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Saturday, May 7, 2011

State of Kentucky News & Notes

I thought I would focus a post on a few interesting reads about some of the problems our fine state is facing.

Kentucky grows more Urban - very in-depth review of demographics shaping the state.  Among those discussed of interest to Fort Thomas and Northern Kentucky include - a shift toward urban areas (NKY featured in the discussion) and population increases (largely due to living longer and Hispanic immigration).  Read the full article though as there is some great analysis

Kentucky named the worse run state in the USA report appeared on referencing a site called 24/7 Wall Street naming Kentucky as the worse run state.  As with all these rankings you could debate the use of certain measures as a real benchmark of state performance.  A great example of this is the GDP number which has Delaware the far and away leader largely because of its favorable tax policies related to incorporation.  The analysis includes the following summary:
Although Kentucky doesn’t place 50th in any one category, its overall poor scores secures its place as the worst-run state on our list. It is 43rd in GDP per capita, 47th in median household income, 47th in citizens with high school diplomas, and, at 18.6%, is 48th for percentage of the population below the poverty line.  Kentucky also has an extremely weak S&P rating of AA-, supporting our assessment that it is the worst-run state in the country.

Lastly, I have been seeing a lot more discussion lately about the impact of the large number of counties in Kentucky on the current budget situation.  At 120 counties the only other states with more counties is Texas and Georgia which both have a larger area than Kentucky.  Do you think this is a viable solution to fixing some of the budget problems the state and local governments face?

1 comment:

  1. Of course the alleged best run state is Wyoming and the 2nd is North Dakota not places where folks are clamoring to move.

    The top six states are Wyoming, North Dakota, Iowa, Vermont, Minnesota and Utah. One thing all six are small minority populations.

    Vermont and Minnesota have a highly educated population compared to Kentucky. An example of that is seen in the low percentage of college graduates at NKU in respect to overall enrollment. NKU's undergraduate rate based is around 20%.

    While some talk about doing away with counties, that would take an act of the legislature and I have yet to see anyone run promoting such an issue.

    What you are seeing is the movement toward combining servics like they have done with Sanitation and Water here in NKY.

    The most logical next step would to eliminate county jails and have regional jails. Many county jails have already closed.