Saturday, September 2, 2017

Chairman Mary Needs A History Lesson

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Mark Rogers
by Mark Rogers, reposted from Quotations from Chairman Mark - Comrade Mal de Mary Mancini is out with a new attack on the Tennessee Republican Party.  Because I know you are busy, I am posting it here.

Friend,

Last week, the Republican National Committee held its annual Summer meeting in Nashville. Republicans say states are the laboratories of democracy, and Tennessee has been on the front lines of Republican policy experimentation.

The results have been an economy that leaves millions of Tennesseans behind. Some lowlights of Republican’s record in Tennessee:
  • 10th worst poverty rate in the US with over 1 million Tennesseans living in poverty
  • Ranked 38th in the nation by Kids Count for child well being 8th worst median household income in the country.
  • Highest percentage of minimum wage jobs of any state in country
  • Tennessee dropped in Education Week’s Quality Counts rankings from 21st in 2011 to 36th in 2016.
  • Over 365,000 uninsured Tennesseans
  • 8 rural hospitals closed since 2010

Tennesseans are realizing the damage Republican policies have done to our state and they are standing up. We need you to join the cause. Make a donation today to support our organizers and volunteers who are already knocking doors to win in 2018.

Thank you!

Mary & the Tennessee Democratic Party

Heavens. I guess we Republicans should be ashamed and just shoot ourselves. Unless we look deeper into Comrade Mary's numbers.

For example:
10th worst poverty rate.
I guess this would be a legitimate criticism of Tennessee Republican governance if Chair Mancini could demonstrate that the poverty rate was substantially lower in the years when Governor Bredesen ran the state. Or perhaps we could look at the poverty rate over the last 100 or more years when the Democratic Party ran the state without much opposition.

Serious, inter-generational poverty in Tennessee, like most Southern Red States, dates to the years before the Civil War when most planters opposed efforts to diversify the regional economy and to maintain the dominance of cotton. Blaming the Republicans who have controlled Tennessee for less than a decade is much like blaming the crew who mishandled the loading of lifeboats for the Titanic hitting the iceberg.

What the Democrats want us to see is that we have more work ahead to undo the damage of decades of corrupt protection for a ruling class that feared economic growth because it would attract new people and new ideas that challenge Democratic rule. Is it any surprise that as Tennessee's population has expanded in the last few decades, the state has become more and more prosperous and Republican?

Want to bet on where Tennessee is in a decade? My guess is that we will move up to the middle of the states and keep improving.

Kids Count Rankings.
Again, what are the trends? And it would be worth looking at the county by county ranking. Democratic policies and political considerations kept rural parts of the state poorer than necessary to preserve their political control and to reward local leaders. In parts of Tennessee, Democratic economic development policy consisted of adding a fancy road {also benefiting connected road builders}. Actually recruiting businesses that would bring in jobs that required educating workers would threaten the status quo.

Also, national Democratic Party policy didn't help. The Great Society increased poverty by ignoring education and training and investments in jobs. The problems faced by Memphis, for example, cannot be blamed on Tennessee or national Republicans. If you take the counties with the heaviest Democratic voting out of the Kids Count numbers, how does Tennessee fair?

Now, having said that, it is the responsibility of the Republican Party in the state to work with Memphis and Shelby County and all the other areas with the greatest problems to do everything possible to help them to build greater prosperity. We must do better than the Democrats.

Highest percentage of minimum wage jobs.
Better than no jobs right? And we have been a low wage state for decades under Democrats because they didn't improve Education or recruit better jobs.

What Chairman Mary doesn't say is how many good new jobs are being created by existing employers or brought to the state because of our business climate under Republicans. What about all the new investment Mary? What about the great industries moving here?

I guess Mary doesn't want us to look at all the facts because they are inconvenient truths for Democrats.

Education Week’s Quality Counts rankings. Mary provides no specifics. Why did we fall? Perhaps other states rose? Why matters. Well, maybe not to Democrats like Chairman Mary.
Plenty of other organizations have heaped praise on Tennessee's Education rankings. Where is Mary's reporting of those results?

Over 365,000 uninsured Tennesseans.
Governor McWherter could have solved that in the early 90s with a more thought out plan than TennCare and the willingness to impose a state income tax to fund it. No Governor has has McWherter's power. That he refused to use it to really solve the problem is not a Republican crime.
I supported InsureTN. I still like some form of state support for poor families in health care. But again, you cannot simply blame Republicans without looking at the history of health care in the state. Governor Haslam was right about this.

8 rural hospitals closed since 2010.
Again, Chair Mary provides a data point without context. Would Medicaid expansion have saved these hospitals? Why did each close? Fact matter.

Clearly Chair Mary needs to study some history before she tries to blame 100+ years of failures on less than 10 years of Republican governance.

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