By Matt Rooney
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Guess what: Toys “R” Us (which is going out of business) and New Jersey (which isn’t far behind) have a lot in common.

Too much for comfort, for sure, and extending beyond geography; for those who don’t know, our state is home to the legendary toy chain’s headquarters, up in Wayne, as well as dozens of individual stores. Now all of those jobs are going away once the chain completes its impending liquidation process.

Look at the history. Rather than make bold, difficult changes when major problems first arose?

Back in ’04, the now-bankrupt company’s board of directors chose the path of staggering debt which prohibited much-needed capital improvements at its outdated stores and on its website at a time when competition (Amazon, Walmart, etc.) was changing the game. Instead of building better stores? And upgrading its web presence? Toys “R” Us was forced to devote those funds to paying down its debt.

The end result…

(1) An inhospitable shopping environment,

(2) Noncompetitive prices, and

(3) Continuing flat-to-falling sales.

Sound familiar?

It should.

New Jersey’s fateful decisions to raid its pension system, make unreasonable legacy cost commitments, and fund profligate spending with excessively high taxes is driving our state into a fiscal ditch.

So yea, substitute “Walmart” for “any lower tax state” and my comparison is nearly perfect.

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