Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

5 Graphs That Show How Crazy It Is to Compare California to Greece
The Atlantic ^ | 08/10/2012 | Jordan Weissman

Posted on 08/10/2012 6:50:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

At a campaign stop yesterday in Iowa, Mitt Romney tossed out a laugh line that seemed to neatly sum up the core of conservative fears about our future as a country. "Entrepreneurs and business people around the world and here at home think that at some point America is going to become like Greece or like Spain or Italy," he said, before adding, "or like California -- just kidding about that one, in some ways."

Every good joke is supposed to have a little kernel of truth to it. And we all know that, in their most feverish nightmares, conservatives imagine the U.S. transforming into a giant version of the Golden State, with its big spending government, constant budget battles, aggressive regulators, and powerful unions. And the next step from there: the Mediterranean! (Cue the threatening Flamenco).

But is California really our very own economically nutty slice of Europe? Does it deserve to be lumped in with the black seep of the global economy? In short, no, not even close. If anything, Greece, Spain, and Italy would love to be in as good shape as California right now.

I'm not an expert in state finances, so I called up Standard & Poor's analyst Gabriel Petek for a tutorial. Last year, Petek published a report waiving off comparisons between California and Greece. Today, he says, the comparison is just as "superficial."

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; greece

1 posted on 08/10/2012 6:50:43 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind





2 posted on 08/10/2012 6:52:27 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Got to thinking about this - it doesn’t deal/mention the Pension hole that has been dug? In CA - the cities/counties are economically slaves to the State budget. With all of them filing bankruptcy, and the HUGE pension deficit Calpers has - I don’t think that shows up in these graphs.

Am I wrong?


3 posted on 08/10/2012 7:05:17 AM PDT by fremont_steve
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

California actually has some fairly decent job growth. The problem is that the state govt. spends too much and there are too many regulations. Personal income tax and cost of living is so high that many do not want to move there now.


4 posted on 08/10/2012 7:05:34 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: fremont_steve

RE: With all of them filing bankruptcy, and the HUGE pension deficit Calpers has - I don’t think that shows up in these graphs.

Yes, these UNFUNDED LIABILITIES are the canary in the coal mine. California is not (yet) Greece, but if this pension hole does not get fix, it will get there.


5 posted on 08/10/2012 7:08:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The corneal of truth I see is in the omission of the real unemployment figures. When you count all those who quit looking I suspect our real rate is around 20+/-3 pct.


6 posted on 08/10/2012 7:09:10 AM PDT by chaos_5
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

“Entrepreneurs and business people around the world and here at home think that at some point America is going to become like Greece or like Spain or Italy,” he said, before adding, “or like California — just kidding about that one, in some ways.”

Too bad the author couldn’t try to understand the quote. California is the state that is in the worst shape. And California, despite its bad shape, continues to push policies that are very unfriendly to business. Thus, the Romney quote.

He never said that California = Greece. He hinted that businesses are concerned that it is headed that way.

The graphs provided by the author are irrelevant to the Romney quote. They are interesting, but irrelevant.


7 posted on 08/10/2012 7:10:11 AM PDT by kidd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fremont_steve

Bet they are NOT COUNTING kalifornias share of national debt and unfunded liabilities, which on a population basis would be about 1.5 trillion and 15 Trillion respectively...


8 posted on 08/10/2012 7:11:39 AM PDT by Kozak (The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home JM)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
The analysis in the article is very dishonest.

First, No one says California is in as bad shape as Greece TODAY! The observations that have been made are that California is going in the same direction Greece was prior to their economic crisis. No knowledgeable person can disagree with that. The policies of California over the past few years are similar to those that put Greece into its current position.

Second, California and the U.S. have much larger and stronger economies than Greece. The difference between Greece and the U.S. is the difference between punching holes in the hull of a rowboat and punching holes in the hull of an ocean liner. The U.S. economy is so much stronger than Greece that it will take much longer to bring it down.

Third, comparing the debt of California to Greece is comparing apples and oranges. Greece is an entire country. California is part of the U.S. Californians are responsible not only for their own state debt but also part of the national debt of the U.S. The debt charts should include California's prorated share of the U.S. debt.

Fourth, the California charts totally ignore unfunded liabilities. The author probably does not even understand what they are.

California has a government that is corrupt and irresponsible. Its policies are hurting the California economy and raising the probability that in the future California will will suffer a financial crisis not unlike those of Greece, Spain and Italy.

9 posted on 08/10/2012 7:12:48 AM PDT by detective
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Good thread! Thanks!

BTW, how about a thread showing:
1.) the yearly totals of actual number of people working in each of the last 10 years?
and 2.) the same data compared to Government and Private work force annual totals.

The purpose is to illustrate how much of our Nation’s “employment” is paid for by those of us who pay taxes.

Please ping me for that thread.


10 posted on 08/10/2012 7:18:32 AM PDT by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Wouldn't it make more sense to compare Kalifornia's numbers today with Greece's numbers from, say, ten years ago?

"Rome wasn't builit in a day", as they say, and similarly Athens wasn't destroyed in a day. It took the liberals a generation or two.

11 posted on 08/10/2012 7:18:48 AM PDT by William Tell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

But is California really our very own economically nutty slice of Europe? Does it deserve to be lumped in with the black seep of the global economy? In short, no, not even close. If anything, Greece, Spain, and Italy would love to be in as good shape as California right now.
///
really? how many major cities in Greece, are currently filing for Bankruptcy.
...and those charts, prepared by the California Treasurer?
CA just passed a budget, that actually BUDGETS windfall profits from Facebook stock sales !
(so who knows, what other “tricks” their doing with all the numbers...)
...
further, Calpers alone just about has an unfunded liability greater than Greece, especially when they “mandate” an 8% gain each year!
...
10% unemployment? ...how about looking at the percent employed instead.
another recent article here at FR, showed that California has about 300% of the national average on welfare and foodstamps.
...and i am certain, that many FReepers who know more about ecomomics than me, could add a LOT more...


12 posted on 08/10/2012 7:26:17 AM PDT by Elendur (It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. - Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

California State Treasurer as a source for the debt figure, eh? Of course that figure doesn’t include unfunded pension liabilities, which are the very thing that are driving California cities into bankruptcy. The unemployment rate figure is also dubious, since it’s surely the state-level U3 figure, rather than the U6 figure (and which is actually comparable to what European countries report? I’m guessing it’s the U6.)


13 posted on 08/10/2012 7:27:58 AM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog
California actually has some fairly decent job growth.

Where? Companies are leaving the state faster than new ones start up. Unemployment rate is still one of the worst in the nation.

14 posted on 08/10/2012 7:30:55 AM PDT by Godzilla (3/7/77)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Why show only Greece, Spain and Italy - where is the rest of Europe? And what about California’s enormous share of the federal debt?


15 posted on 08/10/2012 7:45:58 AM PDT by Stingray51
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

How much of the economic growth and GDP cited are the result of unsustainable government spending of imaginary (ie. borrowed wtih no hope or repayment) money. When the phony money dries up all those statistics disappear immediately.


16 posted on 08/10/2012 7:53:49 AM PDT by circlecity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Buy California munis! Buy buy buy!

/stoned

17 posted on 08/10/2012 8:02:26 AM PDT by danielmryan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: detective
The author probably does not even understand what they are.

The fatal conceit of many critics is assuming the left doesn't know or understand. Wrong - they know perfectly well. The Atlantic is just one of many different vehicles to help establish policy 'progressive' debates. Omissions are intentional so that the focus remains on socialist solutions.

18 posted on 08/10/2012 8:14:24 AM PDT by semantic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Kozak
“Bet they are NOT COUNTING kalifornias share of national debt and unfunded liabilities, which on a population basis would be about 1.5 trillion and 15 Trillion respectively...”

You win the prize. The libtard tries to make a false argument. Total Greek debt is about 550 Billion. Total California debt (including its share of the national debt) is about 1.5 Trillion. That means California is between 2 and 3 times further in debt than Greece.

Liberals assume the average American is operating at a 4th grade level and can't understand the real facts.

19 posted on 08/10/2012 8:36:05 AM PDT by Gabrial (The nightmare will continue as long as the nightmare is in the White House)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Crap, I do it one better.

Total Greek debt is about 550 billion.

Total California debt WITHOUT its share of the national debt is over 612 billion.

http://capoliticalnews.com/2011/10/25/ca-debt-612-billion-ca-media-totally-silent/

Guess the author missed that.


20 posted on 08/10/2012 8:41:57 AM PDT by Gabrial (The nightmare will continue as long as the nightmare is in the White House)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: semantic
“The fatal conceit of many critics is assuming the left doesn't know or understand”

The people in the Obama Administration and the left in general understand that they are destroying our great country. The author seems like a useful idiot to me. He is just parroting things he has been told to say.

21 posted on 08/10/2012 9:53:26 AM PDT by detective
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
To see this is a load of crap, just look at the last graph. It claims CA had a budget surplus in 2011. Hah-hah-hah-hah ... (I just fell off my chair laughing).

This so called analyst from Standard and Poors is from the same bunch that gave AAA ratings to the pools of subprime mortgages in 2007. They also say CA has a decent credit rating.

This is just more of the same coverup from the lamestream media for the Rats. Nothing to see here. Just move on (to coin a phrase ;-)
22 posted on 08/10/2012 9:57:55 AM PDT by fifedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Godzilla
Payrolls Climb in 29 U.S. States, Led by California
23 posted on 08/10/2012 2:41:17 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog

wow, for one month, still doesn’t counter the mega exodus of business from kalifornia. Doesn’t state just what sector grew - probably service sector. Double digit unemployment, upwards of 20%+ in some areas. an increase of 38,000 jobs barely makes a dent.


24 posted on 08/10/2012 2:51:01 PM PDT by Godzilla (3/7/77)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

California has tended to follow the same forms as Europe,that includes the same kind of social cohesion and pressure towards those who reject liberal ideals.Treating them as if they are mentally deficient or just plain stupid.

Of course with Europe imploding due to its embrace of socialist ideology,you will see California brand itself as a State parroting the American dream.

Reality is the State has no ability to raise revenue,an enormous reliance on government handouts to fund any kind of research and serious demographics issues that have lead to a climate of just ugly petty hatred.It can’t control illegal immigrants,it can’t control those who hate them and it sure as hell isn’t doing anything about State Politicians breaking the law.

In the end,much like Europe those who ought to be truly following the laws realize they can get away with pretty much anything.So that is exactly what they do.


25 posted on 08/11/2012 10:02:39 AM PDT by Del Rapier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson