January 20, 2013

Latest PJ Media Column (‘The Inauguration Speech Obama Should Give — And Won’t’) Is Up (Update: Detailed Comparisons Not Found in the Column)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:26 am

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Tuesday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

See more coverage comparing states’ economic performances during the 22 months leading up to the presidential election below.


UPDATE: The PJ Media column was originally going to be a more comprehensive look at how the various states performed in the 22 months preceding the November 2012 elections (i.e., from January 2011 to November 2012). It got unwieldy, so I narrowed the column’s focus only to which states had Republican and non-Republican governors during that time (29 did; 22 plus DC didn’t) and their comparative weighted-average unemployment rates.

So now I’ll get unwieldy here. :–>

I looked at four performance indicators:

  • Unemployment rate as of October 2012.
  • Number of points by which the unemployment rate change from December 2010 to October 2012.
  • The percentage decrease in the number of unemployed from December 2010 to October 2012. This avoids penalizing states which already had relatively low unemployment rates in December 2010, while also keeping them from resting on their laurels.
  • Percentage growth in employment from December 2010 to October 2012.

I have broken out statewide economic performance on four other objective classifications: First, whether or not a state was a right to work state during that time (21 were; 31 plus DC weren’t; I assumed Indiana wasn’t, because it didn’t pass right-to-work until early 2012); second, whether or not the state voted for George Bush in 2004 (31 did; 21 plus DC didn’t); third, whether or not the state voted for Barack Obama in 2012 (26 plus DC did; 24 didn’t); and fourth, whether the state had two out of three of the following characteristics: GOP Governor, right to work, and supported Bush in 2004 (26 did; 24 plus DC didn’t).

Finally, I decided to go arbitrary and compare 27 states which I believe are generally doing things right or generally trying very hard to do so (AL, AK, AZ, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MS, MT, NE, ND, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WY) to 23 others (plus DC) which aren’t.

Notable inclusions: Kentucky, where the Democrat governor is relatively moderate, in a state which is not heavily union-influenced despite not being right to work; Michigan, where a Republican governor has somewhat turned things around from Jennifer Granholm’s diastrous reign, and where right to work went into effect late last year; Minnesota, where a GOP legislature has kept Dem Governor Mark Dayton largely in check, even winning a budget shutdown battle; Montana, whose governor is a relatively moderate Dem and where Republicans have consistently won presidential contests by significant margins; and Wisconsin (two words; Scott Walker).

Notable exclusions: North Carolina, a right to work state governed very poorly during the past two years by Democrat Beverly Perdue; Nevada, where the Democrat-driven housing mess hit the hardest; Arkansas, where a Democratic governor is holding the state back; New Mexico, where a Republican governor hasn’t been able to gain much traction in improving the economy; and New Jersey, where Chris Christie has solved the state’s budget imbalance without raising taxes but has done a truly woeful job of improving the economy.

Here are the results:


In every classification, more conservative, liberty-oriented states outperformed those which aren’t by margins sufficiently significant and consistent that they can’t be written off as flukes. Without these states doing things mostly opposite to what the Obama administration is doing in Washington, Barack Obama would have had to explain away an unemployment rate well above 8 percent, and would have had a much more difficult time prevailing in a close (and yes, it was close) election.

UPDATE 2, Jan. 21: In the column, I compared employment growth in the four best-performing states (ND, OK, TX, and UT; +4.41%) with the rest of the country (+2.06%).

I have updated the chart above to show how those four states did compared to the rest of the country in the other three metrics.

Key takeaway: Those four states alone explain why the national unemployment rate came in below 8% by Election Day. Without them, it would have been 8.2%.



  1. [...] Latest PJ Media column tease, posted yesterday — Excluding just four states (TX, UT, OK, and ND), the nation’s unemployment rate in October 2012 leading up to Election Day was 8.2%. [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — January 21, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

  2. [...] This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Sunday. [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — January 22, 2013 @ 7:45 am

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