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Published: Friday, July 18, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Facts needed to make argument

Most of us base our perceptions on our own experiences, just as the writer of the Sunday letter, “Where would we take our country?” Thus, he provided no sources or stats to support his contention that everything but the hunting and fishing was worse in the “many Republican-run states” where he has worked. It might be more instructive, though, to look at some actual data on this topic.
The 2013 Consumer News & Business Channel “scored all 50 states on 51 measures of competitiveness developed with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness.” Their website describes the method used (ranking of metrics, weighted categories), with the weights being based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. Thus, the “study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves.”
Of the top 10, 90 percent are/were governed by Republican governors and Republicans have or had complete control of the legislatures of eight of those states. The remaining state governed by a Republican governor had a split Legislature. Only one of the 10 states was governed in total by Democrats.
Of the top 20, 15 or 75 percent are/were governed by Republican governors and in 13 of those states, R's had complete control of the legislature. Of the five with Democrat governors, one has a Republican-controlled legislature. Only four of the 20 are governed in total by Democrats. (The key element is leadership and being able to work through issues to get results.)
CNBC's metrics were not the metrics used by the writer, but doesn't this seem more reliable than his anecdotal evidence? (I'm very interested to know how he determined there was “more ignorance.” Was that based on a survey of his associates and friends?)
Jeannette Sumpter
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

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