Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bad Comparisons



Even as I write these words, I know I am headed down the wrong path. I have stumbled upon Wikipedia’s List of U.S. States by GDP and I am fascinated. I already knew about Wikipedia’s List of Countries by GDP. And, of course, I can’t help comparing the two. Which is probably wrong of me to do. But I can’t help myself.

For instance, if my State, Georgia (the U.S. Georgia, not the European Georgia) were a country we’d have an economy the size of Iran’s. Just think, Nathan Deal (Governor of Georgia) could cause as much commotion at the UN as Ahmadinejad. He could threaten to wipe Louisiana off the map. Because Louisiana’s economy is the size of Israel’s.

See, I told you I was going down the wrong road. I mean, if Louisiana had the influence in the U.S. Congress that Israel does, we could get New Orleans rebuilt.

You know how you’re always hearing that India is right behind China and poised to become a superpower? California’s economy is bigger than India’s. I say we cut California loose and let them become a superpower. Please notice I didn’t say that about Texas. Texans would take it seriously. And their economy is bigger than Australia’s. I can’t figure it all out. Canada’s economy is bigger than Australia’s and Russia’s. It’s only slightly smaller than India’s. But nobody talks about Canada becoming a superpower. Hey?

I have to be honest, I was shocked to find Georgia was the 11th largest economy in the United States. I don’t think of Georgia as a rich State. I doubt if you do either. But Massachusetts is 12th and we do think of them as a rich State. What gives? Is it the population differences? I don’t know.

But it does make me wonder about all the State’s Rights stuff. Down here, I know it’s a code for racism. But there are some people that legitimately believe that States should exercise more power. That the States should exert more independence from the Federal Government. If Georgia has an economy the size of Iran’s -- and we’re not spending our money developing and nuclear weapons capability -- you would think we’d be able to educate our kids. But no, we’re 48th in the States. Kentucky is 11th in education. And Kentucky has an economy the size of Romania’s.

Oh well, like I said, these are probably all bad comparisons anyway. I mean, after all, everybody is Europe is spooked because nobody is big enough to bail out Italy. California has an economy the size of Italy -- is functionally bankrupt -- and nobody over here seems worried about it. So it has to be a bad comparison. Right?

Don Brown
November 22, 2011

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