Friday, May 1, 2015

Repug Policies Always Fail on the State Level, Too

If the sight of Kansas civilization spiralling down to the level of Haiti, thanks to the fanatic repug economic fallacies of freakazoid nutcase governor Sam Brownback, hasn't cured you of any temptation to vote for a repug candidate in Kentucky's gubernatorial election, maybe this will.

Political Animal:

Paul Rosenberg gives his typically comprehensive treatment to that and related issues at Salon yesterday afternoon. And the particular argument to which I would draw your attention is Rosenberg’s marshaling of research evidence that Republican economic policies just don’t work at any level.
Not only are Democrats better for the national economy as a whole, they’re better for state-level economies, too. As far back as 2004, it’s been noted online that red states as a whole are takers of federal tax revenues, blue states are donors. Analyzing annual data from 2008 through 2014, red states consistently got more money than blue states, by anywhere from 36 percent to 73 percent. One result of this, naturally, is that red states can better afford to cut taxes, since they’re mooching off all the rest of us. And yet, blue states continue to do better, year after year, decade after decades.
The differences he found were dramatic. Comparing the average ranks in economic strength, compared to the midpoint, he found that blue states averaged 3.23 above average, purple states averaged 1.19 above average, and red states averaged 3.67 below average. Looking at the top and bottom, he wrote, “Out of the top ten ranked states for economic strength there were four blue states, three red and three purple. Out of the bottom ten ranked states there were one blue, eight red and one purple.”
The average ranks in social cohesion and dysfunction showed an even stronger difference: of blue states averaged 6.16 above the midpoint, purple states 0.52 above the midpoint, and red states averaged 5.03 below the midpoint. “Against this index, six blue states ranked in the top ten along with two red states and two purple states. No blue state scored in the bottom 10 on this index although two purple states and eight red states did.”
Still, in the long run, Mississippi didn’t become Mississippi by accident. The state-level philosophy of economic development for which the GOP increasingly stands from sea to shining sea had about a 150-year test in the Deep South, and as I like to say, if it made any sense then Mississippi and Alabama would be the economic dynamos of the nation. Southern states that have emerged from the primordial ooze of post-Civil War and pre-Civil Rights regional stagnation have generally either abandoned (at least temporarily) the old Moonlight and Magnolias theory of achieving economic growth via groveling before “job-creators” and disinvesting in public assets; or have joined the topsy-turvy feast-and-famine world of polities that depend on extractive industries like oil and gas.

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