Cartoon misconstrued the facts on states

Submitted by Jim McEvoy
Posted 7/20/21

Dear Editor:

This is in response to the political cartoon by Wayne Stroot, published on July 8.

It shows a TV news anchor saying that WalletHub ranked New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York as …

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Cartoon misconstrued the facts on states

Posted

Dear Editor:

This is in response to the political cartoon by Wayne Stroot, published on July 8.

It shows a TV news anchor saying that WalletHub ranked New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York as the best places to live, with Wyoming ranking 13th. The armchair viewer then quips that Wyoming will “move up” as soon as WalletHub employees in those states “begin to get mugged.” The obvious implication is that states controlled by Democrats are badly managed, dangerous and inferior to Wyoming. 

WalletHub.com is a website that provides consumers with free information on various financial products and factors affecting quality-of-life. It ranks the best and worst places to live based on multiple parameters. Their data rank Massachusetts (MA), New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ) and Wyoming (WY) from highest to lowest as follows:

• Economy: MA 4, NJ 22, NY 31, WY 42

• Jobs: MA 13, WY 21, NJ 24, NY 31

• Wealth per capita: NJ 1, MA 5, NY 12, WY 14

• Healthcare: MA 1, NJ 23, NY 28, WY 31

• Public schools: MA 1, NJ 3, NY 12, WY 19

• Safety: WY 5, MA 7, NJ 14, NY 23

• Overall happiness: NJ 4, MA 13, NY 17, WY 31

Note that Wyoming was highest in terms of “safety” among these states but lagged behind them for most of the remaining factors.

This information is strictly relative and the parameters are artificial since quality of life is personal and individual lives cannot be reduced to a set of data points. It does not mean that Wyoming is somehow inferior or undesirable nor does it mean that the other places are dangerous to live in. 

Some Republicans, including a number of our politicians, hold the ideology that states under Democratic Party control are “irresponsible” and poorly managed compared to Republican ones. Having and expressing this belief while holding an elective office supposedly to serve the public is inexcusable. The First Amendment applies but that does not mean that the officeholder is immune from consequences, such as not getting re-elected or being forced to explain themselves.

States are more than just patches of ground. They are actually the people who make their lives in them. Stroot’s cartoon is offensive and callous because it makes flippant, insulting, nonsensical judgments about places that millions of people call home. I am from that part of the country and still have family and friends there. Who is he to insult others because of where they live?

Stroot owes us an apology.

Jim McEvoy

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