Not Seeing Eye To Eye With Me
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.