Friday, November 30, 2012

Alaska The Sixth Best-Run State In The United States According To 24/7 Wall Street's 2012 Analysis

24/7 Wall St. provides detailed financial news, analysis, and opinion online. Since their articles are republished by many of the largest news sites and portals, their opinion has proven to be reliable, influential, and noteworthy. Every year, 24/7 Wall St. conducts an extensive survey of all fifty states in America. Based on a review of data on financial health, standard of living and government services by state, they determine how well each state is managed. For the first time, oil-rich North Dakota is the best run, while California is the worst run for the second year in a row.

Methodology: 24/7's methodology is different than that of CNBC, which places more concentrated focus on the business environment in each state, and then ranks the states on their overall “measure of competitiveness”. To determine how well the states are run, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed hundreds of data sets from dozens of sources, examining each state’s debt, revenue, expenditure and deficit to determine how well it is managed fiscally. They also reviewed taxes, exports, and GDP growth, including a breakdown by sector, to identify how each state is managing its resources. Finally, they looked at poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, violent crime and foreclosure rates to measure if residents are prospering. They also note some correlations; the ten best-run states tend to have the best credit rating from entities like Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, the lowest debt relative to both income and expenditure, the highest percentage of adults with high school diplomas, and the lowest unemployment rates. All data are from calendar year 2011, except for debt per capita, obtained from the Tax Foundation, and state budgetary data, which came from the U.S. Census Bureau, and is for fiscal year 2010.

And yes, Alaska does make the top ten, checking in at number six. Here's their assessment of us:

Screenshot from 24-7 Wall St.

Overall, we Alaskans have the lowest average tax burden, with no statewide income or sales taxes. Imagine where we would be if we has an All-Alaska Gasline, the Susitna Dam, or the Pebble Mine right now. PFD checks would be approaching $3,000 on an annual basis. We could pay more of our own way and rely much less on federal largesse (and be less hog-tied to the accompanying federal regulation).

We took an important step towards more aggressive development in this last election cycle when we scrapped the awkward 10-10 Senate Majority Working Group and replaced it with a real State Senate consisting of a decisive 13-7 Republican majority. Now our committees will be chaired by lawmakers who won't routinely bury pro-business legislation. And although Hollis French was returned to the State Senate, he's a Democrat, and now politically toothless; Sen. John Coghill (R-Fairbanks) has replaced French as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

According to Alaska Dispatch, Governor Sean Parnell is already aware of this analysis and issued the following press release:

"Alaska remains on solid fiscal footing, in spite of financial unrest around the globe and out-of-control spending at the federal level. While our personal income tax burden remains among the lowest in the nation, declining throughput in TAPS poses a threat to our long-term prosperity. We must increase production and spur new investment in our state".

Here's the full list of states ranking from best to worst. The New American notes that the states towards the top of the list offer more economic freedom and less government regulation than those towards the bottom. The details of each are available at the 24/7 Wall St. website:

1. North Dakota
2. Wyoming
3. Nebraska
4. Utah
5. Iowa
6. Alaska
7. South Dakota
8. Vermont
9. Virginia
10. Minnesota
11. Delaware
12. Tennessee
13. Texas
14. New Hampshire
15. Kansas
16. Washington
17. Oregon
18. Montana
19. Massachusetts
20. Pennsylvania
21. Wisconsin
22. Idaho
23. Indiana
24. West Virginia
25. Missouri
26. Maryland
27. North Carolina
28. Alabama
29. Colorado
30. Ohio
31. Michigan
32. Arkansas
33. Oklahoma
34. Georgia
35. Maine
36. Connecticut
37. Kentucky
38. Hawaii
39. New York
40. Mississippi
41. Louisiana
42. Florida
43. South Carolina
44. New Mexico
45. Nevada
46. New Jersey
47. Arizona
48. Illinois
49. Rhode Island
50. California

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