The business of America’s states is business
The worst, the best, the rest

The website 247wallstreet.com released its list of the rankings of how well states conduct the business of their business. For their rankings, analysts and writers examined hundreds of datasets from a myriad of sources to determine the rankings of all 50 state.

This caught my eye because Vermont, of all places, considered a hippie liberal never never land that never says no to the perceived needs of its populace, placed fourth. The twelve or fourteen rich people in the state are taxed pretty frickin hard to support the dental and mental and reproductive care of the half million of the rest of us.

To anyone who looks behind the headlines, though, this ranking probably won’t come as a surprise. Looking at the grinding gears of government shows a rock solid democratic legislature, working beside an executive of pretty moderate (at least by the 2010 standard) republicans. They exist in a dynamic tension, a balanced ballet of power and money. Very little happens that doesn’t seem like a pretty good idea to most of the people.

So, I decided to look at the other states in the Top 5 of the 247WS rankings, to see what if anything served as a common thread through the winners. Lo and behold, who were the other states joining Vermont at the upper tier of these rankings.

Was it our spendy neighbors to the south and west, Massachusetts and New York? No.

Was it our woodsier and more conservative neighbors to the east, New Hampshire and down east, Maine? Nope.

The winners (and our compatriots in this matter at least) were the northern Midwest and plains states… I mean we are talking about Wyoming and North Dakota at number one and two. Iowa in third, (Vermont, four) and Minnesota at number five. What on earth do we share with them besides some pretty hard winters?

Incidentally, the bottom five, the worst run states in America, represented the traditionally poor south, Kentucky and Louisiana (50 and 46), the nouveau poor rust belt Midwest, Michigan (47) and this week’s bankrupted west, California and Arizona (49 and 48).

It got me to thinking: what if there was an entirely subjective ranking of the states, based completely and unembarrassedly on my assumptions, prejudices, travels, and just my mood for the day? First, I double checked Google to be sure that there were no published polls of my rankings of the states. To my relief, there were not.

Then I got to work determining the metrics I would use. Before long this puppy had legs. I didn’t have a team of writers and analysts so I was forced to do all the work myself. After a few hours of that… it was sleep time.

Coming soon: 
The Chant Institute ranking of the BEST STATES IN AMERICA.

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