Ready for another bottom-of-the-barrel national ranking for South Carolina?

The Palmetto State currently ranks 50th in the nation in “economic opportunity” according to The States Project – a collaborative research effort of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania.

That’s right … dead last.

According to the ranking, “economic opportunity” is based on a multi-criteria assessment that factors in a state’s unemployment rate, income levels and “income mobility” (i.e. the potential to raise one’s income level).  And while the Palmetto State’s unemployment rate has declined by a full percent over the last two months – that drop has been almost exclusively attributed to an uptick in the number of government jobs.

And let’s not forget that so many of the new “private sector” positions created over the last few years have come with a major price tag on the state’s small businesses (we’re taking about costly government-funded incentives for “economic development,” of course).

In addition to its worst-in-the-nation “economic opportunity” ranking, South Carolina also rated near the bottom in two other key categories – “health and wellness” (No. 45) and “educational achievement” (No. 41).  Frankly, given our state’s terrible SAT scores and graduation rates we were surprised to see our academic ranking as high as it was …

These terrible results ought to be a wake-up call for the “Republican-controlled” S.C. General Assembly and “Republican” Gov. Nikki Haley, who have joined forces to grow the state’s budget by leaps and bounds over the last two years – investing heavily in socialized medicine, government schools and crony capitalism.

Of course they probably won’t be …

“Republicans” have already dragged the state of South Carolina through one “Lost Decade” of mindless government growth – and they are well on their way toward dragging us through another.