South Carolina is one of the worst-run states in the country, according to a national survey of financial health indicators and other data.
24/7 Wall Street’s yearly survey analyzed each state’s level of debt per capita, total budget deficit, unemployment, median household income, and percentage of people below the poverty line. South Carolina was ranked 43rd out of 50 states, making it the eighth-worst-run states according to the list. Here’s what the study’s authors had to say about the Palmetto State:
- Debt per capita: $3,419 (25th highest)
- Budget deficit: 26.1% (11th largest)
- Unemployment: 10.3% (tied-8th highest)
- Median household income: $42,367 (9th lowest)
- Pct. below poverty line: 18.9% (9th highest)
South Carolina’s economy has struggled in recent years. Last year, the state had one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates, as well as among the lowest median household income in the country. In recent years, South Carolina’s finances have been strained, with the state having proportionally larger budget shortfalls and unfunded pension liabilities than most other states. In January, the state instituted a controversial policy requiring adults who have collected unemployment benefits for at least five months to accept a job that pays minimum wage.
The study fails to mention leadership failures such as South Carolina’s multiple elections debacles, as well as the Department of Revenue security breach which resulted in millions of Social Security numbers being stolen. Who knows — if those factors had been included in the analysis, we could have made the top five!
“The successful management of a state is difficult to measure,” the study’s authors write. “Factors that affect its finances and population may be the result of decisions made years ago. A state’s difficulties can be caused by poor governance or by external factors, such as extreme weather.”
In South Carolina’s case, it’s worth noting that Republicans have had complete control over the state for the last decade. The SCGOP has held the governor’s office and both legislative houses since 2002, so it’s clear where the lion’s share of the credit for the Palmetto State’s poor showing lies.
South Carolina was ranked between Florida and New Mexico, with California being ranked the worst-run state in the country for the second year in a row. Here’s a list of the five best-run states, according to 24/7 Wall Street:
- North Dakota