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Recession relents — but in New Jersey, may relapse
This hAs Been the wettest sum-              Zangari, head of the smart Growth                                                                                            inheritance taxes.
                                                                                                            Corner            Office
mer in new Jersey history and the           economic Development coalition,                                                                                                    even worse, we have leaders,
second-coldest; it goes with the year.      and the other leaders who assist-            Have a hard-hitting stance on a New Jersey business issue? If you are a         like the head of the sierra club in
half the state seems under water and        ed that coalition. however, there           business or policy leader with a strong opinion, we want to hear from you.       new Jersey, who have insinuated
the other half is under arrest. nev-        is much yet to be done to ensure                       Please send op-ed proposals to editorial@njbiz.com.                   that the recent arrests are a result of
ertheless, there is some very good          that new Jersey fully participates in                                                                                        the governor’s economic stimulus
news. first of all, the recession is, for   this recovery.                            benefits and pensions.                   of other regulations. estimates           package, which is being accused
all intents and purposes, over. We                The first is to end this insidi-         While we have generated             have been made that 30 percent of         of “stimulating campaign financ-
bottomed out in the first quarter;          ous cycle of corruption which has         almost no new private-sector jobs in     the cost of a new home is the result      es” rather than “stimulating the
corporate profits are up, consum-           made our state the butt of count-         a decade, we have seen a substantial     of complying with government              economy and putting people back
er confidence is up, retail sales are       less jokes. Part of this problem lays     growth in government jobs.               regulations. As a result, coupled         to work.” comments like these are
up, housing starts are up and home          in “home rule,” where even minor               in a geographically challenged      with our over-regulation of land,         ridiculous, since the alleged crimes
sales are up. of course, these num-         officials can stop multimillion-dol-      state, we have 566 municipalities,                                                 all took place before the bills were
ber are all still off the lofty heights     lar projects. it is a strange culture     and these duplications of services                                                 signed. And, ultimately, comments
of 2007, but that’s to be                               in which public officials     cost hundreds of millions of dollars.      It is a strange culture in              like this hurt the reputation of the
expected. Meanwhile,                                    are willing to risk jail      As an example, we have municipal          which public officials are               state as a good place to locate or
the talking heads on                                    sentences for a few thou-     police, transit police, park police,                                               expand a business, thus thwarting
                                                                                                                                      willing to risk jail
TV are trying harder                                    sand dollars. They just       county police, state police, Port                                                  federal efforts to bring jobs back
and harder to find bad                                  don’t seem to get that        Authority police, Palisades Parkway           sentences for a few                  to new Jersey in order to stimulate
news for their broad-                                   bribery is a crime, not a     police and countless others whose          thousand dollars. They                  job growth.
casts. everything is up,                                right of public office.       administrative costs compound            just don’t seem to get that                     The country is coming out of its
“but” (as they would                                         The second prob-         each other.                                                                        deepest recession since World War
                                                                                                                                 bribery is a crime, not a
say) is always followed                                 lem is the inefficiency of         The net result is that with so                                                ii. new Jersey, despite the recent
by some negative prog-                                  government. i have been       many government workers and such             right of public office.               flood of economic stimulus bills, still
nostication.                                            told that one out of every    generous benefits, we have a tax bur-                                              is a long way from being in a posi-
      As for new Jersey,       David T. Houston Jr.     seven workers in new          den that is not acceptable.                                                        tion to benefit from this recovery. it
to participate in this                                  Jersey works for some              needless to say, therefore,         our housing costs are beyond the          is time to recognize that the policies
recovery we needed to make a lot of         governmental agency, and new Jer-         we also over-regulate. While the         reach of many who would like to           and philosophies of the last 10 years
changes. The new legislation, which         sey has more than 4,000 govern-           Licensed site remediation Profes-        live or stay here. We do not retain       have been brutal. u
has been passed, is a start. We owe a       mental agencies. even worse, many         sional program privatized many           our senior citizens or our bright         -----------------------------------------
huge debt of gratitude to sen. Ray-         people hold multiple offices, which       minor environmental permits, we          young college graduates because           David T. Houston Jr. is president of Col-
mond J. Lesniak (D-union) and Ted           entitles then to multiples salaries,      need to apply this model to a host       of housing costs, income taxes and        liers Houston & Co., based in T
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