Food, fiber, and fervor these are three things the whole world wants and needs. As time goes on, the demand for them will only increase. Fortunately, the state of Arkansas has been greatly blessed with food, fiber, and fervor.
The need for food is self explanatory and fiber represents the vast natural resources of the state. Fervor describes the work ethic, attitude, and genuineness of our greatest resource, our people. Our fervor should be a token of hope that we as Arkansans have for a positive future for the state and the nation.
We must be good stewards of our food, fiber, and fervor as we capitalize on the economic benefits of the first two while setting an example with the latter. I would like to help develop opportunities for real economic growth that will showcase the talents and work ethic of Arkansans.
The basis of economics in a capitalistic system is that supply and demand determines the price of goods in a free market. Wealth is generated by mixing labor with the land to supply a product that is demanded in the market. For example, a farmer plants seeds and tends to them, the land produces a crop that is harvested and finally, the crop is sold to buyers who need the food. This concept can be expanded to other types of farmers, as well as to miners, timber producers, drillers, processors, manufacturers, refiners, transporters, retailers, and the list continues. The underlying principle is that wealth results from the production of goods and services and all goods and services are in some way derived from people utilizing land and natural resources.
Arkansas is blessed with farmland, timberland, water, a good growing climate, ores, oil, and gas reserves. It is my position that we have underutilized our land base and natural resources in Arkansas, yet we have tremendous potential to produce real wealth and growth of our economy. My work for the past 17 years has been in planning and developing major capital projects which usually result in facilities that convert natural resources into products for the marketplace. These facilities not only provide good paying manufacturing jobs but they also have a great multiplying effect on service and support industries.
To illustrate my belief that we have tremendous growth potential in Arkansas please consider the following data comparison for timber, our second leading industry in the state. Arkansas and North Carolina are similar in geographic size with a little over 30 million acres of land and both have approximately the same amount of privately owned timberland at just over 15 million acres per state. Essentially the same size private timberland base in North Carolina supports twice as many manufacturing facilities and produces 1.7 times the jobs, 1.8 times the payroll, 1.5 times the income, and over 1.7 times the tax revenue as Arkansas's private timberland base.
Our timber industry is just one example where opportunities lie. We can sustainably develop a wide spectrum of new and existing products and services in agriculture as well as in multiple other industries in Arkansas that will have huge ripple effects throughout our state's economy. But we must roll up our sleeves and get to work. Developing and releasing the potential wealth this state can produce makes good sense both economically and socially. Economic growth is the better way to generate public funds for education and infrastructure. In contrast, taking the easy way out by raising taxes or creating programs that redistribute the same pool of wealth can hinder additional investments into businesses that generate wealth.
A major focus of mine will be to develop and promote a good business climate for Garland County and Arkansas. I desire to be a part of a government that works to solve problems for people rather than create them, that sees the big picture, and that understands its place to serve the people!