If you listen to our friends on the other side of the aisle, you’d think that (a) Massachusetts is a terrible place to do business, and (b) Fidelity’s decision to move 1,100 jobs from Marlborough to Rhode Island is because of (a).
We already knew that (a) is false – CNBC surprised even itself by declaring that MA is the 5th best state in the country in which to do business. Some claim that a survey by something hilariously called “Chief Executive Magazine” is more important. I find that claim to be an amusing one.
Anyway, we now know that (b) is false too. How do we know? Because the Governor just met with Fidelity’s Abigail Johnson, and she told him so.
Officials with Fidelity Investments told Gov. Deval Patrick Thursday that their decision to move more than 1,100 jobs out of Massachusetts as it shutters operations in Marlborough had nothing to do with the state’s business climate, according to the governor.
Speaking to State House reporters after a meeting with Abigail Johnson, a company president, Patrick said Fidelity told him the move had to do with the quality of the facilities in the various locations, and the decision stands.
Now, maybe Johnson was just trying to make the Governor feel good. But why would she do that? She’s a company president, not a therapist. If there was something she wanted in terms of an improved business climate, wouldn’t she ask for it? After all, she’s still got a lot of employees in MA.
Is there more to be done in terms of making MA “business-friendly” in a good way (i.e., not by watering down labor or environmental standards, but rather by sensible streamlining of regulations etc.)? Almost certainly. But this notion that jobs started streaming out of Massachusetts the day Deval Patrick took office is simply absurd. Today’s news helps give the lie to it once again.