One of the Worst Run States in America?

Pennsylvania is in a slump. The latest grades from 24/7 Wall St. have the Keystone State ranked 42nd in terms of The Best Run State in America. This is down from 41st in 2015 and 15th in 2011. The results measure economic indicators, social factors, fiscal health, and financial responsibility.

Rounding out the bottom 10 are Connecticut, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Illinois and New Mexico.

Pennsylvania’s ranking suffers from an unemployment rate almost 1% above the national average. The unemployment rate was 5.8% in October, up from 4.8% at the same time last year. Some of this can be attributed to one of the highest tax burdens in the country.

Another startling fact is the lack of state reserves. Pennsylvania has the second-lowest amount of funds available in our coffers for a rainy day—enough to fund the government for about three days.

Our growing pension liability is a primary reason the state has little in reserves. Yet earlier this year, legislation to reform pension plans failed.

Our broken welfare system is another major contributor to economic stagnation and out-of-control government spending. Fundamental reforms in these programs could spur job growth and lower spending. These reforms include applying work requirements to more programs and requiring single parents to file for child support as a condition of enrolling in safety-net programs.

Politicians are understandably focused on the short-term, but good policy solves problems rather than kicking them down the road. And solving problems is always good politics.