APP.com: Opinion: Without benefits reform, Murphy economic goals unachievable

New Jersey Gov.  Phil Murphy recently revealed his economic development master plan with a 2025 horizon. He is focused on attracting fast-growing and high-paying industries and entrepreneurs in those industries, on small business and women and minority-run businesses.

The specific goals include adding 400,000 jobs, 4 percent wage growth, a 40,000 increase in women and minorities in the STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, $625 million in new venture capital investment, increasing employment of women and minorities by 42,000, and reducing the poverty rate from 27 percent closer to the state average of 10 percent. Murphy says these goals are ambitious and achievable.

But unless the 800-pound gorilla of the huge pension and health care deficit of $115 billion (that’s $16,772 per resident) is addressed, these goals will not be achieved. There is no disputing that there has been serious out-migration from New Jersey to other states. Data from IRS tax returns show that New Jersey has experienced a loss of more than $70 billion from 2007 to 2016.

Read the full op-ed here.