What Others Have Written about Rich States, Poor States

ALEC Tax and Budget Proposals Would Slash Public Services and Jeopardize Economic Growth

Erica Williams and Nicholas Johnson, Center on Budget and Policy Priories, February 12, 2013

“ALEC’s fiscal policies would cut taxes deeply especially for corporations, investors, and wealthy Americans; shift tax burdens from corporations and the wealthy to other state residents; and impose rigid limits on state revenues and spending through changes in both state laws and constitutions.  All told, its fiscal agenda would shrink state tax revenues, make it much harder for states to invest in education, infrastructure, and other priorities important for economic growth, and likely reduce growth over time.”

State Employment Trends: Does a Low Tax/Right-to-Work/Low Minimum Wage Regime Correlate to Growth – An Econometric Addendum

Menzie Chinn, Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

“If there is any evidence, it suggests that a higher ALEC-Laffer Economic Outlook score is associated with a worse economic performance.”

Arthur Laffer’s Rich States, Poor States Is More Wish List Than Analysis

Tax Justice blog, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, April 13, 2012

“As we’ve pointed out before, the most laughable thing about the Index is the way it claims to provide a look at the important “policy variables” under the control of state lawmakers, but then ignores the ones that actually matter. For instance, few people would argue that good schools or basic infrastructure (power, transit, roads) are unimportant to states’ economic performance.  But the ALEC-Laffer rankings give states no credit for either of these outcomes. On the contrary, adequately funding any public service actually reduces states’ rankings…”

‘Rich States, Poor States,’ Red States, Blue States

Laura Macomber, Okapi Productions, June 6, 2013, on Moyers & Co.

“Many local news outlets are touting the report as a concrete source for assessing their state’s economic performance. But it appears that ideology is what gets a state to the top — or the bottom — of the rankings.”

From bad to worse: How Arthur Laffer’s “Rich States, Poor States” rankings refute themselves

Aaron Keating, Economic Opportunity Institute, April 18, 2014

“Arthur Laffer’s own data says his “Rich States, Poor States” rankings were never that good – and they’re getting worse. A coin flip is actually a better predictor of economic performance.”

ALEC’s (and Arthur Laffer’s) Worthless Recommendations for Prosperity in the States

Michael Lipsky, on Demos’ PolicyShop, November 30, 2012

Commenting on our Selling Snake Oil to the States: “One report can hardly be expected fully to turn back the simplistic analysis that ALEC has been promoting for understanding state economic development. But this one should provide a strong counter-weight to the notion that states can prosper by following the low road of tax cuts and limited support for the public sector.”

A Reporters’ Guide to the Koch-funded Rich States, Poor States ALEC Report

Mary Bottari, on The Progressive, April 14, 2014

“The document, whose lead author is economist Arthur Laffer, is sold to the press as an objective, academic measure of state economic performance, but should instead be viewed more as a lobby scorecard ranking states on the adoption of extreme ALEC policies that have little or nothing to do with economic outcomes. This year, leaked documents revealed that the report is directly funded by the Kochs, on top of longstanding Koch support for ALEC itself.”

ALEC fires back, but proves its ‘pro-business’ state index is bogus

Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

“They insist that ‘there is extensive evidence that economic freedom does matter to economic performance and that politicians can do little to alter the other factors that affect economic growth.’
Is that so? Politicians can’t influence ‘quality governance and basic public services’? Can’t implement policies that attract ‘innovation hubs’ and ‘talented labor and entrepreneurs’? Evidently these things are deposited upon lucky states by meteorite.”