The Star invited Arizona's three U.S. Senate candidates to answer that question, based on the following background:
Mexico is Arizona's top export partner, accounting for more than a third of our state's foreign trade. Yet the total value of our exports to Mexico has grown by 1 percent over the past four years while Texas has increased its total by 40 percent. What does Arizona need to do better and how will you expedite trade across our state's border?
This is the second of three Sundays of guest commentaries by the Senate candidates. You can read last week's question about jobs at azstarnet.com/opinion
There are few things I can envision more boring than a debate between Libertarians. In contrast to the unprincipled, but always interesting, answers generally presented by both Democrats and Republicans, Libertarians tend to give the same answers over and over again. We don't do this to bore, but rather to give an honest answer. So, here I go again.
As I said in my last commentary, albeit slightly different, government is not the solution to our problems; it IS the problem. The problem of Arizona's slow growing exports to Mexico as compared to Texas is no different. There is no better way to improve our economy than to move closer to a free market. The state with the market that is most free wins.
Texas has increased its total exports to Mexico by 40 percent over the past four years as compared to a one percent increase in Arizona over the same time period. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Texas' GDP growth is fourth best in the nation while Arizona ranks only 18th.
Why is Texas realizing economic benefits not shared by Arizona? The answer is simple. According to ChiefExecutive.net, Texas is the most business friendly state. Indeed, Texas has received this honor in each of the past eight years. Six-hundred-fifty CEOs ranked Texas best for its business-friendly tax and regulation environment. Arizona ranked much lower.
The overall benefits of a free market cannot be overstated. Between June 2009 and July 2011, Texas also created so many jobs that its new jobs account for 47 percent of all new jobs created nationally. All this new job creation, and Texas leads the nation in the number of people who migrate into the state, too. High numbers of immigrants to Texas resulted in good economic consequences for Texas.
I am not making a case for Texas. I could have cited Hong Kong as a foreign example of what a free market can do for an economy. A free market is the best way known to raise standards of living. It doesn't matter if we are analyzing state exports to Mexico or a national economy; the free market works much better than any other economic system.
If we want to improve Arizona's exports to Mexico, the answer is less taxes and less regulation. It's the same old boring but true argument; freedom and the free market always do better than regulation and taxes.
Libertarian Marc Victor is a criminal defense lawyer, with offices in Chandler since 1994.