“Everything from hiring procedures to putting license plates on trucks, everything seems to have too much bureaucracy and regulation,” Mirra said. “Just to put a dump truck on the road requires you to pay about a dozen different taxes, and that stifles job growth and it inhibits the ability of people to start new companies.”
Mirra said the key to maximizing the state’s economic potential is to drive costs down. He called Massachusetts an undesirable place to do business as a result of high costs and high regulations, and highlighted a Forbes Magazine report that listed Boston second to last out of 200 cities in terms of the cost of doing business.
“Typically in a recovery, which we should be in, GPD growth is 4 to 5 percent,” Mirra said. “We’re nowhere near that.”
Fogel offered a much more positive few of the state economy, pointing out that the state’s unemployment rate is two points below the national average and that Massachusetts is one of only two states that had its bond rating increase (Alaska being the other) and is one of only four states with a stabilization fund of over a billion dollars.
“We have an improving economy,” Fogel said.
Highlighting those trends, Fogel said his goal would be to make sure the state’s economy continued to improve, allowing businesses to thrive and ultimately spur job growth.
“Haverhill, Lawrence, Newburyport and down the North Shore, a lot of people in our district work in those nearby areas,” Fogel said. “The rising tide of the economy in Massachusetts is going to create jobs for people in our district.”
Outside of general economic improvement, Mirra said one of the specific ways he would try to promote job growth would be through immigration reform.
“Right now people in the lower end of the income scale have seen their income stagnate,” Mirra said. “That’s due in part because of our immigration system that allowed an influx of low-skill workers.”