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Author Archives: Bill Crawford

BILL CRAWFORD — Hyde-Smith trumped Espy handily in run-off

As expected, Cindy Hyde-Smith trumped Mike Espy in the run-off election to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Thad Cochran. Yes, trumped, both literally and figuratively – literally because she won handily 54% to 46% and figuratively because President Donald Trump flew into Mississippi the day before the election and stumped for her in Tupelo and Biloxi. As I wrote ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Mississippi morality yielding to anger and hatred?

“Hatred is blind and anger deaf” wrote Alexandre Dumas in his classic “The Count of Monte Cristo.” In February, WalletHub.com ranked Mississippi as the 5th angriest and most hateful state behind Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Alaska. And the Clarion-Ledger reported “Mississippi has the third most hate groups in the country” per capita behind Idaho and Tennessee. This comes amidst reports of increases in hate and hate ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — McDaniel switcheroo shifts hot seat from Wicker to Bryant

Call it what you will, state Senator Chris McDaniel blinked. Despite his earlier caustic rhetoric, he will not challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Roger Wicker in the Republican Primary. Instead, he will compete in what he hopes will be an easier pathway to the Senate, the special election to fill retiring Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat. Assuming his billionaire funders stick with ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Trumponomics may push national debt interest costs higher than Social Security and Medicare

Basic math and what the Wall Street Journal calls “Trumponomics” are headed for a brutal collision.   Here’s why.   The national debt is $20.6 trillion and rising. With rates low, annual debt interest costs averaged about $250 billion from 2011 through 2016. As the economy improved, interest rates slowly ticked up. But, now they are expected to surge as ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Early intervention with disadvantaged children has high ROI

Gov. Phil Bryant kicked off a recent seminar at the Civil Rights Museum auditorium featuring Nobel Prize winning economist Dr. James Heckman. An expert in the economics of human development, Dr. Heckman spoke on “Making the Case for Investing in High Quality Early Childhood Education in Mississippi.” The Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning at the University of ...

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BILL CRAWFORD – New Year Economy Pivotal for Republican Leaders

The New Year promises to be a pivotal year for Republican leaders in Mississippi. With “job creation” tax cuts in place at both the state and federal levels, voters will be looking for Mississippi’s moribund economy to take off  But, that’s not what Mississippi’s state economist Dr. Darrin Webb forecasts. “Mississippi’s growth will not catch the national growth” in the ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Early interventions could lift Mississippi off bottom

What one thing could Mississippi do to have a more competitive workforce, a healthier population, more college graduates, fewer welfare mothers, better school performance, fewer special needs children, less drug usage and pay for itself seven times over?   Improve cognitive development in at-risk children right from birth.   Sound too good to be true?    Science says otherwise. It ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Will tax cuts ease economic distress and health disparities?

The 13-state Appalachian Regional Commission just released its latest county economic status rankings. Mississippi has 24 ARC counties with 12 ranked “distressed,” nine “at-risk,” three “transitional,” and none “competitive” or “attainment.” Rankings did not change from last year.   What do these rankings mean? ARC calculates the economic status of counties based on unemployment rates, per capita market income, and ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Casinos may get sports betting on the sly

Speaking of doofuses, did you see Geoff Pender’s column entitled “Did legislative leadership really fall for sports-betting rope-a-dope?” Or the earlier Mississippi Today story entitled “Lawmakers: Didn’t think law would legalize sports betting?” Lots of legislators are saying they didn’t know the bill they passed this year to tax fantasy sports betting may open the door for Mississippi casinos to ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Save us from doofus driven debacles

“Doofus” is an intriguing and timely word. The Oxford Living Dictionary says it likely originated in North America in the 1960s and suggests it is either an alteration of the word “goofus” or from the Scottish word “doof” meaning dolt. The Online Etymology Dictionary says it is “probably related to doo-doo and goofus.” The definitions range from “a foolish or ...

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