In continuing the ongoing story where Peter Shumlin is presented as being wildly detached from economic reality, I give you the best and worst states for business in 2013.
Let the betting begin, in terms of where we might find our fine, green, and wildly economically competitive state. Where’s VT on this chart? 39th out of 57, er, 50 states. We slipped a notch from last year, so now we’re ranked even lower than Mississippi, a state not known as an economic behemoth. If we’re 39th, how can Peter Shumlin claim that Vermont has ” the strongest job market in the region“, when our closest neighbor in terms of population, natural resources, and land mass, New Hampshire, is ranked 26th?
A few other untasty nuggets from the ranking site:
1. GDP Growth Rate
Vermont GDP Growth % 2010-2011: .5%
National Avg: 1.5%
In other words, our GDP growth rate would have to grow 200% to reach the pathetic national average. But hey, everything’s fine.
2. State-Local Tax Burden
Vermont Rate: 10.9%
National Average: 9.9%
We’re one full percentage point higher than the average, but 1 out of 10 is 10% – Vermont has a 10% higher tax burden than the national average. That’s supposed to make us more competitive?
3. State and Local Govt Employees
From the ranking site, there are 641 State/Local workers for every 10,000 residents. But with the number of federal employees included, Vermont’s “government” sector (according to BLS.gov) is 53,000. There are 306,000 NonFarm Vermonters working, for a total working population of 359,0000. This means that roughly 15 percent of our workforce, a workforce that only consists of about half the population of the state, works for the State, Local, County, or Federal government. Now that might not seem like a big percentage, but the Manufacturing sector alone only employs 32,100 people – or about 65% of what the government sector employs. We have 20,000 more government workers than we do manufacturing workers.
I’d like to be the first to break the news to the aspiring Senator, er, Governor Shumlin – something is massively, horribly rotten in my Green Mountains. Meaning the state has a pathetic, anemic, rotting economy, and he’s happily presiding over it, smiling and telling us that not only are we OK, we are “Vermont Strong”. How a rational adult can try to pitch what amount to economic lies to Vermonters, and hope or expect that they’ll buy it, is both the height of hubris, and cynicism. We can, and should do better.
I have some advice for Peter: If you’re that interested in a job in DC, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. We’ll have one less government worker who needs tax dollars to pay for his vacations.