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ALEC Hates Economic Opportunity, Equality, and Progress for Women

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?

Correlations ALEC-EconOutlook ALEC-EconPerform
WomenEmployEarn -0.4390 -0.2707
WomenPovOpp -0.4076 -0.2311

(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.


  1. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-04-09 19:34

    Really nice work putting that all together Cory. Thanks a mil.

    The ALEC/Republican War on Women is wide and deep. Unless the 1% is able to ruthlessly exploit and abuse the 99%, they view that economy as poor. That’s why SD gets high marks from them.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-04-09 21:30

    Deb.let your hair down and git after Grudz s’more. I like it! :)

  3. grudznick 2015-04-09 21:37

    Mike, there in your state, Iowa, you have wiccans like Ms. Geelsdottir give the prayer at the meeting of the legislatures. That really gets me excited.

  4. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-04-09 22:29

    Oh Mike. Thanks for the laugh. We’ll have to get together some time. Maybe at Okoboji University. I have the official t-shirt, complete with logo, motto, and team nickname.

  5. mike from iowa 2015-04-10 20:06

    Ms Deb,You may ask Master Cory for my email address if you like. I am extra busy doing nothing at the moment. Perhaps we can knock heads sometime. BTW,I am mature enough to cross state lines. I just don’t travel well. :)

  6. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-04-10 21:46

    Funny Mike. I am able to cross state lines too. In fact, today is my birthday. 62 years old. Woo-hoo!

  7. mike from iowa 2015-04-11 03:24

    Happy Birthday to Deb
    You’re officially a celeb
    You have a ways to go to catch up to me in age. Forty five days to be exact until Leap Year makes it forty six. That should give you something to aspire to. :)

  8. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-04-11 16:58

    Thanks Mike. Flattery will get you somewhere!

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