While reading the usual morning slew of bad news from around the world, I came across this article about the 50 US states' debt burdens. The article includes unsurprising claims, such as each Californian today owes $20,800 for past government policies and budgets, we're all the state's assets and liabilities to be summed and paid off today; New York, $20,700; Illinois, $45,000; New Jersey, $52,800. At some point, these states will raise taxes even higher on today's taxpayers to address past fiscal incontinence. In short, these are states I will avoid.
Looking at each state's assets and debts, it is no surprise to see resource-rich low-population states like Alaska and North Dakota doing well. It is a shame to see Indiana has a bit more debt than assets, but the difference is hopefully manageable. A state that I find very attractive topographically, Kentucky looks like a lost cause with debt around four times its assets. Kasich's Ohio is debt-heavy as well.
Of course, there is also the ratio of capital makers versus takers, the subject of a Forbes magazine Death Spiral States article. The darker the state on the article's map, the greater the number of takers. California, again:
There are 114 clients drawing from the government for every 100 people chipping in by working outside the government and paying taxes. We’re calling this the Feedme Ratio. Six states have a number over 100.
Years ago, my father was offered a well-paid engineering job in California. My sister and I were all for it, because we were mere children who thought California would be hip and happening. My mother was ambivalent. Dad called around to some people he knew in California and they were unanimous: Don't come! Extortionate taxes! Insane real estate costs! Thankfully, he heeded their warnings.