Given the recent spate of good news about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the GOP nominee for President and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney should be embracing his Bay State association instead of running away from it or re-characterizing it. Although it’s not a new stance for Mr. Mitt. During the last part of his governorship, Romney – in anticipation of a national run – whacked us from pillar to post to one and all who would listen. In 2006, his last year as governor, Romney spent all or part of 212 days out of state, as a GOP do-gooder but really laying the foundation for his presidential campaign . The Commonwealth was abandoned and then seen through the Romney prism – it was campaign fodder as he bragged about his over 800 vetos, touted a battle to interfer with the same-sex marriage ruling of the State Supreme Court, danced on the right of public employees – all while secretly scrubbing then selling the staff-used e-mail servers, abandoning his GOP recruits and then filing papers to establish a formal exploratory presidential campaign committee on his next-to-last day in office as governor.
It’s not the sketchy “Massachusetts Miracle” but let’s look at the just published Slate.com article on Massachusetts. While not ignoring our foibles, problems and propensities, the article suggests the real pluses of the Commonwealth. Slate notes that “The nation’s favorite punching bag is an exceptionally successful state.”
Here are a few items from the article:
- On the most basic measures of educational achievement—fourth- and eighth-grade math and reading skills—Massachusetts tops the nation.
- According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Massachusetts has the nation’s highest level of first-trimester prenatal care, and the third-lowest infant mortality rate (Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Missouri are about 50 percent higher). It also has the second-highest rate of child access to both medical and dental care, the nation’s lowest child mortality rate, and the lowest teen death rate.
- Massachusetts has the second-highest per capita personal income among the states.
- Research and development spending as a share of GDP in Massachusetts is higher than any country anywhere.
Read more here at Mark Vanhoenacker’s article on Slate.com. What’s your take?