Rich States, Poor States, written by Arthur Laffer and others and published annually by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), embodies the policy agenda that ALEC pushes to state legislators: reduction or abolition of income taxes, fewer investments in education and other public services, less help for those who are struggling, low wages, weak unions. The centerpiece of Rich States, Poor States is the “Economic Outlook Ranking,” which ranks states on their conformance to ALEC’s preferred policies. While ALEC claims these policies promote economic growth and prosperity, the evidence shows otherwise.

ALEC Gets it Backwards in Rich States, Poor States

ALEC’s 20 “best” states are actually poorer than its 20 “worst” states. Read more

Anatomy of the Economic Outlook Ranking

The centerpiece of Rich States, Poor States is the ALEC-Laffer Economic Outlook Ranking. Here are the details. Read more

The Economic Outlook Ranking Fails to Predict Growth

How well do the Economic Outlook Rankings predict state economic performance in the years since the first ranking was published? Not so well. Read more

ALEC Fails to Defend its Methodology

Many have criticized the research methods of Laffer and ALEC. ALEC’s response to these criticisms fails. Read more

What Others Have Written about Rich States, Poor States

Key commentary by others on the research methods and policy prescriptions of ALEC. Read more

What is ALEC?

ALEC is a membership organization of state legislators and corporations. Find out how this works. Read more