The Miserable State of MichiCaliFlArivada

Here's a gallows humor game. A state-by-state report of economic pain (unemployment, credit card debt, foreclosure rate, etc) comes out, and you're looking to make some lunch money. Turn to your colleague, and say: "Before even looking at what this report measures, I will guess at least three of the top five worst states in the category." Impossible right? Out of 50? Without even knowing the statistic? Wrong. Just say: California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona. It's that easy.

For example: Today's foreclosure rate survey is out, and - surprise!- the top four states are all in that Unfab Five.


In order, they are: Nevada, Arizona, Florida and California. Not surprising, since the worst metro areas for homes losing value are: Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Miami and Detroit (Unfab Five representing to the max!). Other unfortunate categories are similarly held down by these states. As of June, California and Florida 8 of the top 10 worst cities for credit card debt, Nevada had the worst drop in home prices, Arizona had the worst drop in unemployment and Michigan remains the overall jobless leader with a 14 percent unemployment rate. There it is. Michicaliflarivada. Not expialidocious, in the slightest.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This wildly inventive short film takes you on a whirling, spinning tour of the Big Apple

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Business

Just In