The State of Connecticut has discovered a method of preventing job layoffs.
AT&T said last month that it would pare its Connecticut workforce, which totals about 6,800, by 400 jobs and transfer another 60 jobs to Michigan. A day after the news broke, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, flanked by union leaders, implored state regulators to block the cuts with the force of law while the state investigates the impact on customer service.
“This is not about AT&T. This is not about Blumenthal. This is about the kind of message Connecticut is sending to business — a state that has no positive job growth and [has] people who are falling over themselves to prove that they’re pro-consumer by showing they’re anti-business,” AT&T spokesman Dave Mancuso said.
State regulators have so far denied Blumenthal’s requests, without listing specific reasons.
Blumenthal’s call for a stay on layoffs has only intensified AT&T’s growing frustration with operating in Connecticut. During an economic conference in September, AT&T’s eastern regional manager urged government officials to scale back regulation and let the company do its job. “We don’t need policy-makers stepping in and telling us how to do it or where to do it,” Chad Townes said at the conference.
Though parts of AT&T are regulated, the company is increasingly operating in a competitive marketplace that demands lower costs and lower prices.
“In order for them to be competitive with other carriers, this is what they have to do,” Kagan, the telecom analyst, said. “If they have to start worrying about how many jobs they have to leave in how many states … the company would be doomed.”
Layoff Bans Are Counter Productive
Under the guise of preserving customer service the Attorney Generals attempt to block job cuts will only further destroy Connecticut’s ability to draw new businesses to the State. The Attorney General should know better and his actions seem more directed to pandering for votes rather than improving the business climate in Connecticut.
If prohibiting job layoffs is a great idea, why not extend the theory of a centrally planned economy even further? Prohibit all layoffs by every business operating in Connecticut. Extend this logic further and pass a law forcing AT&T and every other business in the State to hire new employees until the unemployment rate reaches zero? Excuse me for saying so Mr. Blumenthal, but this tactic has failed in every socialist state on the planet.
Attempting to prohibit layoffs is total lunacy and it will not work. My advice to the Attorney General – Instead of creating a hostile business environment, Connecticut should be focusing on sensible issues that will foster economic and job growth.
If the Attorney General really wants to help Connecticut’s economy, here’s something sensible that he can work on.
Tax Freedom Day is the day when Americans finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year. In 2008, Connecticut taxpayers had to work until May 8 (the latest in the nation) to pay their total tax bill, 15 days later than the national Tax Freedom Day (April 23).
Connecticut‘s State/Local Tax Burden Third-Highest in Nation
Connecticut, currently ranked 3rd highest, has risen 21 places over the last three decades and now holds a place among the nation’s highest-tax states.
Connecticut’s 2008 Business Tax Climate Ranks 38th
Connecticut ranks 38th in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index. The Index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on property.
Connecticut Levies Sales Tax above National Median; Gasoline and Cigarette Taxes among Nation’s Highest
The Connecticut State Data Center says figures from last year show the population growth in the state is very small.
The University of Connecticut-based center says Connecticut’s population grew by less than two-tenths of 1 percent last year.
There is a connection between high taxes, job losses and zero population growth. Connecticut has become a very high cost state for both residents and employers. If Connecticut really wants to increase jobs in the state, attention should be focused on lowering taxes. Foolish, politically motivated schemes such as prohibiting layoffs will only lead to further job losses.