Yesterday I mentioned the American Legislative Exchange Council’s grumbling about South Dakota’s increased minimum wage. Today I have a chance to take a deeper look at ALEC’s rankings of state economic outlook and performance alongside some data sent by an eager reader on the economic status of women.
ALEC publishes these rankings of state economies, which basically say that if you’re not letting corporations do whatever they want, your economy stinks. Meanwhile, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research ranks the states based on women’s employment and earnings and poverty and economic opportunity relative to men.
I’ve condensed the rankings from ALEC and IWPR into one nice neat spreadsheet for your viewing, copying, and tinkering pleasure here.
Regionally, South Dakota gets Ds in both categories of women’s economic status. Only Montana ranks worse in women’s employment and earnings. Minnesota tops the region in women’s employment and earnings (#10 nationally) and women’s poverty and economic opportunity (#9). Naturally, ALEC has things flipped, placing South Dakota in the top ten for economic outlook while throwing Minnesota to the floor at 48th…
…which gets me wondering: just how well do ALEC’s rankings correlate with IWPR’s measure of women’s economic status?
(The correlations of the IWPR numbers to ALEC’s economic outlook rankings are statistically significant; the smaller numbers for ALEC’s economic performance rankings are of questionable significance.)
Recall that positive correlations mean that as one thing gets bigger or better, so does the other (like the number of pizza rolls in my belly and my happiness). Negative correlations mean that as one thing gets bigger or better, then other gets smaller or worse (like the number of miles between my wife and me and my happiness).
These data tell us that in states where women appear to have better earnings, better jobs, better opportunities, and less poverty relative to men, ALEC is more likely to say the economic outlook is not as good as in other states.
In other words, we may have just quantified ALEC’s war on women. They don’t want women to succeed. If ALEC sees women succeeding, they’ll say your state is going to heck in a handbasket.