Stop the presses ….

According to a news release from the S.C. Department of Commerce, the Palmetto State has “tied for a second place ranking among the top states for key site selection criteria.”

Wait … site selection? For those of you unfamiliar with the term that’s “economic development”-speak for having a lot of available physical locations for businesses to locate (which come to think of it could be viewed as a bad thing if you stop and think about it). Anyway, the only state that beat us in this survey? Georgia … which isn’t surprising given everything our governor Nikki Haley has done for them.

Of course when you dig a little deeper into the source of this “ranking,” our state’s esteemed status comes into a bit clearer perspective. According to the Commerce Department press release, Area Development magazine “surveyed a select group of site consultants who work with a nationwide client base and are hired by corporations to scout locations that meet a company’s investment requirements.”

Wait … Area Development magazine. What’s that?

Glad you asked. It’s one of the publications Commerce (i.e. the taxpayers) paid a combined $170,000 last year.

The others? Trade & Industry DevelopmentBusiness FacilitiesSite SelectionChief Executive and Southern Business & Development.

So yeah … that nice No. 2 national ranking?

You paid for it …

In addition to these investments in “pay to say” media, Haley’s Commerce Department used at least $500,000 in tax dollars to help secure a new rental tenant for The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper – which owns a half-empty building in an unincorporated section of Richland County. The paper’s publisher, Henry Haitz, has repeatedly declined to discuss how much money his paper stands to make off of the deal.

As we’ve stated repeatedly, South Carolina’s command economic approach to creating jobs – championed by Haley – has failed our state miserably. And things are getting worse, not better.

A report released earlier this year ranked South Carolina as one of the worst states in America try and make a living. Other recent reports showed the Palmetto State as having a terrible business tax climate as well as zero upward mobility for its citizens. Meanwhile our labor participation rate is hovering at record lows.

And while Haley has done a fine job growing government, she’s failed miserably to expand employment in the private sector.

According to a report released earlier this summer, Haley ranked 34th out of 45 governors surveyed when it comes to private sector job creation (five governors were not ranked because they entered office in 2013).

And one of those unranked governors – North Carolina’s Pat McCrory – just leapfrogged Haley in a big way.

Oh well “it’s a great day in South Carolina …” if you pay people to say it is, anyway.