A recent study identified "The 10 States With the Worst Economies in America." Seven of the 10 states have had Republican governors for the majority of the past eight years. Half of the states have had GOP governors for all of the past eight years.
Moral of the story: If you want your state's economy to suck really bad, vote Republican.
Joshua Holland, an editor and senior writer at AlterNet, conducted the study. Here is his list of economic ignominy. You probably will not be shocked to learn that six of the 10 states are from the Southeast, with our very own Alabama right in the midst of the misery:
3. West Virginia
7. South Carolina
West Virginia and Michigan are the only states on the list to have majority Democratic governors over the past eight years. Kentucky has been evenly split.
What accounts for the poor economic performance? Holland cites a variety of factors:
Three of the four states that saw the biggest real estate bubbles arise in the 2000s are on the list, beaten down by Wall Street hucksters promising them never-ending growth in home prices. People in California, Nevada and Florida, fueled by irrational exuberance, got badly “over-leveraged,” and when the house of cards fell apart, millions were left underwater. These states saw extremely high rates of foreclosures, and steep job losses as people pulled back on spending while credit markets tightened. States themselves invested pension funds and other reserves in mortgage-backed securities, thanks to AAA ratings bought from ratings agencies like Standard and Poors, and that, combined with a massive drop in tax revenues, led to budget crises and public sector cuts at the worst imaginable time.
Others like Mississippi, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama are cheap-labor “right to work” states. These are the economies that were devastated during the Civil War, came back only after the United States began mobilizing for WWII and have never truly caught up with the rest the country. . . .
Rounding out the list is Michigan, which may be seeing some “green shoots of recovery.” Michigan ranks fourth in high-tech workers and R&D spending, but has been hurt badly by the long decline of the auto industry, which was hastened during the 2000s by high fuel prices and an out-moded fleet of gas-guzzling products.
Even some of the floundering states that have voted sensibly for governor do not deserve too much credit. West Virginia and Kentucky have gone Republican in presidential races over the past eight years.
Michigan is the only state in the "bottom ten" where voters have shown good sense and still wound up suffering--and that is almost totally because of weakness in the automotive industry. On top of that, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is cute as the dickens (as we used to say back in the Ozarks)--much more attractive than the supposed GOP "hottie," Sarah Palin. When Granholm wears her spiffy glasses, she's got that "sexy librarian thing" going on. That will get my vote every time. (By the way, Mrs. Schnauzer is a Granholm fan too, so I'm in the clear on this one.)
As for the other states, the lesson could not be more clear: If you want an economy that is "el sucko," punch the GOP ballot for governor or president--and that is exactly what you are likely to get.