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Economy: How Does Your State Measure Up?

March 27th, 2014 No comments
2012 Election Map by County. Credit: Political Maps/ NY Times

2012 Election Map by County. Credit: Political Maps/ NY Times

Economy: How Does Your State Measure Up?

original article written by Net Advisor

ECONOMICS USA. We’ll it appears that the U.S. economy has some growth and is also sluggish. When you average all this data together it sounds as if the U.S. economy is improving, and in some areas it is. Usually the way it works the sitting President gets the credit. We’re not sure what exactly the President did to make some economies grow, while others are seriously lagging. So we took a look at who is in charge of the state and local economies and the results were quite an eye opener. 

[1] 90% of the Top 10 Most Consumer Debt-Free States in America Have Republican Governors

I first came across this article (HTML)(PDF) written by Christine DiGangi at Credit.com. She discussed the credit-card holders who had the lowest amount of debt and what are the top 10 states they live in. Out of curiosity, I decided to check who is in charge of running those states. As it turned out, 90 percent of the most consumer debt-free states in the USA are ran by Republican governors.

1. Iowa - Terry Branstad (R)
2. North DakotaJack Dalrymple (R)
3. UtahGary Herbert (R)
4. IdahoButch Otter (R)
5. WisconsinScott Walker (R)
6. South DakotaDennis Daugaard (R)
7. NebraskaDave Heineman (R)
8. MontanaSteve Bullock (D) who won election against Rick Hill (R) in 2012.
9. MichiganRick Snyder (R)
10. MississippiPhil Bryant (R)

This doesn’t mean everyone is debt free in these states, but their debt is the lowest relative to other states in the above top 10 order. Somehow the people in these states are able to live where taking on debt is not a regular part of life compared to most other states.

[2] State Governments With the Highest Debt

The above report didn’t cover state’s ran by party who had the most state budget deficits. However, we did find a 2009 report (HTML)(PDF) by the University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs that found 17 out of 20 states that had the largest state budget deficits were controlled by Democrats. One state – Virginia who voted Democratic as a state in 2012 had a split legislature in 2009, while two states – Arizona and Kansas were controlled by Republicans.

Rank
State
Deficit per capita
Pre-election Control
Post-election control
1
Hawaii
$  788.56
Democratic
Democratic
2
New York
$  703.47
Split
Democratic
3
Connecticut
$  697.50
Democratic
Democratic
4
California
$  651.19
Democratic
Democratic
5
New Jersey
$  554.43
Democratic
Democratic
6
Delaware
$  511.11
Split
Democratic
7
Washington
$  485.68
Democratic
Democratic
8
Minnesota
$  479.65
Democratic
Democratic
9
Arizona
$  452.96
GOP
GOP
10
Massachusetts
$  451.17
Democratic
Democratic
11
Louisiana
$  437.92
Democratic
Democratic
12
Wisconsin
$  436.50
Split
Democratic
13
Rhode Island
$  411.95
Democratic
Democratic
14
Nevada
$  396.72
Split
Democratic
15
Kansas
$  395.66
GOP
GOP
16
Vermont
$  334.09
Democratic
Democratic
17
Maryland
$  317.36
Democratic
Democratic
18
Maine
$  303.51
Democratic
Democratic
19
Iowa
$  258.81
Democratic
Democratic
20
Virginia
$  244.46
Split
Split

Chart Data compiled by Smart Politics.

2012 Election Map by State Electoral Votes. Credit: Political Maps/ NY Times

2012 Election Map by State Electoral Votes. Credit: Political Maps/ NY Times

What is interesting is how the first map above appears to be dominated by conservative voters, and yet the second map immediately above determined the state electoral votes in the 2012 election.

As it goes, we continued doing further research on states and local governments and how they compare nationwide. We discovered the following.

[3] Six States Where Taxes Are Soaring

A 2012 report (HTML)(PDF) reflected compiled data for 2009 state budget shortfalls. So to be fair, we looked at who was governor of those states in 2009 which is noted below:

Delaware – Gov. Jack Markell (D) (2009-) (D) ran since 2001.
Legislature: Controlled by: (D) (chart above).

California - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) (2003-2011).
Legislature: Controlled by: (D) (chart above). State voted (D) in 2008 and 2012.

Illinois – Gov. Pat Quinn (D) (2009-) (D) ran since 2003.
Legislature: Controlled by: (D) (chart above).

New York - Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) (2008-2010) (D) ran since 2007.
Legislature: Controlled by: (D) (chart above).

Rhode Island - Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) (2003-2011).
Legislature: Controlled by: (D) (chart above). State voted (D) in 2008 and 2012.

Wisconsin - Gov. Jim Doyle (D) (2003-2011).
Legislature: Controlled by: (D) (chart above).

Interesting to note that in the above six states where taxes were soaring post 2009 election, in every case they were controlled by Democratic legislatures.

[4] Top 5 States With Lowest Unemployment Rate

Next we looked at state unemployment rates. According to a March 17, 2014 publication by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are the U.S. states with the lowest unemployment rate. We then highlighted the top 5 states on how they voted by political affiliation in the 2012 election.

Rank States with Lowest Unemployment Rate Rate
1 NORTH DAKOTA (R) 2.6%
2 NEBRASKA (R) 3.5%
3 SOUTH DAKOTA (R) 3.6%
4 UTAH (R) 3.9%
5 VERMONT (D) 4.0%

[5] Top 5 States With Highest Unemployment Rate

The same U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publication found the following top 10 states with the highest unemployment rate. The top 5 states are highlighted based on how they voted in the 2012 election by political affiliation.

Rank States with Highest Unemployment Rate Rate
1 RHODE ISLAND (D) 9.2%
2 NEVADA (D) 8.7%
3 ILLINOIS (D) 8.7%
4 CALIFORNIA (D) 8.1%
5 MICHIGAN (D) 7.8%

[6] Top 10 Highest Crime Cities in USA

Next, we looked at the crime rates in the top 10 cities in the USA, and the party affiliation of the mayors of those respective cities. We noticed that 4 out of 10 or 40% of the top 10 most crime-ridden cites in the USA are all in Detroit, Michigan.  History shows that Detroit has been run by Democrats every year since 1962. Detroit filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

Neighborhood

City

State

Violent Crime*

Odds of Becoming a Victim*

Mayor’s Party (2013)

 W. Chicago/ Livernols Ave. Detroit MI 149.48  1 in 7 (D)
 Mack Ave / Helen St. Detroit MI 145.29  1 in 7 (D)
 Gratiot Ave. / Rosemary Detroit MI 123.93  1 in 8 (D)
 S. Halsted St. / W. 77th St. Chicago IL 116.56  1 in 9 (D)
 Washington Heights Spartanburg SC 96.55  1 in 10  unknown**
 Scott St. / Willmington St. Houston TX 91.27  1 in 11 (D)
 Wyoming St. / Orangelawn St. Detroit MI  90.82  1 in 11 (D)
 Woodside Greenville SC  86.38  1 in 12 unknown**
 Hopkins St. SE / Adair Ave. SE Atlanta GA  86.14  1 in 12 (D)
 E. Holland Ave / E. Genesee Ave. Saginaw  MI  85.64  1 in 12 unknown**

*Violent crime per 1,000 people, odds of becoming a victim in that city over one year’s time.

** After extensive searching, we could not find official party affiliation in three cities. Junie White was listed as Mayor for Spartanburg, SC. We could not define party affiliation for Mr. White. For Greenville, SC., we found that Mayor Knox White endorsed “Climate Protection” (P19 highlighted) which tends to be a Democrat issue. Greenville, SC’s Vice Mayor Pro-Tem is Lillian Brock Flemming (D) (PDF-highlighted). Gregory L. Branch was found to be the Mayor of Saginaw, MI. The city apparently has never listed party affiliation for the Mayor’s office. If you have verifiable information, please advise, and send a tweet to @NetAdvisor or email us so we update this post.

Chart data source: NeighborhoodScout.com and Daily Mail (PDF), published May 2013. Party affiliation research by NetAdvisor.org®.

Conclusion
Based on the findings above suggests that despite the U.S. being mostly conservative, the top 4 out of 5 red states had the lowest unemployment rate, and 9 out of 10 red states had the lowest consumer debt.

The results also found that the area of the economy that has the highest crime, the highest unemployment, the highest fiscal debt, and the greatest increase in taxes overall, are dominated by Democratic ran state and local governments.

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Categories: General States