ALEC Mad That South Dakota Raised Minimum Wage, Lowers Our Biz Ranking

The American Legislative Exchange Council—where “Exchange” stands for exchanging the power of the people for the power of corporate colonizers—have issued their 2015 Rich States Poor States rankings of state economic performance and outlook. On performance, ALEC ranks us 14th. On outlook, ALEC ranks us 9th.

Last year our outlook scored 2nd, and for the six years before that, we always made the top five. What happened? We raised our minimum wage:

“South Dakota took ninth place this year in part because the state has no personal or corporate income tax, both of which are detrimental to economic growth. While South Dakota does many other things right, including being a right-to-work state and not levying a death tax, the decision to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour will cost jobs and discourage business expansion. This led the state’s economic outlook ranking to fall seven spots, from second last year, to ninth this year,” said Jonathan Williams, Vice President, Center for State Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council and co-author of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index [ALEC, press release, 2015.04.08].

ALEC is lying again: increasing the minimum wage has no discernible effect on employment (not in Great Britain, either). More workers with more wages will buy more stuff, meaning somebody’s business is going to expand.

But hey! Anything we can do to make ALEC like us less must be a good thing. Let’s keep moving in that direction!

31 Responses to ALEC Mad That South Dakota Raised Minimum Wage, Lowers Our Biz Ranking

  1. Also mentioned in the Argus Sanford is that Minnesota is ranked 48th according to ALEC even though it has one of the strongest economies in the nation.

  2. mike from iowa

    If it galls and pukes ALEC,it is good for the rest of us,body and soul.

  3. Richard Schriever

    Yeah, ALEC ratings are based on how closely a state’s policies align with ALEC’s philosophy. They have NOTHING to do with actual economic performance. Not data driven – of course, neither is their economic philosophy.

  4. Would someone please remind me why SD taxpayers are spending is it $500k a year to send our state legislators to ALEC functions when our state could really use that money elsewhere?

  5. Porter Lansing

    As we know … ALEC is the operational branch of Koch Industries aka the Koch Bros. who own virtually all the coal in USA and are the largest foreign investor in the tar sands of Alberta aka The Keystone Pipeline. As we nature/hunting enthusiasts realize “BURNING COAL KILLS FISH AND WILDLIFE” by producing acid rain. South Dakota should strive to rival MN for the highest rating possible. A low rating by ALEC is a badge of honor. BRAVO SODAK for moving in the right direction (but some conservative SD politicians who’ve taken ALEC campaign cash “got some ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy”) #grins

  6. The briefs and graphs sure don’t paint a clear picture as to why Utah is consistently rated #1

  7. Cory, I thought you disliked ALEC (‘hate’ is mighty strong word)

    So why do you even care what they think of South Dakota?

  8. I’m no supporter of XL, porter but, links for claims that Koch own most of the coal and tar sands? Sounds like you are saying they are bigger than China and the US gov.

  9. Porter Lansing


    Koch Industries and subsidiaries are the largest stock holder in Peabody Energy

    Koch Bros. company’s Pine Bend refinery, near St. Paul, Minnesota, processes nearly a quarter of the Canadian bitumen exported to the United States – which, in turn, has created for Koch Industries a lucrative sideline in petcoke exports. Denser, dirtier and cheaper than coal, petcoke is the dregs of tar-sands refining. U.S. coal plants are largely forbidden from burning petcoke, but it can be profitably shipped to countries with lax pollution laws like Mexico and China. One of the firm’s subsidiaries, Koch Carbon, is expanding its Chicago terminal operations to receive up to 11 million tons of petcoke for global export.

  10. I take it 50th is the worse rating? Let’s go for it!
    It’ll still be higher then the 51st rating for teachers salaries.

    Yes we are a Right-to-Work For Less state.

  11. I really don’t understand all this Alec business and just ignore it. What does it really matter what this group or the uber-libbie groups rank our Great State of South Dakota at? I say BAH on all rankings except the happiness meter in our own hearts. And if you ain’t happy, go where you are but just shut up about it, fer Dog’s sake.

  12. Porter Lansing

    @ Les … If you are interested in the intricacies and scope of the Koch Bros. a book, “THE OBAMA HATE MACHINE” by Bill Press is premier. It’s old enough now to get one used pretty cheap. It details their coal, oil and gas and other business’ as well as their purchases of conservative politicians to drive their overall agenda. i.e. – denying climate change. In the link above you’ll see how much their coal stocks have fallen in the last decade and they’re desperate not to lose the fortune they inherited from their father. Muddying the waters and shifting the focus to “climate change is unsubstantiated” from “burning coal and fossil fuels kills fish and wildlife” is their priority.

  13. MC, I do dislike them, and I am pleased to see that the people of South Dakota took action that irked ALEC. We should act similarly in the future.

  14. Oh, Lynn, good point: I really ought to sit down with some spreadsheets and run correlations between ALEC’s rankings and objective economic performance metrics.

  15. mike from iowa

    Ignore ALEC at your own peril,Grudz. Wait til they come after your gravy taters. You’ll be singning a different tune then,Reverend.

  16. They’ll take my gravy taters when they pry them from my cold dead hands, Mr. Mike, who is from Iowa. I think what you are really saying is that it is the sway this Alec has over the legislatures, both here in our great state of South Dakota and there in your state of Iowa. We need to not let groups like this or the libbie equivalents have sway over our legislatures. Do I have that right?

  17. mike from iowa

    Everything but the libbie group part. There ain’t any as poisonous as wingnut groups.

  18. Porter, that same tax law is why we know that the Canadian oil in the KXL pipeline won’t stay in the United States.

  19. David Newquist

    Corporations that have left ALEC. Today T-Mobile announced leaving:

  20. Deb Geelsdottir

    “If it galls and pukes ALEC, it is good for the rest of us, body and soul.”

    Mike said that, and others have repeated it in similar ways. ALEC/KOCH lies, lies, lies.

    I was thinking about the Psychopath Darth Cheney today. He and his pals lust for war to further enrich themselves, knowing that hundreds of thousands of people die as a result. That is the definition of psycopathy.

    The actions of the Kochs result in higher rates of various horrible diseases, cancers, etc. They are well aware of that, and continue anyway.

    The psychopaths lack normal human emotions, such as empathy and compassion, fear and grief. They are unmoved by the suffering of others, even as they cause it. They become violent, amoral criminals or often elevate to levels of great power. Witness Hitler, Pol Pot, GA Custer, Idi Amin, Boko Haram, and the above psychopaths. They differ only in the degree of human misery they create.

    Is there any doubt that Darth Cheney would lead the way to massive wars in Africa and the Middle East if he had the opportunity? What part of the world would the Kochs fail to ruthlessly exploit, regardless of human consequences, given the chance?

    Those guys are frightening.

  21. Mr. Cheney is a pretty swell fellow in reality, Ms. Geelsdottir. He is from Wyoming you know and they are a good people there. I just am increasingly concerned about the level of hatred that I feel from some on this blog. Look at all the postings and tell me there is not more hate here than over at Mr. PP’s kinder and gentler blog.

  22. Deb Geelsdottir

    I know Darth Cheney is from Wyoming.

    Grudz, he is not a nice person. He is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people for the purpose of enriching himself. That is factual, though he hasn’t admitted it.

    Of course I hate people who do monstrous things like that. Why don’t you?

  23. I see. I guess I am just not a hater like you, Ms. Geelsdottir. I am more of a lover, and kinder sort of fellow. Now, if you wanted to toss out some of the factual things that Mr. Obama has done and hurt people you could really get my blood arising. I’m just sayin. But I’m a lover not a fighter. If I were a godly man they’d annoint me.

  24. Deb Geelsdottir

    So getting hundreds of thousands of people killed doesn’t bother you because you’re a “lover, and kinder sort of fellow”?

    That’s fairly bizarre. Loving mass murderers. Have a nice time in Grudzilla-World. It must be a nice, placid, lovely little world there, children laugh and play while gamboling with lambies. Flowers bloom, butterflies flutter and the little birdies sing. Grudz and Darth Cheney skip gaily down the path hand in hand.

    (Whew! I haven’t ladled on a load of sarcasm like that in a long time. But then, no one has told me they love a psychopathic killer in a long time either. This is a special occasion.)

  25. Porter Lansing

    @ Ms. Geelsdottir @Mr. Heidelberger … THIS JUST IN “Global climate change denier ALEC (the Koch Bros. arm that buys conservative politicians freely and funds their campaign if they deny climate change in order to bolster Koch’s carbon polluting fossil fuel empire) is switching their position. We must remember when the ads hit the TV this election cycle that ALEC and the Koch’s presently have the world’s largest carbon footprint and are responsible for climate change DENIAL as we know it. They’ll apparently say anything and change their position at will when the winds (no pun intended) of public opinion sway.
    ” ALEC is not only insisting that it doesn’t deny climate change — it’s threatening to sue those who suggest otherwise.” – THE WASHINGTON POST

  26. Deb, Darth Cheney? I love that! LOL!

    Dr. Newquist great link above on which corporations that have left ALEC. “But these few years of prominence seem to be catching up to ALEC as it has enthusiastically pursued its mission to, in the words of one liberal watchdog to the New York Times: “Bring together corporations and state legislators to draft profit-driven, anti-public-interest legislation.”

    Here is a list of corporations still partnering with ALEC

    I was surprised to see Ford as a partner since William Clay Ford Jr has really been an advocate for energy independence, environmental sustainability reducing CO2 emissions and numerous green initiatives at Ford such as green roofs at factories, solar panels and in other areas. They seem to be walking the walk and not greenwashing. Maybe it’s the board of Ford that keeps this company in ALEC and with a little more social pressure they will leave.

    Here back home in SD we really need to pressure our legislature to stop spending taxpayer money on being a member of ALEC since it is so partisan. If these SDGOP legislators want to still be members than it should be on their own dime and not taxpayers.

  27. Cory; What’s wrong with the idea behind ALEC?
    If a business wants to relocate to an area, but they need technical savvy workforce, should the tech school start training in blacksmithing? If they need strong transportation network, shouldn’t the city resist building highways and discourage the railroads and air traffic.

    It seems that you want to drive business away, along with jobs.

  28. MC, people are businesses too. See what I did there? How about we continue the role reversal from the dogma that businesses are people and ask if we want people to move here to attract business, what should we do to help them?

    If businesses need people, should we ask them to build the roads to get their employees to work and their goods and services to the market? If they need trained workers, shouldn’t they provide that at their expense…or deep down are they socialists who think that the government should supply all their needs?

    My problem with ALEC is that they make no secret that they are in it for themselves and only to the extent that it is good for them.

    Quick question. How many companies in SD are members of ALEC? That’s what I thought. Then why are we are paying them to feed lazy legislators to inflict their policies on our state and our citizens?

  29. What idea, MC? ALEC is a front group to ensure that democracy is shouted down by big money. There’s all sorts of wrong with that idea.

    If you ever pull me back from the Democratic Party, I will default to hard-core free-market conservatism. If a business wants to relocate to an area but they need a technically savvy workforce, then they should expect to train a technically savvy workforce on their own dime instead of waiting for government to do it for them and pad their profit margin.

    (Back to being a Democrat)

    If a business needs a strong transportation network, they will come to the Democratic utopia I lead, because they will know they have a government that is committed to collecting proper taxes to maintain an excellent system of roads and public works for all citizens.

    I don’t want to drive business away. But I don’t mind scaring off (or better yet, re-educating) anarcho-capitalists and corporate welfare leeches.

  30. So Let me see if I have this right, if a business wants to come to South Dakota they should A) Pay tech schools to help train workers or B) import their already highly skill workers. If they need a transportation system, they can expect to pay for it themselves, to the benefit of the community.

    If there are laws that make doing business here difficult, those laws shouldn’t modified? (ie. direct wine shipments, or growing hemp)

    I agree, that ALEC has shady ideas, but the idea, for businesses to meet to law makers and find out what they need to move good pay jobs to your area, it a good idea. We even have the Governor’s Hunt to encourage businesses to move here.

    You meet with your law makers and tell them what you want; more pay for teachers, better roads, more high paying jobs and all social ills eradicated. Well, law makers meet with businesses to find out what it will take to move to their area, to increase the number of high paying jobs, to increase the money spent to increase tax revenue to pay teachers more and build better roads.

  31. Deb Geelsdottir

    Let’s take a look at what doesn’t make ALEC mad. Why it looks just like government handouts, subsidized housing and more for the wealthy. Take a look here: