Friday, December 8, 2017

South Dakota Governor Daugaard Calls Me Out In Today's Rapid City Journal. He's Mistaken. There's GDP, And Then There's GDP Per Capita.

     Daugaard doesn't address the difference between GDP and GDP per capita in a piece directed at  me in this morning's Rapid City Journal.  In his op-ed column Daugaard claims that I erred in comparing U.S. GDP
Governor Daugaard
Not Seeing Eye To Eye With Me
with South Dakota's GDP in my own RCJ op-ed piece last week.  He's mistaken.  I compared per capita  GDPs, which are a vastly different and far more informative depiction of economic growth.  It takes into account population changes.  For example if GDP growth is 2%, but population growth is 3%, per capita GDP has actually declined because economic growth hasn't kept pace with the growth of the population. Here's a concise definition of why the difference is important:  
"GDP per capita is a measure that results from GDP divided by the size of the nation’s overall population. So in essence, it is theoretically the amount of money that each individual gets in that particular country. The GDP per capita provides a much better determination of living standards as compared to GDP alone."  In other words, the macro (GDP) number is one thing, its per capita counterpart is another.
     It's wonkish, I know, but Daugaard's correct cite of GDP growth has nothing to do with my comparison of GDP per capita growth.  Using the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis data, Daugaard would clearly see that U.S. GDP per capita growth has vastly outperformed South Dakota's, with the U.S. figure coming in at about +6%, and South Dakota's declining a bit.  I stand by my characterization of South Dakota's performance as "pathetic" and my belief that holding the state's governing class to an objective standard when it comes to issuing pay raises seems reasonable and consistent with many private sector benchmarks for performance.  The Governor himself even applies the principle.  In his FY 2018 budget message, Daugaard delayed until next year a state employee pay-for-performance component available to some of them "due to lack of available funding" and no pay increase outside the "market adjustment" for all other classified state employees.  A no-growth economy resulting in a drop of government revenues means nobody gets a real raise, which is basically the point I made in the first place.  
     Also, Governor Daugaard in the course of his piece noted that I often refer to myself as a Republican, but that my "op-eds and blog demonstrate [my] liberal bent on most issues." Coming from a lawyer presumably trained in the rudimentary principles of logic, Daugaard's ad hominem distraction is a surprise, though I suppose in this politically tribalistic culture of ours, fallacious reasoning  and its subsequent diversions can come to be expected.  In any event, I'm no longer a Republican, having changed my registration to Independent several months ago. What hasn't changed is that on a per capita basis, South Dakota's economy has fallen significantly behind that of the United States and five of six of our surrounding neighbors.  
     That said, I do appreciate that Governor Daugaard has given my work his time and attention, especially in a forum like The Rapid City Journal.  Our differences are obvious and profound, but in the long run everybody's awareness and understanding are elevated by public conversations like this. I wish the Governor well as he comes into the concluding year of his administration.  

14 comments:

  1. Hypocrisy that our liberal former Chicago lawyer in chief refers to himself as a Republican as his tenure demonstrates his own liberal bent on most issues. Its not happenstance that he poured money into supporting proabortion, anti 2nd Amendment, tax, spend, & create more government RINOs in SD, even as he waged war against we minority conservatives.

    His Chicago thug political tactics will not be missed.

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    1. Senator Nelson, my readers who are unfamiliar with the South Dakota political situation are unclear as to whether your critique is directed at me or Governor Daugaard. When you get a minute could you please clarify? Thanks.

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  2. It is not happenstance. He is unfortunately a Reagan Republican who realizes the party has been hijacked by the wing nuts who enabled Trump to win the presidency. Do you really think Reagan (or Bush or Ford or Nixon or Eisenhower) would support a Trump presidency or the extremism of the GOP today? No way in hell they would (and Bush 1 and 2 even said as much). I am sorry a supposed Senator is criticising John for being intelligent rather than applauding it.

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    1. Andy, I'm pretty sure Senator Nelson is directing his criticism at Governor Daugaard. As you can see, I've asked him to clarify.

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  3. Gov Daugaard if you're reading this: John Tsitrian is an engaged, informned, citizen,exercising his right to state facts and express opinions as a free man. I'm a follower of his well written informative op-eds on a wide variety of the issues before us. Your spurious attempt to distract from reasonable respectful discourse by labeling John as "having a liberal bent" is disrespectful and beneath the dignity of the office you hold.Divisive tribalism labeling rhetoric by political leadership designed to denigrate and divide the citizenry into a us vs them mentality,didn't work in the past, doesn't work now,and has no chance of working in the future.In fact it's dangerous and must stop. If liberal bent (read link) means agreeing with much of John's perspectives, then by all means Gov,count me in. Robert C Olson RC

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/liberal-meaning-origin-history

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  4. John, I am glad to hear you have changed to Independent. I was registered Democrat, living in District 15, the only Democratic district in Sioux Falls, thus the only one that would have a Dem primary. When Noem ran against Nelson and Knutson ran against Daugaard, I switched to Republican, so that I could vote for Nelson and Knutson in the primary. I stayed Republican for as long as I could stand it, but when EB-5 and a lot of the other corrupting factors in our state government became so apparent, I could no longer identify myself as a Republican, and switched to Independent.

    You wrote, "Daugaard delayed until next year a state employee pay-for-performance component available to some of them "due to lack of available funding" and no pay increase outside the "market adjustment"

    I went to Senator Rounds office here in SF, to protest the then proposed, now completed, tax cut. I ran into a woman who works at one of the largest employers in SF. She said that most of the employees where she worked had not had a pay raise in years, other than if they had changed classification of job.

    In the sentence that you wrote, that I quoted above, that may be part of the problem of the shortfall of finances in our State government. Since the beginning of the Rounds administration State government employment has increased more than 15%, while population and economic growth have been stagnant. Pay increases have been the norm in spite of performance of state government.

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    1. Shirley Harrington-MooreDecember 9, 2017 at 10:58 AM

      the cowboy running for Governor voted a couple of years back to raise wages in government because they hadn't had a pay raise in a while. He is out of touch. Unfortunately, the Dems chose him anyway. What about the rest of us, cowboy?

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  5. Again, and as always, great points Mr T, as WELL as backing it up with....facts!

    Reading SITTING Sen Stace Nelson's comments is an eye roller. Here is a guy, who is an elected official, who instead of wanting or willing to listen/read facts, he is content to just take pot shots and call names. This is a grown man. This is an elected leader doing this. Provides ZERO commentary or evidence why Mr T's GDP explanation is wrong. Just wants to name call and bully. (no, Mr Nelson, that is NOT leadership) Mr Nelson is a picture of why we are having problems and why we are a divided nation.

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    1. Thanks for the kind remarks, Diana. I'm pretty sure that Senator Nelson is directing his comments at Governor Daugaard, but I've asked him to clarify just to be sure.

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  6. Gotcha, John. I think you are correct. I guess what threw me is the "pro abortion, anti 2A" etc comments that Mr Nelson wrote. I didn't think that he was talking about the governor because Gov D has been anything BUT those things. But as always, Mr Nelson shows his true colors and most often, incorrect assessments.

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    1. I've never "poured money" or donated money on any scale to any of the causes that Nelson listed. I found Nelson's commentary about it confusing and off-subject. I hope he comes back to clarify.

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    2. John,
      You are correct. My disgust and condemnation are for our Chicago lawyer in chief.

      @Diana Your misunderstandings about SD politics not withstanding, I can assure you that my statements are in fact spot on. If you take a moment to review SD Right To Life’s assessments of Proabortion “Republican” politicians, you will find that Dennis Daugaard heavily supported every one of them https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/516a2d4d-586a-4f76-8436-ac9b2d494816 . Additionally, those “Republicans” are also those with some of the worst records on the 2nd Amendment in SD https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byj1_qYoGk8WN2c4Y2IyZVZHVUE/view

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  7. John, your commentary in the Journal today was, as usual, well done. Not surprising that some conservatives call viewpoints based on supportable facts and logic "liberal". Since the American conservative movement started off the rails in the mid 20th century, accelerating off into the weeds decade by decade, it has abandoned objective reality to its opponents.

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