While we are on the subject of state rankings, as discussed in this space earlier this week, perhaps we should spend a few moments visiting the John Bel Edwards administration’s own Louisiana Economic Development (LED) website, particularly the page entitled “Living in Louisiana.” Be forewarned, however, that the website, which touts the many achievements of his administration, urgently needs updating, as you will soon see.
Per “Living in Louisiana”…
Louisiana was rated the 7th Best Living Environment in 2014 by Chief Executive magazine. Well, that was way back in 2014, under the much maligned Governor Bobby Jindal. How well have we fared under John Bel Edwards? Try 33rd, which you might think would have to be one of the most precipitous falls in any recent state ranking, but wait for it:
In 2014, Louisiana was ranked as THE Happiest State in the Country according to Harvard and Vancouver School of Economics researchers. Six of the top ten happiest cities in the country were in Louisiana that year. In 2018, under John Bel Edwards, Louisiana’s ranking had dropped to Third Unhappiest State. Quite a reversal, no?
Louisiana had the 4th lowest cost of living in 2013, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Development Center. By 2018, we had fallen to the 18th lowest cost of living state. Thanks, John Bel. All those little tax and fee increases you told us wouldn’t amount to much in the overall scheme of things? Well, you were wrong once again! By way of comparison with our immediate neighbors, Texas is the 12th least expensive state and Mississippi the least expensive.
According to the well respected Tax Foundation, in 2015 Louisiana had the 5th lowest combined state and sales tax burden in the country. Today? Well, thanks to John Bel Edwards and his legislative henchmen, Louisiana now has the second highest combined state and local sales tax burden in the country, having edged out Tennessee by 1/100 of a percent! Poor Tennessee, you might think, but unlike Louisiana, Tennessee has no state income tax.
Education Week ranked Louisiana 4th in Early Education Quality in 2015. In 2019, our state received a D+ ranking. Texas received a C-, even with its big influx of migrants.
We had the most engaged workforce in 2013, according to a Gallup poll, but by 2018 Louisiana had the seventh lowest labor participation rate in the country. That should come as no great surprise because we have had one of the slowest growing economies in the nation. Louisiana’s economy has actually shrunk during much of Governor Edwards’ administration, in the middle of President Trump’s economic boom. Go figure…
There’s much, much more we could add to demonstrate the sharp relative decline of Louisiana under John Bel Edwards, but we decided early on that we would stick to his administration’s own website for the purposes of this article. It obviously needs updating, but we suspect that will get pushed back until sometime after the election.
And here’s one other thing that you might wish to consider, perhaps the most important point to be made:
The “Living in Louisiana” article, like so much else that comes out of this administration, including the Governor’s own remarks about all his successes and achievements, is just a phony sham.