Monday, June 18, 2012

If your state were Greece

The Grecian Formula for Economic Decline:
The Greek crisis was foreshadowed in this year's Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom, with Greece registering the largest decline in economic freedom of any country in the world. Its economy is rated "mostly unfree," and it has the fifth-lowest economic freedom score inEurope, beating only Russia and three former Soviet republics.

Why is it in such a state? The authors of the Index point to "decades of overspending, a lack of structural reform progress, and endemic corruption," noting that Greece's "lack of competitiveness and fading business confidence are serious impediments to economic revival. Adjustments in market conditions have been stifled or delayed by public unions."

Sound familiar?
Illinois, for one. The Greece Next Door -

Then there are the cities...

Related news:  Axelrod's Conflicted World: Firm's Role With Citibank and Chicago Cubs Raises Questions

Low bidders are losers at Chicago parks

Will the EPA kill this company":NAVISTAR'S ROAD GROWS ROUGHER
If the company can't find a technical fix—or a legal workaround with the EPA—it may have to cease diesel engine production, a move that could result in thousands of layoffs and the loss of 27 percent of its revenue. That would be a severe blow to the company, which has been in the Chicago area for 165 years, and to the city's western suburbs, where its many longtime employees could have trouble finding comparable jobs.[snip]

If the worst does happen and the EPA continues to reject the engines, Navistar would likely consider taking on a partner with engine technology or even sell the company, Ann Duignan, an analyst at New York-based J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, wrote to investors last week. “Management may be incented to sell the company,” she wrote as proxy filings indicate that Mr. Ustian and other executives would receive far larger buyouts if the ownership changed than if they were removed by the current board. At the same time, though, she cast doubt on the timing for potential European suitors given Navistar's pension liability of $3.2 billion on top of $2 billion in ordinary debt.
Will the UAW's built-up pension overhang finally sink it.

...more bloody fallout from a failed welfare state: Trauma unit a witness to Chicago's carnage

... Trapped in the Net. Welfare state increases marginal tax rates on working poor, study shows:
  University of Chicago Prof. Casey Mulligan, author of the soon-to-be-released The Redistribution Recession, found that without the rapid increase of the social safety net during the economic crisis, unemployment per capita would have increased by 4 percentage points, half of the 8 point jump the U.S. experienced.

At what age and at what $ level are these employees retiring: Some Illinois state parks could close without new revenue

The state that doesn't work.

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