The government workforce app compares the ratio of government jobs and compensation relative to the private sector. For any given state the ratios are compared to the national average. There is nothing magical about the national average; however, since it represents an amalgam of 50 states, one can reasonably assume that being above the national average indicates “low productivity” among the state government’s workforce and vice-versa.
The tax burden app compares tax systems across the states using a common yardstick. The most common yardstick is to measure tax collections against the size of the economy as defined by total personal income (which is mostly wages and salaries, interest, dividends, and rent, and personal current transfer receipts [Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid]). Having a clear understanding of the tax burden is important because taxes matter to the countless number of economic decisions made everyday in our economy such as the location of businesses, where people shop, and the wealth of nations. Unfortunately, many taxes are hidden and make it nearly impossible for the average American to understand.
The federal tax and spend app shows that Uncle Sam’s tax and spending policies do has a disparate geographic impact creating “winners” and “losers” across America’s landscape. Of course, this brings to light as to whether or not America’s federalist system was designed to redistribute income and wealth over state/county lines? Nonetheless, philosophical debates aside, Uncle Sam’s actions do economically impact your state and your county in a significant way. This app shows federal per capita taxes and spending combined into a ratio in terms of how much spending is received for every dollar in taxes sent to Washington, D.C.
The cost of living app shows the differences in prices between different geographic areas. For example, it is common knowledge that the price of goods and services are generally higher in urban areas than in rural areas, especially housing. Therefore, when contemplating taking that shiny new job at a higher pay you should use this app to see, after adjusting for cost of living differences, if you are really going to better off.
The demographic app shows the sources of demographic change by state and county via net natural population growth (births minus deaths) or migration (in minus out). Today, America stands on the precipice of an unprecedented demographic event which has been termed “demographic winter.” Demographic winter is mostly the result of plummeting birth rates and, to a lesser degree, the aging of the baby boom generation. The aging impact on America’s population has been offset by longer life-spans, but a baby never born has exponential ripple effects on the size of the future population. As a result of too few babies being born, many parts of America will experience a shrinking working-age population and eventually shrinking overall populations.
The federal pension app shows the geographic dispersion of federal retirees or their survivors. The data shows the number of retirees and pension amount (total and per retiree) by state.
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