Coming to a Billboard Near You: Tennessee Is the New Greece

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Read this chart backward and get ready to riot
  • Read this chart backward, meet us at the Parthenon and get ready to riot

As it turns out, our beloved moniker — The Athens of the South — is more apt than you might think.

At The Atlantic, Derek Thompson shares the above chart, from JP Morgan analyst Michael Cembalest, in a post explaining the difference between the United States and Europe. He explains (and do read his explanation) that while the U.S. sends money from richer states — California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York — to poorer states — like Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee — in the form of Medicaid and unemployment insurance, Europe has no comparable practice. Hence, the Molotov cocktails.

In a theoretical world where Europe does engage in these kinds of "seamless transfers" as the chart shows, Greece is Tennessee. Of course, read it backward — that is, take away the transfers that allow for Medicaid, unemployment insurance, etc., as many in this country might like to do — and we become Greece.

[H/T Steve Cavendish]

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