Occasionally we read that a national chain will open a store in Oklahoma City and it will be the first one in Oklahoma. Is this good news for Oklahoma's economy? Let's say it's a Coopersmith's Department Store, part of the Coopersmith chain that was started in Nebraska and is still based there. The local Coopersmith's will employ local people and will pay local taxes. That's good. But the local Coopersmith's will basically sell the same merchandise sold by locally owned stores, which means our local stores will now sell less merchandise, will need fewer employees and will pay less taxes. The difference is that Coopersmith's profits will go to Nebraska to help Nebraska's economy instead of staying in Oklahoma.
More importantly, the manufacturers of most of those goods are located outside Oklahoma. This means that billions of Oklahoma dollars are flowing the wrong way. Like it or not, we're in competition with the other 49 states. We want more out-of-state dollars coming in than Oklahoma dollars going out. What can be done to accomplish this? We don't have to try new marketing concepts. This country is more than 200 years old and has been a world leader in creating new marketing strategies. We know what works and what doesn't. We know that low taxes encourage Oklahoma entrepreneurs and attract new manufacturers. And keeps them. As do fairer workers' compensation laws, fairer business regulations and tort reform.
In other words, let's support Gov. Mary Fallin's time-tested strategies.
Mike Jones, Oklahoma City