Just prior to the state elections of 2011, I wrote a column to discuss using a scoreboard to judge how well our state leadership has done during a particular term in office.
Well, here we are just more than a year removed from those elections. So now seems to be a good time to look and see how we, as a state, have fared in the last 12 months.
One could come up with dozens of categories for which to keep score, but we used just three when setting up the scenario in 2011. So, here we go.
>> Health care: This has been a problem for Mississippi for as long as anyone can remember. Last year, we were ranked 50th among 50 states. This year, we are tied for 49. Yes, we aren’t 50, but we are still tied for last. Gov. Phil Bryant has been beating the bushes around the idea of creating a Medical City — much like Houston, Texas. While we haven’t made a sharp move up in the rankings, there is good news in keeping the subject in forefront of peoples’ thinking.
>> Per capita income: In 2011, Mississippi was ranked No. 50. Where will we be after your four years (then eight years) in office?
No double talk. No long-winded, heart-tugging stories about children or old people or family values or Tea Party economics.
After one year, we are still ranked No. 50.
The good news is there are still three more years to make up some ground
In a perfect world, we would love to see some progress in these three critical areas for the business community of Mississippi.
What we are really looking for is numbers like, “42” or “35” or “27”, not 49 or 50. But I digress.
It will be easy to keep score at a debate like this. Plus, after four years, there will be no doubt whether Candidate A or Candidate B has been successful during his time in office.
On to the next category …
>> Education: Here is where we fall off the charts.
In 2011, Mississippi ranked No. 50.
In one accounting of education excellence, Mississippi is compared to schools in Thailand or Serbia.
We have to come up with a better answer.
If we don’t we will be doomed to poor healthcare and low wages and rankings of No. 50 for the next 50 years
Education Grade: F