Friday, July 31, 2015

Dem. Trust: State falling behind rest of the South.

Note: Brandon Jones of the Democratic Trust submitted this column to JJ. 

The Southern State That Can’t Keep a Southern Pace

Mississippi falling behind in manufacturing isn’t exactly heart-stopping news. In fact, given our state’s long string of economic development failures, it isn’t even a surprise.

Too many times we have seen headlines crystallizing the sad state of affairs of our current economic and manufacturing environment. In just the last two weeks, we have seen two major articles in the state’s largest publications highlighting Mississippi’s dismal performance on manufacturing job creation.

An article in The Mississippi Business Journal reported that the Southeast’s manufacturing activity had improved in June according to the Southeast’s Purchasing Managers Index. Six states were including in the recent PMI; Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Of the six, four of them are experiencing higher economic growth. You guessed it; Mississippi was not one of the four. Not only was Mississippi not growing, we’re the only one in our region falling behind.

A week later, the front page of the Clarion-Ledger featured a Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research report card for each state’s manufacturing base. Mississippi received a “D” in innovation and global outreach. Mississippi earned an “F” in human capital and quality of workforce. Both of these reports come after a year where Mississippi saw ZERO net job creation.

With no job creation and a shrinking manufacturing base, this year doesn’t look promising either.

These non-partisan, impartial economic reports undeniably show where we lack leadership, and the impact our failure to invest in education and workforce development and training is having on our long-term manufacturing sector.

This is all further proof that to improve our economy, we must invest in our own people first.

Republicans in Jackson say Mississippi is in the best shape we’ve ever been. That’s an opinion that is not supported by the data. And the Republican economic plan: “Let’s throw everything at the wall and hope it sticks…” does not inspire confidence. It should be noted that the previous quote is not my exaggeration, Governor Phil Bryant actually said that.

Some states develop precise economic models to scientifically identify and target economic investment and create jobs. Our Governor’s economic strategy operates and relies on a “let’s see which way the wind is blowing” premise. That is no way to approach something as important as our economy.

Major manufacturing plants are a welcome addition to the state. Subsidizing them to the tune of $660,000 per job, however, is a horrible investment of state funds that is unlikely to ever be repaid. But that’s not the only poor investment Republicans have made. Mississippi is also on the hook for $75 million worth of misguided investments in failed energy start-up KiOR, which ended in bankruptcy.

Major manufacturing endeavors looking for a home in a state like ours absolutely have to have a strong workforce. Otherwise we will be stuck in an ever-escalating race with other states to see who is willing to give away the most money to prop up fake economic statistics.

This election year holds enormous consequences. Our current leadership has decided to continuously chip away at the fabric of pubic education. They are throwing tens of millions of dollars at companies that go bankrupt. They are threatening to cut agency budgets to lay off employees as a scare tactic. And their economic development strategy is rooted in offering out of state corporations enticement packages that would be laughed at in any other state in the country.

Our economic future depends on our own ability to elect leaders who value education and are willing to make the investments that create a greater economic climate and a stronger future for all our citizens.


Anonymous said...

I guess I'm confused. The state of the workforce in MS (i.e. a lot of poor African Americans) exist largely in part due to the entitlement culture created by the Dems almost 50 years ago. It has permeated now two or three generations of poor black families. Many of the most recent generation have zero sense of what hard work and accountability is. How would they, when everyone they are surrounded by lives on government handouts and literally do nothing, all day long? Dems can complain all day about workforce training...but you have to incentivize these folks to actually get up and go to work. Hard to do when you're sending them a check each month, buying their groceries, and giving them free rent.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty hard to argue with this other than to say the economic policy is pretty much the same as the years the Democrats were in office.

Indeed, he could have said " Mississippi's economic policy for decades has been to help enrich your business friends with tax dollars and create government jobs for your supporters".

Anonymous said...

One thing is certain @8:34 AM, the Republicans are as corrupt as the Democrats they replaced.

Anonymous said...

That's a long article that somehow manages to not contain one suggested change or improvement. I agree with comment #1 about the underlying cause of the "F" in workforce readiness.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with 8:10. The idea of entitlement is alive and well. These same persons stand in line to receive free school supplies (so what if they have to supply a fake list of books the kids have read), they now get free school meals without question and don't even get me started on the free holiday food baskets. With all they save with the free/discounted services and items, they can't buy a holiday meal for themselves? Maybe 40 hrs of community service in exchange for "freebies" would make them feel less guilty about receiving such generous gifts, such as they do for toy distribution. Disabled? NO PROBLEM! You can sit and fold/sort clothes with the others who are also "entitled" community service workers at either Goodwill or Salvation Army.

pittpanther said...

8:10, 8:53, and 11:07 all agree that the problem with the workforce in this state is because of the poor black (non) workers stealing welfare. Unfortunately this sentiment is shared by the governmental leadership of this state, and as a result you all end up doing nothing to improve any of the problems in this state. Organizations provide concrete, quantitative analysis of where this state lands in comparison to others, and instead of trying to solve anything, we blame the welfare bogeyman. But we then do nothing -we don't try to improve our state's condition, nor do we do anything about the underclass except complain. Meanwhile the state slips farther behind, even to the point where other southern states are leaving us in their dust.

Anonymous said...

1:44- Suggestion have been made, "many" times. Do away with HUD vouchers, and phase in no free meals. REQUIRE all SNAP recipients (even the disabled) to perform community service to receive their benefits. Elected officials won't go for it as the majority of voters against it are the lazy bums or do-gooders that continue to defend the bottom feeders. Until these ideas are implemented, Jackson will remain crime infested and in the sewer (literally).

pittpanther said...

It's not a Jackson issue, it's the STATE of Mississippi. Last I checked, this state is majority white and majority conservative. Therefore the conservative party should be able to easily implement any of the plans you listed (except for the HUD vouchers).

So why haven't they? Because it's easier to just blame a bogeyman and get votes, than do actually solve a problem?

Anonymous said...

Ah, Brandon Jones & Company along with their main strategists Jere Nash and Bobby Moak. I hear one of their main re-elect efforts in the State House is on behalf of Horan up in Grenada who word is an ethics complaint that was just recently filed against him for voting on Medicaid legislation when he owns an adult nursing day care.

Anonymous said...

Forbes Magazine reported in 2014:
"Cochran proudly ran on a platform of, “I’m a senior member of the Senate appropriations committee, and I can bring home federal money for Mississippi.” McDaniel criticized Cochran for this, accusing him of being a Prince of Pork. What McDaniel seemed to miss is that, with a stagnant national economy, the people of Mississippi need all of the federal money that they can get.

Ronald Reagan knew that economic growth was a prerequisite for solving every problem the nation had, so rapid GDP expansion had to come first. He also knew that it’s not possible to cut federal spending significantly when so many people are in so much economic pain. Reagan won his two federal elections by large margins.

By calling for spending cuts and a balanced budget, instead of focusing on growing the economy and creating jobs, Chris McDaniel joined the growing ranks of clueless conservatives that lost winnable elections."


There's your answer teapublicans. Some of you are so far beyond clueless we gave up a LONG time ago. The democrats have some good ideas and anyone in the stock market knows that the economy tends to favor democrats, but whatever.

Anonymous said...

8:10 it's motivate, not incentivize. To motivate someone to achieve a desired result you offer an incentive.

Anonymous said...

You guys have had years, and I mean years to try an increase GDP in this state under Obama. They call it a capital injection, I call it a bad word we don't mention. Now, since you've been at war with the very idea of investing in a labor force, I can go ahead and tell you now, if the Federal Reserve DOESN'T raise interest rates this year, then we're all fu*ked. You, me the democrats, the republicans......the only people that will be able to get away with any quality of life is the ultra rich, and you are not ultra rich.

The gov't has been increasing social programs to prop up the economy- it's an illusion- that's how bad sh*t really is. Even Trump understands this ( I can't beleive I'm agreeing with him) that we need jobs jobs jobs jobs. Now, what you have to do is create the conditions by whatever means necessary to allow for job creation. ( why do you really think Colorado is selling pot?) kaching $$$$$$ jobs; also it saves on putting people in jail. If training a workforce for blue collar jobs will help in the slightest bit, then I'd suggest you hop right on it.

Don't beleive me? Wait until sh*t hits the fan and grandma starts thinking about selling her liver to the Jamaicans. Wake up. Quit politicking and do something.

Anonymous said...

The GOP will never accept that cutting taxes and entitlements is not a cure all. That is their kool-aid and they will never give it up. For the Mississippi GOP, any money spent on big business is an investment (usually a bad one as it turns out), and any money spent on the neediest is an wasteful entitlement. Face it folks, all money spent is an investment, even entitlements. The trick is to learn which mix of investments gives you the greatest return in terms of a well functioning economy. We could have had a significant increase in the economy and general public health with Medicaid expansion, but that did not fit the GOP game plan. I think it is time to put the Dem team back on the field. The only reason the Mississippi economy is marginally better under Bryant and GOP legislature is because the national economy improved, and you can thank Obama for that. You may hate that and hate me for saying it, but it is true, true true.

Anonymous said...

I'm center-left politically, but I don't mind the GOP holding the govenor's seat if the person holding that position is somewhat competent. I realize Barbour is unpopular on here, but I thought he did a solid job as gov. Bryant has no vision and is completely set on gutting public education and pandering to the rednecks.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS