A few reasons to think Georgia’s economic future is bright

If I worked for a chamber of commerce in this state, I would be inclined to highlight the recent report by IHS Global Insight Analysis that predicts Georgia will have the eighth-fastest job growth in the country during the next six years. You can see the data visually in this handy map produced by the Wall Street Journal. The factors in IHS’s forecast are, as an accompanying article puts it, the states’ “macroeconomic outlook, including demographic assumptions, historical and cyclical trends and other factors such as oil prices and tax policy.”

Then, I would be inclined to point to this analysis of the 50 states’ indebtedness, produced by the nonpartisan group State Budget Solutions. A closer inspection reveals Georgia is (barely) among the best one-quarter of states in terms of what we owe to creditors and retirees — current and future ones, accounting for the pension payments and other benefits, such as health care, they’re owed. At about $9,500 in state debt per man, woman and child, we’re closer to the top 5 than to the national average ($13,117). That suggests the tax burden is unlikely to grow worse relative to most other states.

The same SBS report cites a forecast for the American Legislative Exchange Council that sets Georgia’s economic outlook at 11th nationally.

Does all this leave room for improvement? Sure — and no room for complacency. But it’s good to find some reasons to be upbeat about Georgia’s future after the steady refrains of gloom we’ve heard for the past few years.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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113 comments Add your comment

Joel Edge

October 25th, 2011
5:59 am

Thanks. We need some reason to be upbeat.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

October 25th, 2011
6:09 am

Gee, when I read the headline, I thought someone had decided to cut the size of the GA General Assembly by 2/3rds.

Imagine my disappointment . . . ;)

Ayn Rant

October 25th, 2011
6:18 am

Prosperity does not result from avoiding debt, but from constructive ventures funded by prudent debt. You have to invest a dime to earn a dollar profit!

Low debt, bad schools, and an overburdened and decaying infrastructure do not portend a bright future.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

October 25th, 2011
6:46 am

“Prosperity does not result from avoiding debt, but from constructive ventures funded by prudent debt.”

And if you were describing a private business, you’d be correct. But government should never prosper; rather, it should constantly be hanging on by it’s collective fingertips, so that the rest of us can prosper.

Blue#2

October 25th, 2011
7:40 am

Ajc pls. bring Cynthia Tucker back!!

carlosgvv

October 25th, 2011
8:28 am

Kyle, I hope you’re right but, if I had to bet any real money, I’d say it will be many long years, if ever, before we get back to what was once the economic normal.

Really?

October 25th, 2011
8:31 am

Wow. A whole ‘article’ without a substantial part of it being a cut and paste from elsewhere. Really? Got semi-ambitious Kyle. Now how about adding more in depth analysis and lengthen these attempts at ‘journalism’ to resemble what the big boys do at real newspapers on-line.

Chuck Doberman

October 25th, 2011
8:33 am

Wow, maybe we can use these advantages and catch up to the rest of the country re: infrastructure, industry and culture….! Yeah, probably not. Considering our elected “leadership” we will most likely use any advantage we possess or procure toward ending the tax burden completely on business, defunding public education, outlawing abortion, planned parenthood, welfare and unemployment compensation in Ga., making english the “official” language of Ga, making christianity the official religion of Ga (but otherwise staying out of the lives of citizens… lmao) and empowering our law enforcement to detain and deport any individual caught walking the streets without his papers (but dang it, y’all should be able to tell Ah’m legal by lookin’ at me so go hassle that guy over there… Ah mean look at ‘im, yoo kin tell he’s illegul… jes’ look at him!)

No, any advantages we enjoy will be pissed away by our “leaders” in hopes of forwarding their corporate agenda

HDB

October 25th, 2011
8:39 am

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!
October 25th, 2011
6:46 am

Government SHOULD be prosperous — in this case, meaning efficient — so that it can provide the services that the populace needs in order TO be prosperous: roads, schools…..

If we don’t address the problems with infrastructure and education so that prosperity GROWS amongst the populace, then we ALL suffer!!

Producer

October 25th, 2011
8:41 am

As long as labor is cheaper overseas we will never recover. You think the manufacturing base of any occupation is coming back stateside, you’re wrong. You’re seeing the economic reality of the “way it is” for the next generation, at least.

Southern Comfort

October 25th, 2011
8:51 am

carlos

I’m with you. I think it’s going to be a while before things get better.

But government should never prosper; rather, it should constantly be hanging on by it’s collective fingertips, so that the rest of us can prosper.

If government does not prosper, you have no national defense, infrastructure, or anything else necessary for us to prosper. I understand the whole, for lack of a better term, anti-government thinking, but sometimes people need to really think about what they’re saying before they put it out.

If the government did not prosper, who’s gonna protect you from anybody attempting to overthrow the country? If there were no regulations, where do you keep your money if there’s no guarantee that someone’s not gonna steal it from inside the financial institution? Who’s going to ensure that you actually get paid by your employer and not get shafted?

I know that’s probably worst-case scenario thinking, but if the government is barely clinging on, then you may as well wish that we were Egypt, Syria, or some other country that’s in turmoil now. If you think you can prosper without a good solid government backing you, then I’d like to see proof of where that’s ever happened.

real john

October 25th, 2011
9:03 am

Good article Kyle.

Its so funny how many of the usual liberal bloggers on here can’t wait to come on and start blogging the same lib. talking points to your articles. I don’t even think most of them read your article. They just can’t wait to spew hate.

Even a positive article turns to hate for them…really sad

Southern Comfort

October 25th, 2011
9:11 am

real john

Go over to Bookman’s and see that same thing in reverse. That’s just how partisans do things nowadays.

Buzz G

October 25th, 2011
9:14 am

I remember the days when they used to say that conservatives had closed minds. There are lots of closed minds out there, most of them liberals. You can place Bookman in this group. Reality is so distasteful to them that they live in an unreal world.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
9:15 am

Good morning fellow gentlemen and ladies.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
9:17 am

Southern…..Bookman is a fraud. He never has valid points, just talking points to get posters on his blog.

Southern Comfort

October 25th, 2011
9:18 am

Buzz G

You should venture out a bit and check different blogs around the net. I’d say the closed mind race is 50/50. It all depends on the blog/topic.

Southern Comfort

October 25th, 2011
9:21 am

UGA

Bookman is an opinion writer just as Kyle is. Opinions do not have to be based in fact or even have a valid point. That’s the difference between being an opinion writer versus someone who’s reporting the news. His talking points must really hit a nerve with a lot of people because his blog posts generally dwarf the rest of the AJC Blogs combined.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
9:22 am

Southern….so why are you not there?

Jefferson

October 25th, 2011
9:30 am

Wouldn’t be nice if those jobs paid enough to pay federal income taxes.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
9:31 am

Hmmmm….I wonder why the news is not reporting more about things like this going on with the Occupy thugs….

“Dallas, a 14 year old runaway girl was being used as a sex slave in public at the occupy rallies”….

Bart Abel

October 25th, 2011
9:38 am

Georgia has about ten percent more people who are unemployed than is the national average (one point higher unemployment rate means ten percent more people are actually out of work). We’re suffering a drought so severe that if it doesn’t rain soon, we’re likely to become water refugees, moving in with our out of state families. We have air quality problems and among the longest commutes in the country. Our education system is among the worst in the country. Our poverty rate is high, our infant mortality rate is high, our incarceration rate is off the charts, our foreclosure rate is high, and community banks are dropping like flies. The only solution that Georgia voters and politicians like, lower taxes for corporations and rich people while raising taxes on the poor and middle class (via various forms of regressive sales taxes), is likely to exacerbate the situation.

Kudos to Kyle for seeing a silver lining that doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, thanks to the “fiscal conservatives” in our state, Georgia is inching closer and closer to third world status.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
9:42 am

Bart…..ask anyone from the north that moves to Georgia how they like it here versus up there. Lame arguement.

Jefferson

October 25th, 2011
9:44 am

There’s a lot of jobs in GA and AL picking crops, work is hard, pay is bad.

BW

October 25th, 2011
9:45 am

I don’t know Kyle…on paper this looks good. We don’t have high debt loads because of our approach to small government but at the same time we haven’t invested in our infrastructure particularly around the economic engines of the state..i.e. metro Atlanta and Port of Savannah. I wonder what our collective burden would be if we moved from 49th per capita in transportation investment to say middle of the pack at 25? I see the violent reactions to the HOT lanes in Gwinnett but I haven’t seen any other viable approach to help the problem. The surface arterial network lags badly behind that which is needed to support the population particularly in Cobb and north Fulton or Milton County. If this state does not continue to diversify its jobs offerings from construction and basically HQ poaching, I don’t see how the situation will improve. I would say financial services but our banks have done such a bang-up job the last three years. I foresee a continuing widening of the gulf between those with and those without in this state.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
9:47 am

BW….what gap of “with and without”….GOD I hate that excuse….sounds like those that are “without” need to change their situation.

Guest

October 25th, 2011
9:49 am

@UGA 1999

Only a UGA grad would quote a story without citing the source. Bravo, Bubba! Now get back to work fixing toilets or laying shingles or whatever it is you people do.

(I’m sure you’ll respond by claiming you’re a wealthy business owner like the rest of your delusional Tea Party ilk.)

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
9:49 am

Jefferson

October 25th, 2011
9:50 am

As history shows, when the gap gets too wide, those without take it from those with.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
9:50 am

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
9:51 am

Jefferson…..come and get it….I dare you!

So you are saying that is is ok to steal? I bet a ounce piece of metal will say something differently.

Guest

October 25th, 2011
10:02 am

@UGA 1999

So you quoted text that appears in neither story you linked? You’re a regular genius.

Billy Bane

October 25th, 2011
10:02 am

But..but…the left keeps saying GA is the worst state ever because of the GOP.

Billy Bane

October 25th, 2011
10:04 am

“Only a UGA grad would quote a story without citing the source.”

So what about all the left wingers who post stories without posting their links? I’ll assume that most of them didn’t go to UGA.

Billy Bane

October 25th, 2011
10:05 am

UGA 1999

I’ve lived all over and there is NO WHERE in the USA where I can buy a nice big house other than down south. Northern democrat states are going bankrupt.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
10:06 am

Guest…..have a hard time with facts do ya? Yeah most of the ones from the left do….thanks for proving my point.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
10:07 am

Billy….Amen.

mum

October 25th, 2011
10:08 am

I recall when the state had a surplus that just had to be returned to the tax payers because that’s what you do with money instead of saving it for a rainy day.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
10:11 am

mum……who’s money was it?

Billy Bane

October 25th, 2011
10:12 am

mum

I remember when we weren’t 14 trillion in debt because of an inexperienced community organizer. That was just 3 years ago.

Guest

October 25th, 2011
10:13 am

@UGA 1999

What was your point? That you don’t know what quotation marks mean?

Billy Bane

October 25th, 2011
10:14 am

HDB

I agree but as we all know, government is incapable of dealing with money in a good way.

UGA 1999

October 25th, 2011
10:15 am

Guest…nope the fact that you cannot read.

JDW

October 25th, 2011
10:20 am

@Kyle, while I hope these rosy forecasts are right, it is obvious past performance was not a key consideration. Since this state went all in red in 2000 we have ranked 45th in GDP growth. Maybe you could tell us what you think will change to produce our startling turnaround?

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/06/13/americas-fastest-and-slowest-growing-state-economies/

carlosgvv

October 25th, 2011
10:20 am

UGA 1999

So, if a few of the “occupy thugs” are doing bad things, that means all of the other thousands of protesters are bad? Looks like critical thinking and logic aren’t exactly your strong suits.

Guest

October 25th, 2011
10:22 am

Care to elaborate, UGA 1999?

Southern Comfort

October 25th, 2011
10:23 am

Southern….so why are you not there?

I figured a conservative leaning blog would be one filled with thoughtful discussion without all the petty sniping. I can see I was wrong in thinking that.

Keep Dreaming

October 25th, 2011
10:23 am

Hey Billy, you’re right. You can probably get the nicest double wide down here in GA. Place it right next to the shuttered strip malls that are all over the place here because no one regulated the over-building which is now going to cripple this area for a long time. Last I checked, the states with the worst housing markets are AZ, NV, FL, and CA….not exactly Northern states.

Crenshaw8

October 25th, 2011
10:24 am

What I find most interesting about the map are those states with predicted growth of 2.0 to 2.3. They are all led by Republican governors. Republicans know how to grow an economy.

Aquagirl

October 25th, 2011
10:24 am

I bet a ounce piece of metal will say something differently.

That works until the other people have their own ounces of metal.

Calm down, son, I know there’s a lotta guys out there who just can’t wait until social breakdown provides them with the manly-man role they desire. But survivalist fantasies aside, such times really, really suck.

Also, everyone knows you aren’t serious until you double-dog dare that guy if I recall correctly—-It’s been a long time since the 3rd grade.

Back on topic: Georgia has little to offer prospective employers. As others have already said, our infrastructure is woefully inadequate. There’s a reason business leaders in Cobb/N. Fulton are trying to drag the kicking, screaming, fake conservatives into the 21st century in supporting the transportation SPLOST.

Let’s not forget our water wars with Alabama and Florida. We are better off now Nathan Deal will actually negotiate, rather than lawyer up or threatening to seize territory. But while water may be out of the headlines, we can no longer treat Lanier like our personal puddle. Water supply issues are here to stay.

Dumb workers are not attractive to employers, and we have no shortage of those. Additionally, biotech firms will not move here with our General Assembly passing insane laws at the behest of insane people. Our adventures in microchip-implantation paranoia demonstrate the scientifically illiterate can freak out over nothing and our “leaders” are with them. Who wants to develop new advances when there’s a crowd outside with pitchforks and torches?