Thursday, May 8, 2014

Now FRC's Peter Sprigg is an economist - and not a very competent one

Peter Sprigg
Peter Sprigg is Family Research Council's homosexuality expert. Apparently this is because Mr. Sprigg is a Baptist minister. Sprigg is also unoriginal and one of the reasons that FRC is labeled an anti-gay hate group.

Today Sprigg is trying to convince us that marriage equality is not good for the economy based upon selective indices. It is an argument quite similar to one made by Maggie Gallagher a few years ago. It was a dumb argument when Maggie made it and it has not improved with age.

Sprigg's spectacularly stupid argument, in a nutshell, is that:

  • Only one state (Hawaii) of the 10 States With Biggest Rate of Job Growth in 2013 recognizes same-sex marriage.
  • Only one state (Washington) of the states with the greatest population growth recognizes same-sex marriage.
  • Only two states (Washington and Iowa) of the top ten states in personal income growth from 2012 to 2013 recognize same-sex marriage.
First off, these are all lagging (in contrast to leading) indicators. For example, job growth in 2013 is a reflection of recent influences as well as influences that might have occurred a decade ago. Marriage equality is relatively new. Without getting too complicated, these things depend upon the influences upon the base number as well as those that measure change.

None of these are key indicators. These do not depict the economic condition. The leading economic indicator of a state is gross product. We must also consider CES (current employment statistics) which includes employment and unemployment in full and part time jobs. Personal consumption (retail trade sales and food services sales) is required for a proper analysis. Then there are housing starts as well as manufacturing and trade inventories and sales. These things are just some of the key indices that economists consider.

The basic common sense economic logic is indisputable. Marriage equality provides the potential for expenditures on weddings, wedding celebrations, tourism, hospitality services and gifts. Some of this money may come from out-of-state. With federal recognition, people are traveling from marriage discrimination states to marriage equality states. Family and friends may be traveling with them. Williams Institute, for example, estimates that extending marriage to same-sex couples in Utah would generate $15.5 million in spending to the state and local economy as well as $1 million in state and local tax revenues and Utah is a tiny state.

Mr. Sprigg is simply an anti-gay hate monger who will concoct any theory, regardless of the inherent logic, if it disparages gay people. This is just one more example. 
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