governor and other politicians just don't appreciate all the good they do.
Gosar has written Remington that New York's gun control laws, which are among the nation's toughest, should tell the business that it's no longer welcome there. Gosar has officially extended an invitation to the firearms giant to move to Arizona. KTARFurther, if the Arizona legislature passes one of the pending bills that will allow the state's gun dealers to ignore new federal regulations, like a ban on assault weapons, then there will be even more customers for Remington out here. The Republican congressman isn't the only person who thinks making Arizona the Disneyland of Guns is a good idea.
Glenn Hamer heads up the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and agrees with Gosar's assessment of New York.Yeah, why would any company operate in New York instead of Arizona? Let's discuss below the fold.
"Why any company would do business in the state of New York is beyond me. It has a very hostile business environment," Hamer said.
I mean, if I were a business and I was looking for a workforce, I'd certainly look first at the Grand Canyon State, whose public schools rank eighth worst in the nation, instead of New York, which is judged third best. And New York has 10 colleges in the nation's top 100, while Arizona has ... zippo. After all, New York's educated and skilled workers will want higher salaries. And unions! Don't forget, Remington: Arizona is a right-to-work state.
Indeed, why would any business set up shop in New York? According to think tanks that track business taxes, New York is a terrible place, one of the worst in the country. But take a look at the top 10 best states for low taxes:
2. South Dakota
6. New Hampshire
No offense to my friends in Wyoming, but you can make your taxes as low as possible, maybe even give money away, and that in itself won't lure businesses. That's the fallacy of a lot of Chamber of Commerce rhetoric about low-tax incentives. Among the attractions that make a location competitive for business retention and relocation, tax rates are important, but generally they fall behind education, healthcare, environment, transportation, markets, and arts and culture. Sure, call centers and warehouses will go where the taxes and regulations are minimal, but the companies you want, the ones that pay good wages and attract an educated workforce, seek communities of character. Otherwise they'd all be headquartered in Somalia.
In the economic history of large businesses that have relocated to Arizona, like Motorola, the bait was the state's unique natural and cultural landscape, not its tax base. But that was in the 1950s, and since then the movers and shakers have done a good job destroying that landscape. Today Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the nation, but it is home to very few corporate headquarters. The reason is not because of high taxes, because Phoenix has among the lowest in America. But when it goes head-to-head with Seattle, Austin, Denver, San Francisco, and other western cities competing for corporate headquarters, Phoenix often loses—not because its taxes are high, but because its social amenities don't make the grade.
One major black eye is the state's backwards reputation, which it has earned by passing racist legislation like the "papers please" law, enacting intolerant LGBT policies, and cutting education more than any other state in the last four years. Not helping is the carnival of pinhead public officials, such as Gov. Jan "Headless Bodies" Brewer, Sheriff Joe "Pink Underwear" Arpaio, and former Sen. Russell "My Best Friends Are Nazis" Pearce. When your state is a regular punchline for Jon Stewart, Sunday talk shows, and MSNBC, that can't be a good thing for business attraction.
And what better way to enhance Arizona's reputation than to become the nation's headquarters for the makers of death machines! Arizona is already home to more than 100 companies that manufacture guns, including American Spirit Arms, which makes the AR15, the preferred weapon of Adam Lanza. Let's lure them all to Arizona, and branch out to other lethal markets—ammo, grenades, mines, rocket launchers, and howitzers! Arizona has a lot of desert to blow shit up in anyway.
Get creative: Provide a special tax break for corporations whose product can pierce police armor or pass undetected through airport scanners. Hell, change the motto on the state's license plate from "Grand Canyon State" to "From My Cold Dead Hands." The Department of Commerce can create fancy brochures to lure gun makers, pointing out that Arizona's gun shows, where anybody can buy anything, make perfect focus groups.
Next the Office of Tourism can get into the mix, designing tour packages for people who want to visit gun factories, just like beer brewers provide tours through their facilities. Nearly everyone's seen our Grand Canyon by now anyway; it's time for a new niche market—Bullet Tourism! Heck, only three people were murdered at the OK Corral in Tombstone, and that chintzy POS attraction, with its every-hour-on-the-hour shootem'-ups still draws millions of people! Some entrepreneur should buy the Safeway parking lot in Tucson and start offering hourly reenactments of the 2011 shooting, where Jared Loughner killed six and injured twelve, including a U.S. congresswoman.
Poor taste? But that's what Rep. Gosar's plan is—economic development, where weapons of death are the instrument. Anything for a buck, nothing's off limits.
Let's send a message to the extremist gun lobby that their days of electoral supremacy have come to an end. Give $3 to Robin Kelly!