A major new survey of business leaders was recently released. Among the questions asked were a series about pluses and minuses of doing business in the United States compared to other nations. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden sums up what the leaders said.
“And this was a very, very interesting study. … And I think whether you necessarily agree with what the business leaders think or not, the fact that they are thinking these things, I think, does give us some indication that we should look at their results.
“Well, what they said in terms of some positive aspects of doing business in the U.S., they said that they like the high quality of U.S. universities. They like the opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. They like the quality of managers — people (who) are actually managing our businesses. They like the ability to get financing from several sources. In some countries there’s only one place to go for financing. We have several sources of financing. They very much like the work that public safety does in terms of protecting property rights and protecting contracts. And … this was very much at the high end of their list, they like flexibility that U.S. companies have both in hiring and in firing. In some countries there are restrictions on that.
“Now the negatives, the business leaders said they did not like the complexity of the tax code in the U.S. They also had concerns about K-12 education. They worried about the complexity and complicated nature of the legal system. They also said that, in many cases, they thought regulations were too high and too stiff. And then lastly they were concerned about the infrastructure of our economy, not just the roads and bridges, but the power grid, et cetera.
“So again, these are opinions. These are not necessarily a fact, if you go and bore into them, but I think this is what business leaders think and so, therefore, it may affect their decisions.”