Monday, July 1, 2013

Red States Set to Wreck Their Economies Just for Spite

Okay, there are other reasons why red states are going to be up against it economically over the next year or so other than pure spite. There's also that viral ideology that hates gays, minorities, and women (women are not a minority).

I've been thinking for a while now that DINKS -- double income no kids -- have an easier time financially, especially if both people in a household are college-educated professionals. And the gay household is a classic DINK household. What's more, now that same-sex marriage is legal, at least in the 13 states and DC, there will be a tendency for gays who marry to move, over time, to states that make it easy for them to get all the federal benefits of marriage.

Christie can rail against gays all he wants, but wait until the bucks flee to New York.

New Jersey, though generally a blue state, has a Republican governor in Chris Christie, who has vowed to veto any legislation aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage. It didn't take long for that to start to be a problem. Here's one solution:
The battle over same-sex marriage is often framed in moral or religious terms. State lawmakers, however, might soon be debating its economic consequences as well.
Consider New Jersey, where 4,500 Goldman Sachs employees are based in Jersey City. It's a short train or ferry ride across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan, where 8,000 of the company's employees work.
Edith Hunt, Goldman Sachs' chief diversity officer, tells WNYC that in the light of the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling, the company is thinking of moving all of its employees in same-sex relationships from New Jersey to New York so they don't miss out on any tax benefits.
That's a lot of purchasing power that will flee New Jersey. Good luck getting yourself "groomed" for 2016 if your state is crashing, Governor Christie.

It's the same with Obamacare -- where the spite comes into play -- as red states get set to do everything to stall its rollout. Refusing, as many red states are doing, to expand Medicaid has more consequences than just denying healthcare to the poor and near-poor: It also cuts federal payments to hospitals to mitigate the expense of serving the uninsured, which hospitals are required by law to do. But don't want to play in the Obamacare era? No play, no pay.

Florida Governor Rick Scott: Originally against the Medicaid expansion until he did
the math, now can't get the Republican Florida legislature to play ball. Bummer.

Wait for the hospitals to start squawking in 2014 in the red states. Once more, that's bad for the local economies. As a matter of fact, they're already squawking:
The Mississippi Business Journal recently reported that some Mississippi hospital administrators say they worry about bad financial consequences if the state doesn’t expand Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul.
These health care leaders are worried hospitals will have to continue providing care for uninsured people even if the federal government stops reimbursing part of the expense. They say there’s a lot of uncertainty about whether the reimbursement will continue in states that choose not to put more people on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the needy.
The Associated Press interviewed Chris Anderson, CEO of the Pascagoula-based Singing River Health System. Anderson said it makes financial sense to put thousands of currently uninsured people into the program.
“I absolutely think the state should proceed with expanding Medicaid,” Anderson said. “I realize there are pros and cons and there is some cost. But if we do not expand, we are taking taxpayer dollars from the state of Mississippi and we’re giving it to other states. It is going to strengthen other health systems in other states at the expense of Mississippi, already the poorest state in the country.”

Mississippi's Governor Phil Bryant: No Medicaid for you.

Real bright, Phil. You're okay for now, but Mississippians aren't going to buy it forever:
I'm [columnist Sid Salter] just as certain that Mississippi will eventually get around to expanding Medicaid as I was that the special session would not result in the expansion of Medicaid in this state this year.
Why? The benefits of expanding Medicaid coverage in states like Mississippi with such a large amount of taxpayer-subsidized uncompensated care will ultimately be too large to ignore.
This debate could -- and no doubt will -- be repeated in red state after red state as they realize the fiscal damage.

The same can be said for the plight of undocumented workers and several red-state responses to it. Both Alabama and Arizona made undocumented workers worry about harassment, arrest, and deportation. Alabama is now up against a farm-worker shortage. Arizona is losing Hispanics in droves, as they worry about harassment and deportation, as well.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer: Got it right on Medicaid, but so wrong on Hispanics.

Immigration laws in Arizona have been studied for their economic impact, and it's not good:
Forcibly removing peaceful unauthorized immigrants from the U.S., separating them from their families, property, and jobs, to satisfy arcane labor market regulations created by Progressive politicians, is an appalling indecency.  It also inflicts significant economic harm. Arizona’s immigration laws have drastically damaged its economy since mid-2007. The humanitarian arguments may leave those who complain the loudest about unauthorized immigration unmoved, but the supporters of Arizona style immigration laws might be persuaded by the economic costs. [...]
The second problem is that E-Verify scares away businesses, investment, and workers.  E-Verify is tied to what then-Governor Janet Napolitano called the “business death penalty.”  Businesses that knowingly hire unauthorized immigrants have their licenses revoked on a second offense, killing the business.
Despite the fact that application of the business death penalty has been relatively rare the prospect has scared investors and businesses out of the state.  It was largely responsible for a shocking business formation rate decline of 14.3 percent in the third quarter of 2007 in Arizona, rates of business formation in California and New Mexico increased over the same time.
Two and a half years after LAWA was passed, Arizona created a more controversial law called SB 1070 to enforce immigration laws outside of the workplace.  The combined effects of LAWA and SB 1070 forced about 200,000 people out of Arizona, most of them from the Phoenix area.
And finally, the widespread war on women -- yes, it is a war, and, yes, it's on women -- will make the states with highly restrictive laws on women's health and abortion choices unfriendly to women, especially mobile single women. I couldn't find any data on this, so I'll have to wait to confirm it, though I will admit that abortion and birth-control restrictions unfairly harm poor women, who aren't very mobile.

However, Rachel Maddow presents the situation in Virginia where the Democratic slate for this year's state-wide offices was heavily influenced by women's issues, and it seems that the slate is all in for women's health:

We'll see what happens in Virginia, which had been trending blue before its detour back to the right with McDonnell and Cuccinelli. Both have tarnished the Republican brand in Virgina with their radical agenda, with McDonnell also getting into hot water for accepting illegal gifts and Cuccinelli getting caricatured by his obsession with sodomy and more.

Finally, today NPR's All Things Considered had a feature on turning a red state blue. Listen to it here.

Just as I pointed out yesterday that conservatives often work against their own self-interests, here we can see that, in the case of California, Proposition 187 was passed in 1994, and it took until Jerry Brown's re-election in 2011 to observe that California had moved from Reagan-red to Scharzenegger-purple to Brown-blue. Is Texas next?

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