Michael Rathbone
This is not the first time that I have lamented about Missouri's economic performance. However, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released a map that shows just how well Missouri does when compared to the rest of the country:

Chart 1, showing growth in real GDP by state

As you can see, Missouri is in the bottom 10 in terms of economic growth. From 2010-11, the latest year for which data is available, Missouri also ranked second to last in terms of employment growth.

What are Missouri officials doing to catch up with the rest of the country? They expanded a small business tax deduction, but compared to Kansas cutting its personal income tax rates, Missouri's actions seem . . . underwhelming.

My colleague Patrick Ishmael and I have called for eliminating the state's corporate income tax and replacing the lost revenue with the elimination of economic development tax credits. This would serve to both a.) make Missouri more economically competitive with other states, and b.) get Missouri out of the business of picking winners and losers. The state would also benefit from other solutions such as reforming occupational licensing.

Missouri's economic performance has been abysmal. It needs to change course. Repeating the same things over and over again will not somehow miraculously turn the state around.

About the Author

Michael Rathbone
Policy Researcher
Michael Rathbone was a policy researcher at the Show-Me Institute. He is a native of Saint Louis and a 2008 graduate of Saint Louis University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering.