I noticed an interesting piece today on MSN concerning how states rank in terms of overall consumer debt load, including credit cards and car loans, but excluding mortgages. MSN even included a lovely interactive map to show the relative rankings of the states in three groups -- highest, middle, and lowest.
I had three thoughts upon viewing this:
-- People are carrying some rather hefty amounts of debt for those average amounts -- in short, generally half of the people in the state are carrying MORE than that.
-- This map would have been more useful if it had shown average debt as a percent of annual salary, especially if it was going to argue that "cost of living" was the primary driver of debt amounts. Sure, Kansans may carry a lot less debt than Rhode Islanders, but their salaries tend to be lower as well. It's a bit deceiving to compare them straight-up without tying it back to salary and purchasing power
-- What is the weird and spooky connection that makes this map look so much like the 2004 Presidential election results? Even stranger, why does it look so much like the House and Senate results as well?