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Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: What is Utah's 'secret sauce' for a good economy?

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  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    "Utah's biggest threat is a public education system that is falling behind."

    Also, don't forget air quality. GOED and the legislature are concerned that our poor air quality is actually scaring new businesses and industry away. About a year ago, the legislature had a hearing about it, and the Trib has run stories about business delegations coming to Utah, seeing the air pollution, and then declining to move to Utah over concerns the poor environmental quality would make it hard to attract quality workers to Utah, endanger employees and their families' health (and drive up healthcare costs, reduce productivity, etc.).

    Lack of funding for education and poor air quality are the biggest threats to Utah's economy.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    My state income taxes has gone up ever since they changed the system to a flat tax. I would break even or get a refund if i donated 10 percent. Maybe this is what the legislature had in mine when they changed the tax code.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    The previous comment about air quality is very accurate. I am self-employed and live in a place that is very unfriendly to small businesses. If my company grows, the first thing I will do is move to a new state. Utah is one place I would consider, but the air quality in Utah is a major concern to me and may tip the decision to somewhere else.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    @DN -3rd try

    Why would you not post the fact that billions of dollars of tithing money flows into northern Utah from around the world and a lot of that money provides jobs in Utah (at BYU, at the Church Office Building, etc.)?? Other communities do not have a similar advantage.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    The air quality here is better than many other places. We just live in a valley that bottles it in sometimes (same in Cache Valley). The air quality is way better than when I was a kid. I used to look out the west windows of McMillan Elementary in Murray and most of the time, even on a "clear" sunshiny day, I couldn't see the Oquirrh Mountains unless we had a storm, or wind blowing the smog out. Most of it came from Kennecott and Geneva Steel. When my dad was a kid, it was Geneva Steel, Kennecott, and coal burning stoves and furnaces that polluted the air.

    Temperature inversions are going to happen. Nothing can be done about them. They are a fact of our geography. We have way more people in this valley than in the late 60's and the air quality is much better.

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 4:59 p.m.

    Better education funding will then lead to innovation not the other way around. Right now our education system is just trying to keep up with the increased demands. Those demands come from a very short sighted legislature plus a huge change in demographics of the students being taught.

    We put billions into our roads but slowly starve our schools.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 25, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    Utah's "secret sauce" for a good economy is a church embarking on massive construction jobs when a housing bubble bursts and the rest of the country's construction workers are out of work.

    As noted above, UT benefits from being the center of a global church and money flowing into the local economy as a result.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 10:37 p.m.

    The real secret is that we have kids, lots and lots of kids, and they are reasonably educated and many speak a second language. Go to other areas of the country and places lack kids.