Hunger Games America: Districts Beat The Capital In Job Creation



America’s present economic malaise is often described in terms of the popular book and move franchise The Hunger Games. It seems fitting.

“While the provinces starve, the Capital City lives it up, its wheeler-dealer bigshots growing fat on the tribute extracted from the rest of the country,” wrote Glenn Reynolds (of Instapundit fame) for USA Today back in November of 2012. “We don’t live in The Hunger Games yet, but I’m not the first to notice that Washington, D.C., is doing a lot better than the rest of the country.”

Well if Washington DC is Capital City, North Dakota and South Dakota are one of the districts (maybe 7?), and they’re turning the Hunger Games analogy on its head.

North Dakota’s economy continues to roar. For the fifth consecutive year, North Dakota leads the country in job creation according to Gallup. The state has been in Gallup’s top ten for job creation since they created this index six years ago in 2008.

“Gallup’s Job Creation Index is a measure of net hiring, determined by asking full- and part-time U.S. workers, aged 18 and older, whether their employer is hiring new people and expanding the size of its workforce, not changing the size of its workforce, or letting people go and reducing the size of its workforce,” reads the report. “The index score is the difference between reported ‘hiring’ and ‘letting go.'”

Tied for second are South Dakota and the Capital. Washington DC.

It’s an interesting juxtaposition at the top of that list. Both states and the nation’s capital have thrived even throughout the last several years of recession and economic stagnation, but the reasons why are very different.

North Dakota has thrived because of an oil boom and the wisdom of state leaders to largely stay out of its way.

South Dakota has thrived because it is a low tax, small-government state.

Washington DC has thrived because, in the Bush and Obama years, we’ve seen unprecedented amounts of government growth, and since Washington DC’s primary industry is government, that expansion has been very, very good for business.

North Dakota and South Dakota are creating opportunity and prosperity with industry, commerce and production. Washington DC is creating prosperity by taking from the rest of the country and producing nothing but more red tape for the nation to grapple with. All while, of late, celebrating a CBO report which indicates that Obamacare will reduce American productivity.

Because fewer working, productive citizens is a good thing, I guess?