Sunday, September 19, 2010

Arizona's descent in "Third World" social and economic status continues

Let's see, after generations of Republican control of the legislature...

- Arizona has one of the most overcrowded and underfunded education systems in the country (more here and here)...

- Arizona has a literacy rate below the U.S. national average...which is already below that of places like Samoa, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan...

- Arizona now has the 2nd highest percentage of its population living in poverty in the United States...but hey, at least we're ahead of Mississippi!...

- Arizona has the third-highest teen pregnancy rate in the U.S...

On top of all this (and more.  I could have done this for hours) comes the latest news of the state's epic failure of leadership.

From an Arizona Republic article -
Worries about Arizona's economic future led a financial-services company this month to downgrade the state's debt rating, which could make it more expensive for the government to borrow money.

Moody's Investors Service lowered the state's debt rating from Aa2 to Aa3, citing the state's economic weakness, budget deficit and reliance on non-recurring revenue sources such as selling off and leasing back state buildings.
Hmmm... the state's "economic weakness, budget deficit" and the accounting sleight-of-hand used to "balance" the budget have led to skeptical views of the state's ability to meet its financial obligations?

No wonder Jan Brewer is running only on her "demonize Mexicans" campaign plank and Republicans all over the state are running away from direct debates with any ballot opponents.

BTW - While Arizona *is* ahead of Mississippi in terms of poverty rate, Mississippi is ahead of AZ in terms of credit rating.


Thane Eichenauer said...

The question at hand is, "Would the candidates of the Democratic Party be any better than those of the Republican Party?"

From the recent reversal of 2000-2008 to today one might presume that the Democrats could make the current Arizona economy worse that it already is (though hopefully with fewer news reports of beheadings and less prison escapes). I would also presume that there would be at least 2+ years where Goddard would blame Brewer and use phrases "I'm doing as well as can be expected considering the mistakes made by the previous administration."

A.B.B. is a lousy concept by which to select a candidate to vote for. That goes whether the letters stand for Anybody But Bush or Anybody But Brewer.

Arizona needs new ideas that will work for the benefit of We the People. Barry Hess for Governor will provide solution.

cpmaz said...

"Would the candidates of the Democratic Party be any better than those of the Republican Party?"

Yes, if only because most of them would actually want to do their jobs right. The Republicans in office don't seem to care about the real-world impacts of the ideology that they profess fealty to.

I'm not saying that Democrats are perfect (I grew up in MA - trust me, I know better than to think that all Ds are perfect ") ), but the vast majority of Ds that I've met in AZ both take public service seriously and realize that government can't fix everything.

Unlike the Rs however, they also don't believe that government exists to siphon money away from the poor and middle classes (you know, 95% of the country) into the coffers of corporations and the wealthy (the other 5%).

Thane Eichenauer said...

I will certainly agree with you that there are elected officials who use government as a tool of plunder.

Whether it is elected office or a more run of the mill private job much depends on what incentive a person has.

I don't meet all that many Republicans these days so I'll take your word for it that they don't concern themselves with the impact of their policies on the poor and middle classes.

I often focus on unintended consequences and perverse incentives which I personally don't see Democrats considering in their policy suggestions.