Monday, June 30, 2008

Misery Loves Company

This article from Fortune Magazine regarding California is very confusing to me. According to the author, California may need a $10B loan to pay their bills.

According to recent estimates, Michigan will likely be facing a budgetary shortfall between $170M-$350M in 2008.

Doing the quick mental math as I am an engineer, California seems to be approximately one zillion dollars further into debt than Michigan. That doesn't make sense.

Over the past few years I have spent some substantial time in California for work and pleasure, and CA is, without a doubt, a tantalizing state. The weather is generally ideal year-round, the technology industry is exceedingly sexy, and Mexican food is everywhere. They tried to serve me a taco at McDonald's the last time I was there. How are they so far in the financial hole, and why doesn't this tarnish their sterling reputation as "the place to be"?

Why does the national, and some local, media paint Michigan as the poorest-managed, most fiscally irresponsible state in the country? California, the poster child of "Awesome" and land of those who despise Detroit metal is $10B in debt. Life isn't fair and there is a chasm of opportunity to improve state management, but it seems like Michigan is always being cast as the ugly girl at the dance. I bet you wouldn't want to dance with the more attractive girl if you found out that she owed someone $10B.

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