Economy 4.0

Indicator Bashing

David Brancaccio Oct 22, 2010

There is some angst and fingerpointing in my home state of Maine. Passing
through the state on my way to an interview in New Hampshire, I noticed the
contretemps as recorded in the Lewiston, Maine newspaper. Apparently the
business magazine Forbes has listed all the states of the union in order
of the quality of their “business climate.” Maine, my beloved Maine, came
in at the bottom, an embarrassing number 50 (out of 50, in case you
forgot). Maine’s employment growth, not great; venture capital investing,
weak; median household income growth, pretty anemic.

According to an aide quoted by the Sun Journal, Maine’s governor questions
a magazine that thinks quality of life is better in New Jersey than it is
in Maine. I have to be careful not to take sides in that contest, as I
currently hold an NJ driver’s license.

I admire Forbes for featuring among its indicators quality of life. But I
do wonder how much weight the magazine gives it. Texas ranked #2 behind
Virginia for top business climate, yet Texas was down at #23 for quality
of life.

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