Is Virginia the best state in the nation to do business? Last week, a poll conducted by CNBC declared it so.
Yet facts are a stubborn thing.
Virginia’s labor force participation rate is at the lowest level recorded in history, with roughly 200,000 fewer Virginians in the workforce than there were in March 2020. In addition, the commonwealth ranks 49th in the country; when it comes to the best state to start a small business, a 2021 analysis by Blueprint determined. Virginia’s cost of living is higher than the national average, and more people are deciding to move out of the state than are deciding to move into it.
It doesn’t seem so great. Even CNBC ranked Virginia in the middle-tier concerning “cost of doing business” (which one would think would be very important in determining the best business state in the nation), “infrastructure,” and “cost of living.”
So what propelled Virginia to the top spot? A new woke category, derived by the George Soros-funded Brennan Center of Justice, measures “life, health, and inclusion.” Yes, that’s right – the push for critical race theory to be taught in schools, no voter ID when going to the polls, passing anti-discrimination laws, and lawmakers and businesses placing an emphasis on equity and inclusion – all secured Virginia it’s No. 1 ranking.
CNBC explains this year it decided to “pay greater attention than ever to equity and inclusion” not only in its new “life, health and inclusion” category, “but throughout the study.” Still, they insist their poll isn’t an opinion survey. It’s totally “empirical” based on “the most recent figures available.”
The business channel gave rave reviews to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam – you know the one who was either wearing blackface or was dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan in his college yearbook – for enacting legislation requiring all agencies to develop diversity, equity and inclusion plans within their ranks.
In April, Virginia also repealed its voter ID laws, which, according to CNBC, is terrific, regardless of poll after poll showing the American people overwhelmingly support voter ID laws. Last year, Mr. Northam also signed a bill that strips religious organizations of their right to make employment decisions following their faith. How woke, CNBC cooed.
Now, what does this have to do with business? Nothing. But it doesn’t matter. Virginia is one of the few states this year with a competitive gubernatorial election where longtime Democratic political insider Terry McAuliffe is set to face off against Republican Glenn Youngkin. Mr. Youngkin wants to tackle the complex economic issues facing everyday Virginians – Mr. McAuliffe is looking to build off Mr. Northam’s woke agenda.
So it’s not surprising CNBC went to bat for Mr. McAuliffe. Just another misleading poll skewed to favor Democrats.