Wednesday, 13 January 2016 10:47
Mississippi says "Thank God for Louisiana"; Dumb luck for Governor Edwards
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Louisiana dead last 3Talk about beginner's luck.

Jon Bel Edwards takes over the Governor's mansion from former Presidential candidate, Bobby Jindal and is on the job for one day.  Lo and behold, his name becomes associated with the worst state in the union--Louisiana.  

Or, at least, so says Politico.  Here are the rankings:

1. New Hampshire (Maggie Hassan, D)
2. Minnesota (Mark Dayton, D)
3. Vermont (Peter Shumlin, D)
4. Utah (Gary Herbert, R)
5. Colorado (John Hickelooper, D)
6. Massachusetts (Charlie Baker, R)
6. Wyoming (Matt Mead, R)
8. Iowa (Terry Branstad, R)
9. Connecticut (Danneel Malloy, D)
10. Hawaii (David Ige, D)
11. Wisconsin (Scott Walker, R)
12. New Jersey (Chris Christie, R)
13. Montana (Steve Bullock, D)
14. Nebraska (Pete Ricketts, R)
14. Virginia (Terry McAuliffe, D)
16. South Dakota (Dennis Daugaard, R)
17. Maine (Paul LePage, R)
18. Idaho (Butch Otter, R)
18. Washington (Jay Inslee, D)
20. North Dakota (Jack Dalrymple, R)
21. Maryland (Larry Hogan, R)
22. Pennsylvania (Tom Wolf, D)
23. Oregon (Kate Brown, D)
24. Kansas (Sam Brownback, R)
25. Alaska (Bill Walker, I)
26. Delaware (Jack Markell, D)
27. Rhode Island (Gina Raimondo, D)
28. California (Jerry Brown, D)
29. New York (Andrew Cuomo, D)
30. Illinois (Bruce Rauner, R)
31. Indiana (Mike Pence, R)
32. Ohio (John Kasich, R)
33. Arizona (Doug Ducey, R)
34. Michigan (Rick Snyder, R)
35. Missouri (Jay Nixon, D)
36. Texas (Greg Abbott, R)
37. Florida (Rick Scott, R)
38. North Carolina (Pat McCrory, R)
39. District of Columbia (Muriel Bowser, D, mayor)
40. South Carolina (Nikki Haley, R)
41. New Mexico (Susana Martinez, R)
42. Georgia (Nathan Deal, R)
43. Nevada (Brian Sandoval, R)
44. Kentucky (Matt Bevin, R)
45. Oklahoma (Mart Fallin, R)
45. Tennessee (Bill Haslam, R)
47. West Virginia (Earl Ray Tomblin, D)
48. Arkansas (Asa Hutchinson, R)
49. Alabama (Robert Bentley, R)
50. Mississippi (Phil Bryant, R)
51. Louisiana (John Bel Edwards, D)

The ranking is good news for Mississippi which has notoriously been rated dead last on many surveys in the past--so much so--that Louisiana's standard joke, "Thank God for Mississippi" might be considered the official state motto.

Now, Mississippi, has bragging and perhaps motto rights.

According to Politico, "Mississippi has scraped the bottom of our list for the past two years—inspiring the governor himself to write a letter to the editor declaring it time to stop bashing Mississippi. It just might be, because the state has made a (modest) comeback, rising to second-to-last on our list. Louisiana, ranked second-to-last last year, fell to last place.

Actually, Louisiana is 51st if you consider The District of Columbia.

Louisiana ranks 41st in annual per capita income, 46th in unemployment with 6.3%, 49th in percentage below poverty, 19th in home ownership, 48th in percentage of graduates from highschool, 48th in life expentency at bith, and 47th at percentage of infant deaths at birth. 

The state is 49th in obesity, 41st in wellbeing, 49th in math (8th grade), 48th in reading (8th grade), 48th in income inequality, 45th in violent crime rate, 45th in percent employed in computer engineering science.

By comparison to the Mencken 1931 ranking, Louisiana at the time was 42nd, indicating a dramatic decline over the past eighty-5ive years (Hawaii and Alaska were not counted since they were not at the time, states.

For those keeping score, the top three states were led by Democratic Party governors and six of the top ten head of states were Democrats.

There are various ways to look at this report.  The then-Louisiana governor, presidential-hopeful, paraded throughout the United States declaring Louisiana to be in the throes of a "Jindal miracle", can now run for re-election and promise to improve the state's ranking from all of the bad lists.

Edwards now has a baseline to compare his scores to Jindal's.  As much as he might try, and as much as his political opponents might blame him for injurious liberal policies, it's difficult to go below last.

Louisiana babies who manage to survive birth and flhing bullets have much over which to be optimistic. They have one of the worst chances to get a job in the industries of the future.  They can compete against some of the worst students in math and reading.  Chances are, should they get a job and make a few bucks over poverty, assuming they finish high school, they have a better than average chance of having worst health outcomes.  

The good news, however, they have as much of a chance to own their own homes as half of the other Americans and can can sit home in front of the TV, eat and get fat, better than most in America.

Which is ok, after all, Louisiana does have one of the best college pigskin teams in the nation as its flagship university. 


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