Does your state have more takers than makers? Check it out.
California has a powerful economy, with 14 million private-sector jobs. It also has burdens: welfare recipients (12.6 million), generously paid government employees (2.1 million) and people collecting government pensions (1.3 million).
Add up the numbers. There are 114 clients drawing from the government for every 100 people chipping in by working outside the government and paying taxes. We’re calling this the Feedme Ratio. Six states have a number over 100.
These states are at risk of going into a downward spiral in the next recession. The burdens will remain but too many of the providers—employers in the private sector—might shrink or decamp. Why add jobs in a state that asks each productive worker to carry not just his or her own weight but also the weight of one other person?
New York is on the list of at-risk states, with a Feedme Ratio of 108. New Mexico is in the worst shape, with 143 government clients for every 100 private-sector workers.
The three other states with Feedme Ratios over 100: West Virginia at 116, Mississippi at 111 and Arkansas at 103. You can check your state on this map.