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Politics and Individual State Growth - 9/4/14

Here at the Morning Economic Report, we strive to be objective and apolitical.  To the extent that we are biased, it is in favor of risk-taking entrepreneurs, hard-working people, America and Maryland.  But today’s item has significant political content, though it is based on data supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

As reported by Marketwatch, 9 of the 10 fastest growing U.S. states during the fourth quarter of 2013 were controlled by Republican governors.  Six of the 10 worst performing states, on the other hand, were run by Democrats.  North Dakota, which is in the midst of an oil production boom, led the way with 8.4 percent growth on an annualized basis during the final three months of 2013.  Rounding out the top five were West Virginia, Wyoming, Louisiana and Nevada.  Only West Virginia has a Democratic governor among the top ten states. 

Some make the claim that Republican-run states benefit from lower taxes and fewer regulations, which lead to more growth.  Others are more likely to believe that this is simply a function of the fact that natural resource intensive rural states are presently growing faster on average, and these states tend to be conservative politically.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.