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August 23, 2016

Four years back, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback set out to make sure his state followed a different economic path from his bête noire, California. He succeeded, in a sense:

Over the last year, Kansas has actually shed 4,500 jobs… minus 0.3 percent — 5th worst in the nation. Only Wyoming, North Dakota, Louisiana and Oklahoma were behind Kansas…. The governor has stated for more than four years that the income tax cuts he signed in 2012 would lead to an explosion of jobs. That has not happened.

That dismal record earned Brownback an appointment as adviser to Trump.

Thanks to our “pro-life” state government, the infant mortality rate in Texas has doubled since 2010, and is now the highest in the developed world. The authors of the research (cite, pdf) are stunned by that number, and promise further study:

There were some changes in the provision of women’s health services in Texas from 2011 to 2015, including the closing of several women’s health clinics. Still, in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval, the doubling of a mortality rate within a 2-year period in a state with almost 400,000 annual births seems unlikely. A future study will examine Texas data by race–ethnicity and detailed causes of death to better understand this unusual finding.

Let’s hope it gets revised at least some for the better.

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