I write "almost all" because that centerpiece of modern American entrepreneurship, and one of the hot points in the mortgage financial meltdown, Nevada, often shows up in these lists.
Finally, the writer notes,
Conservative presidents are bad for balancing the budget:I've seen these lists before, but never all of them pulled together in one location. Links are provided for the sources in the diary.
"Dwight Eisenhower was last Republican President to preside over a balanced budget. He had a balanced budget in 1956 and 1957.
Since then, there have been two presidents to preside over balanced budgets, LBJ in 1969 and Clinton in 1998 through 2001.
During the last 40 years there have been five budget surpluses, all five were under Democratic Presidents: 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.
But even more impressive is this recent observation by David Sirota, who appeared last week in FireDogLake's Book Salon to discuss his recently released Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now — Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything: that the glorification of greed and self that began under Ronald Reagan has created a steep increase in cultural and social narcissism that can actually be seen in certain measurable indicators:
We moved, for instance, from a culture that valued “we’re all in this together” to a culture that now values “greed is good.” (comment 91) . . . . In my set of chapters called “The Jump Man Chronicles” (named after that iconic Nike image of the individual Michael Jordan soaring above everything else), I go into the data that shows how those social bonds broke down. It’s fascinating – and disturbing. And it’s really incredible how empirically you can document that cultural shift. (comment 84).In an excerpt of his book posted on In These Times, Sirota mentions two of these empircal indicators:
. . . Meanwhile, participation in civic organizations dropped precipitously. Between 1980 and 1995, the number of Americans who said they attended even one public meeting (PTA event, town hall meeting, etc.) declined by 33 percent, and between 1985 and 1994, active participation in community organizations dropped by 45 percent.The excerpt of his book is particularly thought-provoking and should do a good job of afflicting almost anyone's comfort zone.
At the same time participation in public and community-oriented institutions and causes started declining in the 1980s, participation in the self-help industry started skyrocketing. So it wasn’t just a matter of time being lost, it was also a matter of time being diverted into more self-centric activities.
UPDATE 04-15-2011: The newest edition of the U.S. Peace Index, developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace, shows that the nine of the ten most violent states are in the South, led by Louisiana. According to the Huffington Post: "Generally, Southern states tended to be the least safe, with the region scoring 3.13 on the index, compared with the Northeast, calculated to be the safest region with a score of 1.99."