New Jersey governor pitches liberal values, high costs as selling point for businesses

News & Politics

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is making an odd pitch to lure businesses to The Garden State.

Whereas states like Texas and Florida appeal to their low taxes, minimal regulation, and expansive freedoms, Murphy is appealing to liberal values to motivate businesses to move their corporations and employees to New Jersey.

What are the details?

Murphy — a one-term governor running for re-election — claimed in an interview this week that “highly-skilled employees at film, digital and other companies want to live in states with progressive stances on abortion, voting rights and gun control,” Bloomberg News reported.

“If your business model includes high value-added, highly skilled workforce, we’re on your list,” Murphy told Bloomberg News. “We are not going to be the low-cost state to live or work in.”

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In fact, contrary to conventional wisdom, Murphy said some companies are moving to New Jersey because of liberal values.

More from Bloomberg News:

Despite the high taxes, the governor said film and tech companies are coming to New Jersey because of its talent and location. Three years after reinstating a production tax-credit program, a record number of films and TV shows are being filmed in New Jersey, according to Murphy’s administration. Another example: Fiserv Inc. chose his state over Georgia as the fintech company adds 2,000 jobs and builds a new hub in suburban New Jersey.

“Before I got here, Georgia had become the East Coast film capital,” Murphy said. “That is now being challenged, mostly by us.”

Murphy even invoked Tesla, which is moving its company headquarters from California to Texas.

“I don’t know what the employees of Tesla are gonna say to Elon Musk, but that’s a move that surprised me,” Murphy told Bloomberg News.

Anything else?

While Murphy thinks he can appeal to liberal values to sell New Jersey, the state has hemorrhaged more residents than any other U.S. state in recent years.

“Last year, more residents were moving out of New Jersey than into the state, as 70% of moves were outbound, according [to] the 2020 National Migration Study by United Van Lines. This is the third consecutive year New Jersey has been ranked the top state for outbound moves,” New Jersey Business magazine reported.

Most people who leave New Jersey are doing so because of high taxes and high cost of living. However, the same survey found that more people moved to New Jersey for work-related reasons than left for work-related reasons.

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