Tired Meme Alert: MN Gay Marriage Advocates Tout Bogus Economic Arguments


We've seen this argument floated before, and now it has popped up again - this time in Minnesota:

"In so many ways, this constitutional amendment [defining marriage as between one man and one woman] is bad for Minnesota employers and a distraction from the real priority for the state: growing the economy," said Charlie Zelle, CEO of Jefferson Bus Lines and chair of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The above was taken from a press release issued by a pro-SSM group in MN.

Maggie Gallagher took a look at this claim that gay marriage is an economic development plan when it was last floated in Indiana and demonstrated how it is bogus in her syndicated column:

Consider the state-level data on per capita personal income growth between 1999 and 2009, published by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The top five states for income growth in that decade are: Wyoming, North Dakota, Louisiana, Montana and Oklahoma. Four of the five states with the fastest income growth per capita have state marriage amendments, and none have gay marriage.

Or consider another potential measure of a state's business climate: What do CEOs think? Chief Executive magazine annually surveys 543 CEOs to identify which states are the best and the worst for job growth and business. In 2009, the top five states for job growth in CEOs' opinions were: Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Four out of five have marriage amendments, and none have gay marriage.

(The worst? California, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and yes, Massachusetts.)

Or consider another data point that comes from a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey, "Enterprising States," which includes a ranking for what it called "middle-class job growth." These are presumably the good jobs that the creative class seeks or fosters.

The top five states for middle-class job growth between 2002 and 2009 are: Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Hawaii and Texas. Once again, four out of the five have state marriage amendments, and none have gay marriage.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also compiles a list of states that are the top "overall growth performers": North Dakota, Virginia, South Dakota, Maryland and Wyoming. The top three all have state marriage amendments, and none have gay marriage. [Maryland has since rejected same-sex marriage as well.]

And back in 2004 Steven Malanga wrote a devastating critique of this "creative class" meme: The Curse of the Creative Class.