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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback speaking at the Conservative Political Action Committee Conference
The Koch brothers' top toady, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, taking a break from trashing his state's finances.
Chart showing downward economic trends of states in which ALEC policies have been implemented.
Menzie Chinn decided to check out whether conservative pro-growth policies actually led to high growth, and the chart on the right shows the results. Chinn compared scores on the ALEC-Laffer "Economic Outlook" ranking to actual growth in 2013-14 and looked for a trend. There wasn't one. "If there is any evidence," he concludes after a more detailed look at the data, "it suggests that a higher ALEC-Laffer Economic Outlook score is associated with a worse economic performance."
The full calculations can be found here. More here. But in short, the left column is the state rankings for economic growth, the bottom one is how closely aligned the state is with the ALEC-conservative agenda, with those to the left being more conservative. So if conservative policy was that conducive for growth, we'd see a nice 45 degree line from the bottom left to top-right. Instead, we see a line slightly heading the other direction.

So you see Kansas, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch Brothers, on the wrong end of those growth rankings? Here's what it means in real life:

Citing a sluggish recovery from the recession, risk inherent in the governor’s tax plan and uncertainty over the Legislature’s ability to keep cutting spending, one of the nation’s two major debt rating agencies downgraded Kansas’ credit rating Thursday.
How about Gov. Chris Christie's New Jersey?
A major Wall Street credit-rating agency downgraded New Jersey’s debt again Thursday, unnerved by "both the scale and belatedness" of an $807 million budget gap disclosed this week by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration.

The action by Fitch Ratings followed a similar ratings cut last month by Standard & Poor’s. Earlier this week, Moody’s Investors Service called the shortfall a "credit negative development," forewarning that yet another downgrade may be coming.

Of course, this isn't a serious Republican Party. They have been wrong about everything, and continue to be wrong about everything. There's a reason they've been relegated to pursuing crazy Benghazi conspiracy theories ("the talking points were EDITED!"). They've been wrong on the economy. They've been wrong on Obamacare. They're wrong on immigration.

What else do they have when reality refuses to cooperate with their Fox News Bubble of Death?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good Work, But... (43+ / 0-)

    These are numbers and facts and hard data.

    Three little things that mean nothing to the "American Conservative".

    Of course, the only growth their policies engender is limited to the few people at the top that fund their campaigns and run their scams.

    Which means SUCCESS!

    Thank you.


    by Johnny Wendell on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:33:49 AM PDT

  •  Negatives are the Republicans' stock in trade... (15+ / 0-)

    across the board, period.

    Their policies are toxic to the majority of citizens.

    Whatever the Foxteapublicans say, the opposite is the truth.

    by Forward is D not R on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:34:24 AM PDT

  •  Tje worst part of it is the people who vote (15+ / 0-)

    for their line of BS are the generation that benefitted most from a bigger version of government than even current day Democrats suggest. All these morons talking about taking their country back are supporting the exact policies (economically) that created that country. It is ridiculous.

  •  And people still vote for them because they (13+ / 0-)

    foment hatred & fear. They vote their hate & they're gleeful at the damage they cause.

    They're stupid & evil & they're beating us.

    I voted tuesday because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:39:28 AM PDT

    •  As it so happens... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the economic damage you perceive is very good for next quarter's bottom line.  And THAT is far more important.

      "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

      by newfie on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:55:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Their policies do work (23+ / 0-)

    They've succeeded in making their rich donors even richer, which is the only constituency they give a shit about.

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:40:06 AM PDT

    •  social conservatives (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      merrywidow, a2nite, Aquarius40, mcstowy, Matt Z

      have succeeding in on several policies front.  The have restricted a women's right to control her own health choices.  They have pushed sharia law, i.e. the right to pray in public meeting.  The have promulgated the myth that some how an American(white male) has a 'right' to a job if that job is taken by another(non white male) who is willing to work harder or moved to another location, then that job has been stolen.  The have managed to promulgate the myth that work is somehow equal to moral value, and not working is equal to moral corruption.  That helping people eat and purchase what buy community standards are basic consumer good, be they consumable or capital, is promoting moral corruption and such a morally corrupt person would be better helped by letting him or her starve so they might learn the power of the almighty, much like a hard days work for a child might be better than an education.

      All of these have been accomplished in the time since the evangelicals elected a polygamist to push their cause.  There has been little concern in actual economic growth of the country as a whole.  It has never been a policy issue since the time Regan doubled our debt.

      Any credence that most of the conservatives today care directly about the economic viability of country is misguided. What most seem to believe is that if we follow the moral code that they believe is correct, women as subservient gender, knowing one's place, accepting that some people are better than other people, then the US will magically become more prosperous.  All of this concern about economic outlook and innovation and the science crap is irrelevant.  What makes a country great is the whitewashed voodoo, which is no relation to any legitimate voodoo that might be practiced by those reading this.

  •  Your statement above is wrong (15+ / 0-)

    The underlying data has a p-value of 0.58 which means there is no apparent relation between ALEC and economic growth.  There is NOT a negative association.  All the data shows is that it is random noise.

    Democrates win when people focus on the FACTS.  

    The FACTS show that ALEC polices have no effect on growth.

    That is the arguement.  

    Overreaching does more harm than good and makes people doubt the statistics as just people playing around with numbers to make their case.  This weakens every arguement that is based on statistics in the future.  Be it heath care outcomes, economics, creationism.  If you don't fairly present the results, then it hurts all of us.

    I am a statistician, not a magician although we are easily confused. I guess that explains why people keep trying to tie me in chains and place me under water.

    by Edge PA on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:41:25 AM PDT

    •  I couldn't make sense of the graph (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Edge PA, rtaylor352, SoCalSal

      CA and MN appear to be more ALEC-cmpliant than KS and WI, and the first two have lower growth - at least if a 10 ALEC rating is lower than a 50 ALEC and 12 growth/rank is lower than 30 growth/rank.... I am stumped.

      the future begins

      by zozie on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:52:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can't make sense of the graph (0+ / 0-)

        because it is random noise.

        I am a statistician, not a magician although we are easily confused. I guess that explains why people keep trying to tie me in chains and place me under water.

        by Edge PA on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:26:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it's more the use of ranks (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Edge PA, bryduck

          At least in response to zozie's comment above. I agree there's no correlation evident, positive or negative. But the placement of CA and MN threw me until I figured out that both variables are ranked highest to lowest.

      •  Use of ranks is what's messing you up I think. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rtaylor352, Helpless

        A lower number for the ALEC ranking means that state had a more favorable rating from ALEC (#1 is their favorite) and a lower number for the growth ranking means that state had higher growth (#1 is the highest growth).

        So a perfect correlation would be found if the #1 ALEC state had the #1 growth, the #2 ALEC state the #2 growth, and so on.

        •  Double counter-intuitive (0+ / 0-)

          Like a double negative squared.

          Thanks for the explanation.
          But the sparse description of the graph did grab me -- as in, "that can't be right!"

          Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

          by Helpless on Thu May 08, 2014 at 12:00:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And the interesting thing is... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...that it is still damning to the conservative narrative even when interpreted correctly.

      Because the fact that there is no correlation between the ALEC criteria and economic growth basically means that those policies that they advocate as "pro-growth" are essentially useless.

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:19:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Even more wrong (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Edge PA, ER Doc, mzkryz, kfunk937

      Actually, the study does not show there is no apparent relation between ALEC and economic growth, it shows there is no apparent relation between ALEC ranking and economic growth ranking. Ranking is a non-linear process that can distort any underlying correlation. Ranking can cause small differences in values to have a big impact and big differences to have a small impact.

      Also, to see if there is a correlation between policy and growth, it would be better to plot change in growth per capita vs change in policy. Per capita because change in population is highly correlated with change in economic growth. Each state may have a baseline growth rate that has little to do with policy, i.e., agricultural vs. manufacturing so it is best to look at the change only.

      •  Agreed with everything you said ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, kfunk937

        I was trying to clearly state a point with a non-technical audience.


        I am a statistician, not a magician although we are easily confused. I guess that explains why people keep trying to tie me in chains and place me under water.

        by Edge PA on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:25:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We're in heated agreement (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Edge PA, mzkryz, kfunk937

          My point is that ranking systematically reduces any underlying correlation and amplifies any noise in the data. That is, the data will tend to look more random after ranking. This implies that one should be wary of drawing any conclusions from this study, even the conclusion that there is no correlation.

  •  Kansas is a mid-high growth state according to (0+ / 0-)

    that chart at the top.

  •  Kansas should change its name to "Kochmess"! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Forward is D not R

    And Missouri to "Helpless".

    •  They're in need of rain. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      •  Bingo! Saw that on the news last night... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skillet, Aquarius40, kfunk937

        Have distant memories of the Grapes of Wrath.
        Water is a big issue in the southwest. California all messed up with farmers cutting down there Avocado trees according to my buddy that lives in Salinas. Water has become too expensive to compete with wherever else they come from.

        Midwest farmers are getting concerned about a drought. Something in their bones maybe.

        Here in Boston, the weather guys are talking over coffee about a big hurricane this year. There's  few that  remember the 1930's hurricane that blew down every old growth tree in Massachusetts.

  •  ALEC Actually Contrary To Their "Principles" (10+ / 0-)

    According to every jaw flapping fapper on Fox, conservatives believe in economic freedom and that strong competition is the greatest engine to drive a growing economy.

    To that end, their allies like the Koch's and Shel Adelson sink their monies into backing true free market ideals.

    Like taxing the shit out of solar power in Arizona or burying online gambling, two entities whose competition could hurt their monopolies.

    Whenever a Republican or one of their money sources says anything--the opposite is always what they seek. Words have no meaning because they don't exist to convey thoughts, just to bamboozle a credulous audience.

    Again, thank you.


    by Johnny Wendell on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:42:58 AM PDT

  •  they're not policies as much as prerogatives for (4+ / 0-)

    collusive unbridled exploitation; kleptocracy with a human (see antiabortion) face

    Methods of re-establishing the rule of law and of assuring its development in such manner that individuals and groups are not in a position to encroach upon the freedom of others and private rights are not allowed to become a basis of predatory power.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:43:24 AM PDT

  •  Not sure, but... (0+ / 0-)

    doesn't that graph also show that being LESS aligned with ALEC also shows not correlation to growth?

  •  Addiction to short-term gains.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, Yonit, Heywaitaminute, mzkryz

    These guys have no real vision to see that a smaller piece of a growing pie is better than a large piece of a pie that's shrinking. Just like how they can't see how helping someone else actually helps them in the long run. All they can imagine is what is tangible in the short-term for them.

    To a degree a large portions of the population of this country is no better; people want long-term structural changes, but don't want the short-term inconveniences that come with making that happen.

    •  The Moody's line (0+ / 0-)

      They referred to "recurring measures to fund..." That means that the govt is running on short term solutions for long term problems, and they won't offset the tax cuts with spending.  


      by otto on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:47:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Moody's said it, not me (10+ / 0-)
    revenue reductions resulting from tax cuts
    Next on  the RushBillGlennMichaelEric show:

    Host: Moody's is a Marxist, Nazi conspiracy to incite people to create conspiracy theories so they look stupid.  

    Of course tax cuts increase revenues, it says so right there on the napkin!


    by otto on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:44:12 AM PDT

  •  But, of course, all of those economic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, JML9999, Aquarius40

    problems in those GOP-controlled states can be traced directly to BENGHAZI!!!!

    I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:45:17 AM PDT

  •  Ayn Rand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Joe Bacon

    What about Ayn Rand though?

    Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.
    (Ive never actually ever read Ayn Rand, but I know about her because the band Rush sings about her. And also that Rand Paul weirdo is named after her too)

    "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

    by Seattle Socialist on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:45:33 AM PDT

  •  Voting for a Governor who hates government (9+ / 0-)

    Is like hiring a plumber who is allergic to pipes.

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:48:34 AM PDT

  •  "a credit-negative development" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, ahumbleopinion, nocynicism, hbk

    Carlin would have fun with that one, but it would probably make him engage in an involuntary personal protein spill first.

    Marx was an optimist.

    by psnyder on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:51:50 AM PDT

  •  Graph clearly shows... (0+ / 0-)

    the detrimental impact of Benghazi on the economy of real Americans.

    "I know the meaning of life. It doesn't help me a bit."

    by dss on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:53:13 AM PDT

  •  Ok, only most conservatives don't read charts. (0+ / 0-)

    Correction most conservatives CAN'T read charts and graphs.  So you see the problem, right?  The people who really need this information will never get it.

  •  the con agenda (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yonit, Aquarius40

    never works economically or socially its the hate and intolerance that sells to the uneducated and ignorant.

  •  Unfortunately, this is exactly what they have: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ahumbleopinion, Yonit, hbk, Aquarius40, TKO333
    What else do they have when reality refuses to cooperate with their Fox News Bubble of Death?
    They have a few million actual Americans (not purchased foreign voices) who seriously believe most of the vile shit that all the RWHR talking-heads spew for several hours per day.  And they have no problem at all with midterm election motivation.

    We have facts, science, technology, reality, public consensus on several issues, and popular sympathy.  Unfortunately we DO have a problem with midterm voter motivation.

    So let's make sure we work to get the voters motivated.  If we show up - we win.

    Good info Kos, thank you as always!

    Not all people are human; not all humans are people.

    by Jon Sitzman on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:58:42 AM PDT

  •  "What else do they have?" (0+ / 0-)

    Not a pot to piss in.......

    I am Joe's Steven......

    by Joes Steven on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:00:06 AM PDT

  •  one can't rely on math (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    to measure economic growth, that would contradict the bible or something.

  •  So it's time for folks to #RethinkTheGOP? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Forward is D not R, hbk, TKO333

    And maybe - just maybe - #DumpTheTea?

    Click for larger image in a new window.

  •  Credit rating agencies? You mean those entities (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nocynicism, kfunk937

    that gave Iceland the highest possible ratings before its banking system collapsed? Don't get me wrong, idiots like Brownback and Christie have  hugely damaged the economies of their states with their ridiculous policies. However, as I once heard it put "ratings agencies are staffed with people who couldn't get jobs on wall street." A truly frightening thought.

  •  How to get the white working class to get this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Words In Action

    is the problem. Right now they're on a tear to give these guys the Senate, the House, and the White House. More austerity. More cuts in benefits. Go figure, and then go nuts.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:12:07 AM PDT

  •  North Carolina is Short $400,000,000 nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:14:06 AM PDT

    •  Quick google search showed NC credit rating AAA... (0+ / 0-)

      $400 million is a lot of money but only about 2% of NC budget and looks like they got enough in their rainy day fund.

      Another quick google search showed articles such as "Budget disaster of gigantic proportions looms over North Carolina."

      Don't know if AAA rating is in danger. That would be a big deal.

      From a distance, seems NC at a crossroads. Cuts that impact kids come back to bite you in the ass in 10 years.

      So much for NC's march to greatness?

  •  The 1% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is looting us, and getting their followers to go with them based on --- "we'll let you have a little cut too, but please don't notice that in the long run it will cost you dearly if anything goes wrong for you."

    Misconduct by the government is by definition NOT a government secret.

    by Doug in SF on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:17:10 AM PDT

  •  the right wing bubble denizens (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Have long since exhausted my patience and tolerance.  Now when they spew their bs talking points, I don't hesitate to call them on it.
    "Do you like being played for a sucker?"  Is my current favorite response.  It's not always successful, but there's a certain satisfaction watching the first cracks in the bubble appear.

    "History is made at night. Character is what you are in the dark."

    by upstatefrantic on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:22:54 AM PDT

  •  This graph needs another data point... (0+ / 0-)

    It needs to show the personal economic gain of the CEOs that funded these initiatives to see how their "growth" tracked against this.  If it did that, you could argue their policies worked as intended.  They intended to enrich themselves and it likely worked.

  •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ...the left column is the state rankings for economic growth, the bottom one is how closely aligned the state is with the ALEC-conservative agenda, with those to the left being more conservative. So if conservative policy was that conducive for growth, we'd see a nice 45 degree line from the bottom left to top-right.
    If the states with the most conservative economic policies lay on the left in the bottom scale, and conservative policies work, then points on the left would be higher than points on the right.  This would give a line with a negative slope, that is, starting high and consistently decreasing.  You make the opposite assertion in your post.

    However, the data are clearly scattershot, indicating no correlation whatsoever between adherence to conservative policy and economic growth.  I agree with Edge PA on this;  don't argue negative correlation, because there's no evidence for it in this plot.

    -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

    by gizmo59 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:49:59 AM PDT

    •  Graph can be confusing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gizmo59, kfunk937

      The horizontal axis is the ranking of the 50 states from 1 to 50 where a ranking of 1 means it is the state that has the best ALEC-Laffer score, i.e., aligns the best with what ALEC-Laffer indicators prefer. The vertical axis is the ranking of the 50 states from 1 to 50 in growth rate where a ranking of 1 means the highest growth rate, 2 means the second highest growth rate and so on. A 45 degree line from lower left to upper right means that ALEC-Laffer ranking = growth ranking.

      •  Okay. My assumption was that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        high economic growth would be expressed by a large number.  I was not thinking about ranking.  So, okay, I got the orientation of expected correltation backwards.  However, the statement regarding no correlation not being the same as anticorrelation still stands.

        -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

        by gizmo59 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:24:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oakland County MI: republican of the old school (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    there is still one left, fiscally conservative, liberal on social issues, pushed a tax to save the art in Detroit, believes in good government.....big mouth but good manager. Has AAA bond rating for decades.

    just excited to have found ONE

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:52:40 AM PDT

  •  ladies & gentlemen, the American South (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, Words In Action, kfunk937

    If you need real actual-factual truth that conservative polices don't work, on any level, look no further than the results gotten by the states who elect the most conservatives.  If conservative policies were actually the best ones, states like Mississippi would be leading the rest of the country instead of coming in last in all the good things and first in all the bad things, year after year after year.  

    It's easily provable when you take an honest look at its track record: conservativism just doesn't work.   I know some people really want it to, and I know it sounds good on paper to some people, but... look at the results.  It's a failed idea.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:09:33 AM PDT

  •  Conservative policies have never been about (0+ / 0-)

    growth.  Conservatism has always been about letting the rich bend the rules to hoard as much capital as possible, and to let them bilk the public treasury for private advantage.  This laissez-faire capitalism is merged with a strong social rejection of ethnic and cultural change, which results in this notion of cutting government because all those tax dollars are supporting the undeserving 47%.

    Conservatism has been holding the country back.

    Global Shakedown - Alternative rock with something to say. Check out their latest release, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and other major online music sites. Visit

    by khyber900 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:23:53 AM PDT

  •  Isn't this actually just a part of their plan? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Destroy the economy and government of various states and force bankruptcy, enabling their corporate, judicial and financial backers to restructure on their terms?

    Surely it is easier to do it this way than through the ballot box.

    It's amazing what people will do to others in the name of themselves.

    by ABlueKansas on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:29:50 AM PDT

  •  Conservative economic policy completely successful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal

    Conservative economic policies are in fact conducive to growth. Just not for everyone. No one can deny that they work as designed, though.

    "There is no room for injustice anywhere in the American mansion." Lyndon Johnson

    by pkgoode on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:30:43 AM PDT

  •  But I'm told Obamacare is working! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    What am I to believe?

    Neoliberal policies (called conservative in the above article) work as designed -- keep the wealthy at the top and stomp on those below.

    Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

    by The Dead Man on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:34:26 AM PDT

  •  Um... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal

    This graph is not measuring the per capita growth in income of the 1% - or more significantly - the 0.1%.  That's the growth they want and in that case, I bet it has been wildly successful.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:36:49 AM PDT

  •  And yet they'll likely hold onto the house (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    and have a decent chance of retaking the senate. They even have an outside shot of taking back the WH, should Jeb get the nomination. After all, he's the "nice" Bush, right? All this despite being evil fucks wrong about everything.

    Why? Because of:

    1 - Gerrymandering

    2 - A lock on 40% of the electorate no matter what they do, because of mostly uneducated white racist working class identity politics.

    3 - A complicit, meek, lazy and stupid media that needs to play up the battle of the parties for ratings, owned by GOP-aligned corporations.

    4 - The ability, willingness and skill of Repubs to engage in the politics of personal, political and ideological attack over an endless list of cultural, social, economic, ideological and other issues, from gay rights to national security to religion to freedom to taxes, in order to win over just enough centrist voters to stay politically relevant.

    5 - A Democratic party that still doesn't know how to message and fight properly, or is willing to, nor understands the need to aggressively and effectively push for and promote the progressive policies that a majority of Americans want and would support.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:42:21 AM PDT

    •  Put another way: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      We know this. But why is the Democratic party not aggressively saying this front and center, contrasting it with progressive policies that do work and promoting those loudly and proudly? This has to go beyond our echo chamber.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:44:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Embracing populist messages/policies. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I had someone yesterday challenge me yesterday on the effectiveness of populism in winning elections. They wouldn't recognize populism outside the antiquated Populist Party...

      So the fact that O has frequently leveraged intimations of populist sentiment (Main St. vs. Wall St.) and E. Warren has come out of nowhere to be a leading national figure, the fact Pikkety, Warren and Lewis are topping the charts... none of this apparently has any import to the virility of populism in contemporary politics...

      I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      by Words In Action on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:59:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Populism is at the core of electoral politics (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action

        It doesn't have to be progressive to be populism, but there can be no lasting electoral success outside of a populist approach, whether from the right, left or center, and whether based on sincerely-held beliefs or cynical dishonesty.

        The Jeffersonians
        The Jacksonians
        The early Republicans

        All had populist approaches, and all won handily.

        The other side figured this out in the late 60's and mastered it in the early 80's. Why is the Democratic party still not getting this fundamental truth about electoral politics? Jettison Wall St. and embrace Main St.

        That IS the ticket.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Thu May 08, 2014 at 12:23:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Was the Laffer portion of the: (0+ / 0-)

    ALEC-Laffer Economic Outlook

    championed by Larry, Larry Laffer?

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Thu May 08, 2014 at 09:59:01 AM PDT

  •  I don't understand this graph (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, katesmom

    As I read your explanation you say that states on the left side of the x axis have more conservative policies (Kansas & Wisconsin marked) and those on the right side more liberal ones (CA & Minn.)  Ok.  But since the y axis represents growth, we should see (If conservative policies worked like they say) a 45 degree line going from the upper LEFT corner down to the lower RIGHT.  You describe the opposite situation.  Is this a typo or what exactly is going on?

    •  That was how I initially interpreted it as well. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

         But it is "ranking" on both axes, not percentage of growth & percentage of ALEC-Laffer compliance, so the labeling is counter-intuitive, and low numbers are "good" on both axes, if ALEC-Laffer works. So Kansas "should" be bottom left, ranking first on both axes, and California "should" be top right, ranking last on both.
           If ALEC-Laffer works...

      -7.25, -6.26

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:48:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  so they gutted taxes and now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    they can't pay for anything...


    Did they hire Paul Ryan as their financial consultant?

    I would snark out even more except for the very sad picture of kids with backpacks leaving for school I saw on Rachel.


  •  The only thing GOPers seem interested (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    in these days is getting elected to jobs in a government they hate, and they will lie, cheat, steal, and take away the opposition's right to vote to get there.  They haven't had good policies since Nixon and he was a "crook."  

    Why on earth do we keep electing them to make the rules that effect life and death, literally?  Are we nuts?  I know right wingers.  They have no idea what's really going on.  It's only what Fox tells them is going on that's reality to them.  And so many of them are unreachable.  

    Electing these treasonous assholes who will do whatever they can to undermine the US government has to stop.  How, I don't know.

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:27:12 AM PDT

  •  Getting to the facts... (0+ / 0-)

    Here is a pretty good takedown of the psudo-science of an Economic Competitive Index to begin with:

    "You try to tell me you love Life; Then find another way to kill Life..." -- David Draiman

    by darkrogue on Thu May 08, 2014 at 10:30:19 AM PDT

  •  But sometimes conservative policies (0+ / 0-)

    do work fine, like ACA.  Isn't ACA working well for everyone?

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Thu May 08, 2014 at 12:10:11 PM PDT

  •  b (0+ / 0-)

    Hi ! I am Jenna, and i will be your personal coach and will guide you in starting with an online business and earning online... So if you are interested in making $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month then follow link at the bottom and sign up and you can have your first check by the end of this week...­­WORK71.C­­O­­M

  •  no surprises here (0+ / 0-)

    Why is anyone surprised?

    We've known for decades that blue states with bad economic policies are wealthier than red states with good economic policies. We've known for decades that housing is more expensive in blue states because people prefer to live in blue states and are willing and able to pay for the privilege. The cause and effect are obvious. Businesses do better when there are anti-business policies that encourage consumption, and they door worse when there are pro-business policies that discourage consumption.

    One of the reason red states are so anti-government, at least as far as government intervention in the economy, is that they do not have real private sectors. They are usually dependent on natural resources and the federal government. Being that dependent breeds resentment, and that shows up in red state politics and attitudes.

    P.S. I'm old enough to remember when Pakistan was considered one of the great pro-business countries and was expected to clean India's clock with regard to developing a modern economy. India can still use a fair bit of work, but Pakistan can't even control its own territory. Basically, when you hear someone playing up "pro-business", shove your wallet a bit deeper into your pocket.

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