Reports differ on ways to improve states’ economies

Lawmakers at the state and federal levels looking for ways to improve their economies often look to economic experts for guidance. But what do you do when you find dueling, conflicting reports?

For the past five years, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has issued a report called “Rich States, Poor States,” suggesting ways U.S. states can improve their financial and labor pictures.

The report ranks the 50 states in a number of ways, including their economic performance (Missouri was 39th in the 2012 report) and their economic outlook (Missouri ranked 7th).

But this month, a group called Good Jobs First issued a critique of the ALEC reports. Good Jobs First called its report “Selling Snake Oil to the States: The American Legislative Exchange Council’s Flawed Prescriptions for Prosperity.”

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