Saturday, October 1, 2016

Bill Crawford: We need more private sector jobs to get off of the bottom.

For decades the U.S. Census Bureau has published data on income and poverty. Related news stories have consistently focused on Mississippi’s humble rankings. Just released statistics show Mississippi continues to be the poorest state with the highest poverty rate.
When stories about this hit the media, Gov. Phil Bryant’s director of communications, Clay Chandler, wrote this in an email to Mississippi Today: 
“It is interesting how these statistics only seem important to the media now that Republicans have some political power. Unemployment has been reduced from 9.5 percent to 6 percent. Teen pregnancy is down 26 percent and 92 percent of third graders passed their reading test in 2016. Mississippi is recognized as the most creative state in the nation for public education by the Education Commission of the States. But Mississippi Today and other media outlets gleefully focus on the negative statistics, often produced by the Obama Administration, in an obvious attempt to discredit any gains Mississippi has made. My suggestion would be to remove the bipartisan label from your heading and print your desires.”
Blaming Obama and criticizing the media seem a real stretch. Sometimes you have to man up to reality.
It wasn’t just Mississippi media that focused on Mississippi’s poor results. 24/7 Wall Street led off its America’s Richest (and Poorest) States rankings with Mississippi at number 50, showing us with the lowest median household income ($40,593) and the highest poverty rate (22.0%).
Among neighboring states, Arkansas ranked 49 with the second lowest income figure ($41,995) and the fourth highest poverty rate (19.1%). Alabama ranked 47 with the fourth lowest income figure ($44,765) and the fifth highest poverty rate (18.5%). Louisiana ranked 44 with the seventh lowest income figure ($44,765) and the third highest poverty rate (19.6%). Tennessee ranked 42 with the ninth lowest income figure ($47,275) and the tenth highest poverty rate (16.7%).
Nationally, the average median household income was $55,775 and the poverty rate was 14.7%.
Other Census Bureau data showed 44.3% of Mississippi households earned under $35,000 compared to 31.9% nationally; 2.1% earned of $200,000 or more versus 5.8% nationally. Right at 8% received Supplemental Social Security benefits compared to 5.5% nationally; 18.2% received SNAP benefits (food stamps) versus 12.8% nationally, and 34.4% received Social Security benefits versus 30.8% nationally.
Of employed Mississippi civilians age 16 and over, 17.9% were local, state, and national government workers compared to 13.6% nationally.
Of Mississippians age 18 to 64 with jobs, 15.8% had no health insurance coverage compared to 11.6% nationally. Of those without jobs, 44.7% had no insurance versus 28.5% nationally.
All these statistics result in large part from our low workforce participation and job growth rates. Just 58.9% of Mississippians age 16 and up participate in the workforce compared to 63.9% nationally, and, since 2010, private sector jobs in Mississippi grew just 7.3% versus 13.6% nationally.
To get off the bottom we should avoid foolish criticism and man up to reality. We need more private sector jobs with benefits and more Mississippians working.
Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Meridian (


Anonymous said...

We need more private sector jobs with benefits and more Mississippians working.

Good LORD! A whole column to state the obvious.

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about Rick Cleveland, but I'm pretty sure he never wrote a column that said, "To win more football games, MSU and Ole Miss are just going to have to score more points than the other team."

Anonymous said...

Legalize marijuana. It's a multi-billion industry that we are missing out on completely.

Unknown said...

Blasting Mississippi's new liberal public relations spin machine Mississippi Today is probably my favorite thing Phil has done as Governor. That thing is basically Mississippi's version of Propublica. Unbiased, my butt.

Anonymous said...

This column is the same as last week's - rerun season already for Mr Crawford?

Anonymous said...

I stayed in MS while a lot of friends and relatives left for greener pastures. They tend to make more money than me, but they also spend a lot more on housing. I landed in the middle class here, own a home, and while my life isn't luxurious, it's comfortable and the ends meet. I'd rather see a measurement of quality of life here compared to other states.

Anonymous said...

@3:01 you make a valid point

PittPanther said...

And comments like 3:01pm are why nothing ever improves around here.

Anonymous said...

How is that PP? You'd rather @3:01 had left?

Anonymous said...

I say end MS Financial Aid. Use the money to recruit pepsi to come back to jackson. We also need a Car plant in the MS Delta that has a connection to the MS river. We need to make cars that can be sold to the central america and south america. To pay for that plant I say open the state up for the lottery. Use the money to pay for the auto plant.

Anonymous said...

@7:30 Explain, if you can, how an average income of $70,000 in New York City is better than the $37,000 average in Mississippi when a 700 square foot apartment in New York costs $750,000+ and a 1500 square foot, 3 bd two bath home on at least 1/4 acre lot can be bought in Mississippi for less than $125,000.

Anonymous said...

The area I live in in Texas(zip code 78732) has an average household of just over $10,000 per month. Housing is very expensive and property taxes are very high. But no state income tax and public schools are excellent. Traffic is awful. A 15 mile trip can take an hour at rush hours. If you are young, educated and aggressive it can be worth the problems for the opportunity. If you are retired and have a fixed income it is expensive and tedious. I'll probably sell my house at a good profit and return to Miss where my money will go further and the pace is slower. All depends on what is important to you at that time of your life.

Anonymous said...

Mr Chandler may speak on behalf of a total doofus, but he's right about Mississippi Today. It makes the Jackson Free Press look like conservative propaganda. Fortunately it's easily ignored.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi remains conflicted.

Christians hate gays and remain highly segregated....but the church process remains all important.

I've watched young people question the incongruent positions only to accept it as habit.

Education is private/white v public/black (rare exceptions). Outcomes are vastly different.

Employers are few and shrinking.

Suburbs cannablize cities....creating false growth. It actually spreads tax base too thin creating too large of an area to adequately maintain.

There is no compelling reason other than family to remain in Mississippi....which is why it is losing ground.

Anonymous said...

Championing HB 1523, Feel cost MS big time in lost jobs and revenues.

Anonymous said...

Jobs, all about jobs.

Anonymous said...

Championing HB 1523, Feel cost MS big time in lost jobs and revenues.

How many jobs have been lost? Surely you having some empirical measure of actual job losses against which to make such a claim.

Taking a Look.. said...

"We need more private sector jobs with benefits and more Mississippians working."

Now there's a NEWSFLASH! Of course jobs are a key component in the income formula. And when an employer decided to GIFT benefits, it's a good thing, yet simply a recruitment and retention tool.

Another component in the work/income formula is getting yourself prepared for work and seeking it. If government benefits had been ended twenty years ago I wonder what we in Mississippi would look like. Don't jump too quickly to comment....we might be much better off. A whole nother exodus to Detroit and Chicago may have taken place and it might have eclipsed the one that took place in the sixties. We would be more independent, have higher standards of living, greater income per capita and less crime.

BENEFITS? I can't help wondering if Crawford, like Eric Fleming and many others, simply believes the private sector ought to be mandated to pay and increase its benefits gifted to workers. I'm guessing he does.

The grass is always greener over the septic tank.

Anonymous said...

Even if you think it's just about jobs, you have to face that it's also about attracting jobs. We have to be a place where others want to live not just work.
Some of you might want to look at what works and what doesn't work in other States.
Our cost of living is lower, but if you are going to attract wealth, the corporations also have to factor in that their employees they have to bring in will have to pay for private school just to get an equivalent education. They have to factor in what the things we don't do that are taken for granted in other states like helping homeowners protect their property values with tough ordinances so that when their employees get transferred they don't lose money.
The states that cut taxes on the rich are not doing well. Look at Louisiana before and after Jindal as a example. Look at how the median income in North Carolina has gone down as has their educational ranking and they are losing revenue by losing business they already had.
To contrast and compare, look at California and Kansas ( and Kansas certainly doesn't have our natural resources) that raised taxes on the rich. California rose to the 6th best economy in the world and will be 5th now that Great Britain will withdraw from EU.
Remember that California was in dire economic straits before the latest economic crisis. What is different is Kansas and California had leadership that didn't adhere to party nonsense. They have had leaders who were realists and pragmatists and didn't pander to the extreme elements in the political parties or play favorites. They used the taxes well and as a result, attracted new, well paying jobs.
Mississippi works against itself. Our key cities need to be helped to become economic attractions. Vicksburg and Natchez need to be aided to turn them into accessible tourist attractions make the areas around the tourist attractions attractive and inviting. We have to do the same for the towns on the Delta Blues trails. Our Capitol city needs to be a shining star because corporations go to the Capitol of any State. We need to make the most of our rivers. We should take advantage of our hunting and fishing attractiveness but we can't do that with just private membership camps.
We can't do make a start because we don't work together and worse we bad mouth each other or say absurd things so that no one wants to come. We focus on why anything can't work instead of how we could make something work. We fight over who gets what to the point we get nothing.
We can't be practical or accept constructive criticism. So, we'll keep doing the same things over and over and stay on the bottom.

Anonymous said...

It all comes down to two main things.
Poor education and high crime.

Companies will not come to Ms. because the working force is uneducated. In other states people have a better education and can perform the jobs necessary to have a successful company.

The crime rate is too high. A company would have to figure the loss in company theft, lost work hours investigating crime, and loss of personnel from criminal related causes.

People are not going to move to Ms. for the same two reasons and people are moving out of Ms. for the same two reasons.

Learn to Drill or Get Off The Pot! said...

The last several posters need to learn the art of drilling. As in 'drilling deeper'. In a root cause analysis, you simply can NOT stop at education and crime. Those two things do not exist independent of the causes you will find if you drill a few steps further.

We 'need to be this', we 'need to do that', we 'ought to do this', we 'have to try that'. Those silly observations are as worthless as spotting a wrecked plane in a salvage yard and hollering out the car window 'you need to paint that damned thing'.

In states that are 'poor' as in parts of states that are impoverished with crime and poorly educated folks, there are very simple things called common denominators. Neither crime nor poorly trained people are common denominators. They are simply outcomes and symptoms of common denominators.

Anonymous said...

California is an economic basket case.

Anonymous said...

11:11, is one of those PC people who want to talk a problem out of existence. Talking will not work. Making excuses will not work. Action is required.

The people will pay for a high school education. We cannot force people to get one. If you refuse to take advantage of a free education you will not get a good job.

If you are a criminal you have already taken a step too far in the wrong direction. The people cannot change it for you. You decided for yourself that you did not want a good job.

Learn To Drill Or Get Off The Pot.. said...

I'm 11:11. It is my suggestion and belief that in order to move toward any sort of solution, one must first identify the problem. Nothing posted at 12:30 says anything about solutions and fails totally to recognize root causes. We can each opine all day long to no end and with no value, as just witnessed at 12:30.

I have no intention of 'talking a problem out of existence'. I am one of those types of people who believe the problem must be identified. You can dance around outcomes and symptoms (like education and crime) all day long for year (and we have done that), without ever getting anywhere near identifying causation.

12:30 is one of those PC people who believes we can discuss the problem of pressure cookers and backpacks.

Anonymous said...

1. problem-education, possible solution-none without the cooperation of the kids without parents who care.
2. problem-crime, possible solution, get new law enforcement if the one we have do not do the job.

That should cover most of the problems.

Anonymous said...

From 8:01 a.m. - What is different is Kansas and California had leadership that didn't adhere to party nonsense. They have had leaders who were realists and pragmatists and didn't pander to the extreme elements in the political parties or play favorites.

Dry humor, I think? Kansas's financial situation is lousier than the Kansas Jayhawks football team after Charlie Weiss. Kansas's Governor Sam Brownback, Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Chris Kobach are not politicians most observers would call "pragmatists."

Anonymous said...

@ 5:43 - Once again, all you've listed are symptoms, not problems. Drill deeper or languish in ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Stupid PR release. Plays on the dislike of Obama to cover up poor results, not that it is all Phil's fault. We must change our image. Get rid of that da-- flag tp start with.

Anonymous said...

5:35, you fail to see them as problems as you have your own agenda. Don't try to over think a problem. You want to blame the problem on treatment of certain people and want money given to them to solve a problem that giving has caused.

Paydirt! said...

9:53 - Your post is not only asinine, it could not be further from the truth. As to your first suggestion, a problem can never be over-thought. And no, the problem is NOT treatment of certain people and I would leave this country if required to give money to people who in fact ARE the problem.

It would seem that YOUR solution would include tinkering with the education system. Have we not tinker-toyed it to death for forty five years?

The education system is not the problem. If anything, the problem, in that respect, is the demographic that the law requires to be IN the education system who don't give one whit in hell about self improvement or education - coupled with the fact that their custodial parent feels likewise. Therefore they not only waste each day in school, they make it a real struggle for others to learn as well.

Those who suggest that CRIME is the problem are also deluded. Crime is an outcome, a symptom of problems. The same thing that causes individual failures within the education system CAUSE crime. Lack of motivation, lack of self respect, lack of respect for others, the only parent who is around not caring, no acceptance of personal responsibility and no respect for others and their rights.

The thing that causes those realities is a demographic microcosm which has gleefully abandoned all semblance of family unit, all notion of civilized behavior and all understanding of what it takes to live in an orderly, structured society. They have no intention of doing that and resist it forcefully day and night.

THERE are your problems. As to solutions, I'm afraid the courts have managed to strip us of any workable solutions. Therefore all we can do is round them up and throw them in confinement.

The notion that societal norms and expectations must be retrofitted and dumbed down to comply with the mindset of this demographic microcosm is being continually forced upon us by liberals and socialists. The majority (this includes reasonable blacks and reasonable whites) have lost the battle.

So, you continue to piss and moan about problems and can't wrap your head around one when it's presented to you on a plate.

Anonymous said...

11:36, you sound like a politician. Lots of words that don't mean a damn thing but makes the person feel good because they think people are listening.
You mentioned a lot of things but it all boils down to crime and education.
Did the people vote you out of office? If not they should have.

Anonymous said...

Look I'm not pretending to know what is going on in certain communities, but in my opinion the author is correct. Poverty is at the root of our problems in MS. Everyone can not work for the government and there needs to be more private sector employment in MS. From what I can see, its hard to learn to when you're hungry. It's hard to give a damn about abandon properties or upkeep on a property when you're just scraping by. Poverty creates hopelessness and hopelessness can creates self destructive behaviors such as drugs, promiscuity, and crime that can have a devastating impact on family structure and communities. I know we want to make this a black thing, but some parts of Rankin county are just downright ugly due to the poverty and rampant drug use. What I want more of our leaders to do is take heed to what this man is saying. Our current economic structure in MS ain't working anymore. Good people are people are being left behind and we need to figure out a new way to include these folks in our future economy. Everybody can't be a lawyer or a doctor so MS needs to create an economic atmosphere that makes it easy for entrepreneurs in MS to create jobs and attracts business to our state. This whole divide and conquer thing our politicians are doing is just killing it for all of us except the wealthy. I promise you I wouldn't mind living next an "other" if I could own a Mercedes G Wagon and have the house of my dreams and I didn't have to work damn near two jobs to afford it. Come on MS. Let's stop blaming each other and work together.

Anonymous said...

No, Poverty is not at the root. Sloth is. Poverty is an outcome and symptom of sloth. Poverty doesn't just HAPPEN. It results from sloth in too many cases. One does not rise above sloth. That would take effort.

Anonymous said...

7:18 and what causes poverty? Could it be the lack of education keeping a person from getting a good job? Could it be the police record that keeps a person from getting a good job?
Get an education and do not be a criminal and you are much more likely not to be living in poverty.

Anonymous said...

Assume I'm a CEO wanting to build a new plant. My choices of locations are Texas, Georgia, Mississippi or aw hell, any other state. Why would I possibly pick Mississippi?
When I tell my hand-picked 'about to be manager' of the new plant that he and his wife and kids will be moving to Mississippi to enjoy cheap living and public schools, do you think he's going to jump at the opportunity? He will..until he goes home and tells his wife. Game over.

Anonymous said...

11:31 pm. So who lives in poverty is lazy? Come on you know that isn't true for all. If you don't realize these issues are complex and intertwined especially in this day and age, God help you. 7:18 pm. You've gotta look deeper than that. What is the cause of the lack of education or police record? Did an entire group of people just wake up and say F it I'm not going to try because God made them that way? What demoralizes them in the first place? Probably our current economic system that mandates that some people have to be on the bottom in order for a few to succeed. This couldn't be more true in MS. You know that we've manipulated our economic and political systems for as far as we can remember to give certain groups more power and then again to give other groups equal opportunities under the law when they have protested. However, as we gave others rights, we just replace them with other exploitable labor. You think the residual effects of that just go away just like that due to a law? Not advocating for socialism, but I do think you have to invest in people and in some more to make up for the shaft these groups have historically gotten. Look some exceptional people escape poverty despite the obstacles, but face with those same obstacles most people don't. I'm just say don't write off entire groups of people as lazy and beyond help. Getting an education or not being a criminal does not seem to be as easy as we would expect if you are not born into a stable home. Life's all about choices, but a lot people seem to fall short whether they are impoverished, middle class, or rich. I really want you to think about the series of circumstances that came together to get you where you are today (assuming you are happy and living comfortably). Life doesn't come together as easily or perfectly for all people.

Kingfish said...

What do I think? Here is where my head is right now.

GE recently moved from its Connecticut headquarters that served it for many years. The search for a new site lasted for a long time. There is literally nothing the state could have done to land that plum. We don't have the higher education that is what GE expects. We don't have the educational systems anywhere in the state to serve their employees and I seriously doubt our A schools can compare with public schools in the Northeast. We probably don't have the workforce to provide what GE would need, either. We couldn't have paid them to come regardless of how much money we threw at them. Think about that.

I have no faith in either party right now to change that situation. The culture of cronyism and corruption is too embedded on both sides. The racial strife just amplifies our flaws even moreso.

Meanwhile our homegrown businesses sell out and they become corporate satellites that care less about the communities they serve and are always at risk of consolidation.

Anonymous said...

KF, you pretty much hit the right spots.
Neither party is going to do a damn thing for the people. Why should they? We keep electing life long politicians that do not know anything about the common people and care even less. They have the other party to blame for all bad things. The people seem to be good with that as their party does exactly the same thing they complain about the other party doing.

Education in Ms. is a joke. The educated people that might move into Ms. become the same as the native people after a short time. Before I came to Ms. I was an educated person that could carry on a conversation with most people. IQ-132. Now I sound like a grade school drop out.

A good % of Ms. people do not have the mind set to hold down a regular job. They just don't like to work. We are a welfare state.

Nothing will change until we get a hold on crime. We will not be able to do that as long as our future leasers come from the dregs of society. With the birth rate what it is for educated working honest people compared to the birth rate for the uneducated, welfare riding, criminal type of people, things are not going to get better.

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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.

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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.

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