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« Obama is learning, right? | Main | What does the global warming scandal mean? »

November 24, 2009


jj mollo

That's really a great presentation ... an example of just how much information can be conveyed in a graphic form.

Frank Warner

It is stunning. And it's almost startling how fast it gets you thinking about Nebraska. (Well, it got me thinking anyway.)


Here's a different take. Most of America's grain is grown in that strip that's suffering the least. Coincidence?

To be fair, I think Missouri has a big ag economy too but is suffering like the coasts. So my theory has at least one hole in it.

jj mollo

My theory is that the places that stay fully employed normally have a chronic labor shortage. Maybe it's a stereotype, but I picture lots of small towns where the kids move away, and they can't get doctors to settle there.


That makes good sense. The places that are suffering the least are the least populated parts of America. Except Nebraska... there are a lot of people in Nebraska, right?

Side note: DC certainly has good employment numbers!

jj mollo

The federal government jobs are pretty much immune to lay-offs. The per capita income in DC is also about 15% higher than the highest state. Maybe the secret is that their representative can't vote! Actually, there is a lot of poverty in DC, so the rich there are much richer than elsewhere. We'll just have to speculate on why that is.

Nebraska is 38th in population. It is even lower in population density. And the population growth rate is on the low side as well.

Those few states with lower population density than Nebraska are very cold, very dry, or both. In terms of per capita GDP, however, it is right in the middle and the cost-of-living, as near as I can tell, is about 90% of the average. They're doing all right. The poverty rate is also very low. Rich people don't live there. Poor people don't live there. Everybody works, and everyone wants to get out. Sounds like a communist state to me!

Frank Warner

Let's not go too far, JJ. Nebraska has the brain drain to the coastal cities, true. But it's not like a Communist state. They elect their leaders, they speak their minds, and they can and do leave any time they want.

(OK, you were focusing on the full employment, but I couldn't resist.)

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