According to an analysis from CNBC, Georgia has dropped from No. 2 to No. 7 in its annual “America’s Top States for Business” scorecard. This is a shocker, especially since Gov. Nathan Deal and other state leaders tout Site Selection magazine’s repeated designation of Georgia as the “No. 1 state in which to do business.”
The reason from Georgia’s drop? Rising crime.
CNBC scored all 50 states on more than 60 measures of competitiveness, developed with input from various business and policy experts, official government sources, the CNBC Global CFO Council and the states themselves. But although Georgia’s economy is strong, the news outlet reports, “an uptick in costs and violent crime bruise the Peach State’s competitive edge.”
Georgia received an A-plus grade in the “workforce” and “economy” categories but a C-minus in “education” and a D grade for “quality of life.”
Atlanta, especially, has seen a dramatic rise in shootings and murders over the past six months, far outstripping last’s years shootings and murder rate from January to through June 2017.
In fact, a private probation option for Fulton County juvenile offenders may end due to outrage over a sensational July 13 murder and robbery at the Capital City country club. State Rep. Beth Beskin, R-Atlanta, wants to end the permissive private system after hearing from over 100 residents at a meeting with Fulton County prosecutors. One outraged resident called the private probation system “insane” and that the Capital City shooting underscores the danger to the public.
Beskin’s comments follow the shooting of Christian Broder during an armed robbery outside the country club, and he later died. Two suspects are charged with felony murder, robbery and related charges: Jayden Myrick, 17, and Torrus Fleetwood, 20. Myrick was previously convicted of armed robbery at age 14 and could have still been in state prison under a plea deal. But Fulton Superior Court
Judge Doris Downs chose to have him just serve two years in juvenile detention supervised by a so-called probation organization that proved to be bogus.
Broder’s death and the ensuing media spotlight, coupled with a citizens’ petition demanding the removal of the permissive Atlanta judge, are hurting Georgia’s “open for business” reputation. The CNBC report is the latest indicator.