by Jon Schweppe
Yesterday, liberals on Twitter — and dozens of journalists — rushed to retweet a story from the Associated Press claiming that the North Carolina so-called “bathroom bill” law, HB2, cost the Tarheel State an estimated $3.76 billion in economic impact over 12 years:
Over the past year, North Carolina has suffered financial hits ranging from scuttled plans for a PayPal facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion to the state’s economy to a canceled Ringo Starr concert that deprived a town’s amphitheater of about $33,000 in revenue. The blows have landed in the state’s biggest cities as well as towns surrounding its flagship university, and from the mountains to the coast.
Wow! $3.76 billion sounds like a lot. What a bad law, right? But Raz Shafer at The Resurgent puts the number in context:
AP reports that the 12 year economic impact will be a loss of $3.76 Billion. Let’s compare that to the North Carolina Gross Domestic Product, the size of its entire economy, which was $495 Billion in 2015 (according to the BEA). From 2013-2015 North Carolina’s GDP growth rate made it the 11th fastest growing state economy in the union. However, for our calculations, we’ll only assume a 1% growth rate, which is anemic at best, to make our numbers extra-conservative.
Over the same 12 years that the AP looks at, the total GDP for North Carolina would be $6.468 Trillion ($6,468.08 Billion). So we divide the amount lost by the projected total GDP amount to determine the percentage impact that the Bathroom Bill would have over the timeline that the AP has projected:
$3.76 Billion / $6,468.08 Billion = 0.00058. To convert to a percentage you move the decimal two places to the right and we find that the percentage economic impact is 0.058% of the state’s economy over 12 years. That’s less than 6 hundredths of one percent! [Emphasis in original]
Meanwhile, don’t forget that the principal driver behind the supposed negative economic impact of HB2 was a scuttled plan by PayPal to expand their operations in North Carolina, which, according to the Associated Press, cost North Carolina $2.66 billion in economic activity (more than 70 percent of the entire impact). The corporate behemoth blamed HB2 for their choice to back out of a previously negotiated deal, announcing that the law, which protects young girls from being forced to use the bathroom and/or shower with grown men, “perpetuates discrimination” and “violates the values and principles at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture.”
An interesting side note: PayPal’s “mission and culture” apparently allow it to operate in countries like Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is punishable by death… but hey, let’s not get off topic!
So, as you can see, Democrats seem to care a lot about the economic impact of policies now. This is a stunning development! Maybe it will cause them to reconsider job-killing, economically devastating policies like:
Surely these policies would damage — or, in the case of Obamacare, have already damaged — North Carolina’s economy by more than a measly 0.058 percent?
And what about the economic impact of religious charities and organizations in North Carolina that would have been forced to close by LGBT bullies had HB2 not been passed?
Don’t you liberals care?