TIME magazine has an insightful piece on how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ focus on culture wars has obscured his terrible record on accomplishing much of anything positive for the residents of his state. The essay is written by William Kleinknecht, a political journalist and author of “States of Neglect: How Red-State Leaders Have Failed Their Citizens and Undermined America.”
Here’s an excerpt from “No One Is Talking About What Ron DeSantis Has Actually Done to Florida”:
Even a cursory dip into the statistics of social and economic well-being reveals that Florida falls short in almost any measure that matters to the lives of its citizens. More than four years into the DeSantis governorship, Florida continues to languish toward the bottom of state rankings assessing the quality of health care, school funding, long-term elder care, and other areas key to a successful society.
Florida may be the place where “woke goes to die”—as DeSantis is fond of saying—but it is also where teachers’ salaries are among the lowest in the nation, unemployment benefits are stingier than in any other state, and wage theft flourishes with little interference from the DeSantis administration. In 2021, DeSantis campaigned against a successful ballot initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage, which had been stuck at $8.65 an hour. Under DeSantis’s watch, the Sunshine State has not exactly been a workers’ paradise.