Louisiana’s Corporate Media Has Forgotten Who The Previous Governor Was

His name is John Bel Edwards, y’all. In case you need a memory refresher.

I’m looking at you, WVLA-TV in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisiana is in the 50th spot for the second year in a row in the Best States Rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

The list considered performances in categories such as health care, education, economy, internet, roads and public safety.

“More weight was accorded to some categories than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people. Health care and education were weighted most heavily,” the U.S. News & World Report said.

Louisiana ranked No. 50 in the 2024 best states rankings. The Pelican State placed 50th in crime and corrections. It was 47th in education, 46th in health care and 49th in the natural environment. It was also 49th in the economy, 41st in fiscal stability, 49th in infrastructure and 44th in opportunity.

In 2023, Louisiana was ranked in the 50th spot.

And you, The Advocate

Louisiana scored dead last for the second year in a row in the annual “Best States” rankings released last week by U.S. News and World Report.

U.S. News staff ranks each state based on specific criteria: crime and corrections, economy, education, fiscal stability, heath care, infrastructure, natural environment and opportunity.

2024 marks the second year in a row that Louisiana was ranked #50 in crime and corrections and the Best States project by U.S. News.

Louisiana did see some minor improvements in economy and opportunity. In 2023, the state ranked last in economy and #48 in opportunity. This year, it ranked second to last in economy and #44 in opportunity.

But similar to crime and corrections, there have been zero improvements in infrastructure and natural environment within the last year, U.S. News says. Louisiana’s rankings in these fields remained at #49, and it’s health care score also stayed stagnant at #45.

Those are just two examples.

We couldn’t find a single news outlet carrying the story of how Louisiana finishes in dead last in the U.S. News rankings which bothered to note John Bel Edwards was the governor responsible for those rankings.

Edwards had that job for two terms, and in his final two years he presided over Dead Last Louisiana. And none of the media outlets bothering to cover that fact when U.S. News shined a light on it this week even named him.

Apparently, this just sort of happened to Edwards in his seventh and eighth years running Louisiana. He didn’t have any agency or even any relevance to these unfortunate rankings.

Despite the fact that he lied his way not just into office but into massive tax increases which led to a doubling of Louisiana’s budget over his two terms in office.

And what did we get out of that? Anything?

Not really, no. We got a quarter of a million more of our friends, neighbors and relatives picking up and leaving the state than coming. We got empty storefronts, a moribund economy, a badly sinking economic competitiveness relative to our neighbors across the South, skyrocketing crime in our cities.

But sure there was something tangible we could show for all that money, right?

Well, look around. What do you see?

New Orleans has a new airport. People really like it. But to get to it from the interstate, you have to wade through two traffic lights if you’re coming from the west. It’s one of the more idiotic setups imaginable, because Edwards’ Department of Transportation completely half-assed the design of the approaches to the airport.

Other than that?

We’re not here to litigate whether Edwards did a terrible job as governor. We don’t have to do that – it’s a fact. He did so much damage to this state’s ability to keep up with Texas, Tennessee, Florida and the other southern states it’s not even funny. You can’t even compare us to those states, because we don’t govern ourselves like they do. You have to compare us to the other states out there which are hemorrhaging population, like Illinois, New York and California.

And we don’t even compete with those places, because at one time Illinois, New York and California were the best places in the world to live. We have never been able to claim that.

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You can’t govern yourself pretending that you’re New York when you don’t have Wall Street, or that you’re Chicago when you don’t have the Mercantile Exchange and the other assets. But Edwards, the economic illiterate who came into office demanding confiscatory taxes on a business and industrial sector which was already stunted and underperforming thanks to decades of regulatory and tax-climate abuse, pretended that there wouldn’t be any consequences to running a $50 billion state budget on the backs of the productive sector.

Well, there were.

We’re in dead last after two terms of John Bel Edwards’ misrule of this state. And his successor Jeff Landry and our new state legislature are faced with attempting to bail out a ship which has already sunk to the bottom.

We haven’t picked apart Landry’s performance so far since his inauguration mostly because this is a massive, massive reclamation project he’s having to take on. It’s going to take a good long time to lift Louisiana off the bottom.

What we can say is Landry’s basic ideas are the right ones. Given time and proper implementation, they should bear positive fruit. But it takes a miracle to raise the dead, and make no mistake – John Bel Edwards was a killer for this state.

It’s too damn bad that this is the only place willing to tell you that truth. Lord knows the corporate media organs in this state won’t.

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