We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Vermont and Maine are the least urbanized states in the US, and close to the bottom of average GDP per hour worked.
Our friends at Vermont Tiger see these data as a problem, but I don't see what the problem is. These states are in control of their development, their industrialization, their welfare payments, etc. Apparently they do not seek growth or development. What's wrong with that? It's their choice, and apparently most people who live in those states like it that way. Money isn't everything: some seek it, some just want enough to survive until the Social Security gravy train kicks in, paid for by the labor of the folks in the wealthier states. Rural and rustic, with the good and bad (see the Rumford (Maine) Meteor) that come with that.
If those folks want more jobs and urban life, there is a simple solution: bathe, shave, get a haircut, and pile your stuff in a U-Haul and move to the resurgent Bronx in a few short hours. Job choice, no big snow problems, walk to the Stadium, lots of bars and bodegas, quick express subway to the Metropolitan Museum. How bad is that?
I like the idea of each state following its own heart. Each one is crazy and/or corrupt in its own way.
My only question is how do they define urbanization? New Jersey is over 90% urbanized? Sure, between AC, Trenton, Camden, Jersey City/Hoboken/Newark, we're very heavily urbanized. But good lord, 90%? I live 15 minutes from Newark and all I can think is they are considering my area (suburban in the most meaningful way it can be described) as 'urban'.
That said, I agree with the Vermont Tiger that it is a cause of concern that while more people may be working in Vermont, they may be less productive.
This was an ailment of the Soviet Union, after all. Very high employment (100%, according to most reports internal to that nation), but very low productivity. It's easy to see why. When you have highly active levels of human capital, the desire to automate and improve productivity is diminished.
My father noted this firsthand on a snowy evening in Moscow, when he realized he hadn't seen a single snow plow or snowblower, yet many people were outside with shovels and brooms, removing snow, for hours on end.
It works, but is it efficient, and is it the best use of manpower? It all depends on your point of view, I guess.
I happen to enjoy mowing my lawn and planting the flower beds. I enjoy doing my own renovations (though I know when the scope of a project is beyond my skill level). So I keep myself "employed" even outside my job, rather than hiring outside labor to do things my neighbors do. It's not efficient, but I like it.
What's also interesting about that chart is how some states are on the upper left and others on the lower right. Why are some states even more productive than their urbanization would suggest? Presumably some kinds of productivity are more dependent on highly concentrated populations than others, but which?
I'll venture a guess - natural resources. Alaska, in particular, has many natural resources which are mined using plenty of automated facilities, as does Wyoming.
Delaware seems extremely productive - almost exceedingly so, but I know there are plenty of facilities for all kinds of manufacturing in Delaware. If you've driven through it, you'd know what I mean. It's quite a well developed state.
Florida, Arizona and Nevada are not surprisingly below the curve because they are big retirement states. Plus, Nevada runs on gambling and tourism. Not sure how places like the Bunny Ranch factor in....
Rhode Island is one I can't explain. The only things I can think of are - heavily invested in things like academics and the "idle rich" (if there is even such a thing anymore, or ever).
Utah is another outlier which I'm having a hard time explaining, too. Mormons with big families have something to do with it?
I went to college in Maine. I don't think all the unemployed mill workers were particularly happy.
What's wrong with Maine is the same dysfunctional thinking as the whole nation. They want better jobs, growth, etc..., and they resent the fact that they don't have them. So, prior to the last couple of election cycles, they elect Democrats who punish businesses.
Unlike, NY or CA, businesses just don't need Maine - so they leave - leaving more resentful unemployed and a broke state. Maybe with the Republican Governor and Legislature they will turn it around.