Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.

I just filled out a Zoomerang.com survey to tell the future governor of Utah what I think should be done to create a good business environment in the state of Utah. I’m glad politicians are using the internet to get feedback. I hope it becomes an essential part of governing.

I wish Utah didn’t treat capital gains as normal income, for taxation purposes. Utah shouldn’t make it tempting to move to Nevada before selling one’s company.

But for the record, my major concern about Utah is not economic–it’s education. According to the 2001 Manhattan Institute report, Utah is in 49th place — trailing Hawaii only — in education freedom. The report explains:

Utah‚ which offers no assistance for private school choice, closely regulates home-schooling, and has large school districts and weak charter-school offerings‚ slipped to second-to-last place. Rhode Island, because of similar restrictions, comes in 48th.

I think charter schools are gaining momentum in Utah, so maybe we are moving up in the rankings, but we have a long ways to go before parents really have choice in this state. Schools really need to be accountable to parents, and parents must have choice in choosing schools and teachers for their children. Schools need to compete for the best teachers (wages should go up if there is more competition for good teachers) so that we can provide our children with the best education possible.

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