What makes an economy shine in the eyes of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)? Apparently, grinding poverty.
Last week, when the Census Bureau released its annual report  finding that 1 in 7 Americans are now living below the poverty line, one of the most dramatic changes came in Arizona, which now has the 2nd highest poverty rate in the nation at 21% , trailing only Mississippi -- a steep drop from 2007 when the state had the 14th highest poverty  rate in the nation.
Arizona’s economic growth in the last decade was largely dependent on a construction bubble. As Progressive States Network has previously noted , in addition to the collapse of the bubble, conservative policies like reckless tax cuts, wide-ranging service cuts, and anti-immigrant legislation are now severely damaging the state’s economy, undermining its tourist industry, and driving away the economic contributions of Latinos. The state now faces one of the worst economic and fiscal crises  in the nation.