This list ranks the states from best-run to worst-run. Not surprisingly, California is dead last. I fretted that Oregon would be down there as well, but somehow, we rank as the 17th best-run state:
In 2011, the manufacturing sector accounted for 28.8% of Oregon’s economic output, more than in any other state. The sector is dominated by computer and electronic parts manufacturing, which provided nearly $40 billion in output to the state in 2010. Outside manufacturing, the state’s economy faced several significant challenges last year, despite having one of the highest GDP growth rates in the country in 2011, at 4.7%, Oregon’s unemployment rate was 9.5%, while 17.5% of the population lived in poverty, worse than the respective national rates of 8.9% and 15.9%. However, the state managed its finances well during the recession: 87% of its pension liabilities were funded in fiscal 2010, one of the highest percentages in the nation.
I'm not sure about the accuracy of this summation, though; given the vast problems that PERS faces, it's hard to know what to make of the claim that 87% of pension liabilities were funded. I don't miss the Iowa winters, but that state was ranked #5. Farm land can't be outsourced, so I suppose Iowa is relatively recession-proof. (Hey, maybe we should stop the farm subsidies!)