MASON CITY — Former Colorado governor and Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper stopped in Mason City on Saturday afternoon.
Hickenlooper touted initiatives during his time as governor that helped improve the state. “We will be the first state in America to have broadband in every city and town by the end of 2020. We provided a tax credit, so if you are an entrepreneur in Colorado and you set up a business in a rural part of the state, for the first four years neither your business nor any of your employees pay any tax of any kind to the state of Colorado. It’s not an expensive tax because it’s hard to start businesses in rural parts of America, but I think we are at 800 jobs, and if you’re in a town of several thousand people and all of a sudden there’s a new business that’s got 50 employees, you notice. It changes your attitude toward what tomorrow is going to look like.”
Hickenlooper says programs need to be created to encourage students to educate themselves for skilled labor-type jobs. “If you want to figure out ways to make college cheaper, allow kinds of programs like this, and most importantly they’ll have skills. They’ll have a year or three years of seeing how business works and what skills you need to be successful. My goal as president is to have a million kids a year graduate from apprentice programs, and be able to attract and learn skills their whole life. As automation and artificial intelligence disrupts our workplace, it’s not going to be bad. We’re going to have more jobs than we can imagine, what we don’t have is the workers with the skills.”
Hickenlooper says it’s time to revamp the nation’s tax system. “I think we’re ready for a complete overhaul of our whole tax system. Our tax system makes it a disadvantage to have more workers. We should find ways to encourage more workers.”
Hickenlooper spoke to about 25 people gathered at Cabin Coffee Company.
Raw audio from a portion of the question and answer session by Hickenlooper:
Video from Hickenlooper’s stop:
More on these appearances on Monday during the KGLO Morning News.