For those who believe that Georgia is the greatest state in the union, this article is not for you. This article isn't for people who struggle to acknowledge facts and empirical data. Rather, this article was written for all those who have a sense that this can't be as good as it gets. Fact is, Georgia ranks at, or near, the very bottom of most everything. Pick any indicator that serves as a positive indicator of progress and rest assured, Georgia is probably the champ- in the negative sense.
The ultimate representation of our failure as a society is prison. Incidentally, Georgia leads all states in this category. Of all 50 states in the union, Georgia has the highest percentage of its citizens behind bars. According to the state Department of Corrections, each bed in the state's prison system may cost up to $82,585. Georgia's per pupil expenditure for education? $9,127.
According to Forbes, Atlanta is the worst city for commuters in the nation. Ok, you probably didn't need to be told that, so let's move on. In a recent report entitled “Graduating America: Meeting the Challenge of Low Graduation-Rate High Schools,” Georgia is paired with seventeen other states in which graduation rates are labeled "crisis" level. Georgia's crisis is said to be a "state-wide" issue, unlike other states that only have regional or metropolitan problems. Of all the seventeen states in the hall of shame, Georgia's rate is only above one other state- Nevada.
Georgia ranks dead last at protecting kids from tobacco. Atlanta is the second least safe city in the U.S. When it comes to family homelessness and homeless children, Georgia outranks only one state. Atlanta, by the way, is the fourth meanest city to the homeless. Georgia leads the nation in bank failures. Atlanta is one of the most polluted cities in the country and Georgia ranks in the bottom half of green states. Georgia's poverty rate is among the highest in the U.S. Are you starting to get the picture?
We could go on and on about Georgia's superlatives but the previous stats are sufficient. Question: what possible value can be derived from tearing down the state (and Atlanta) for an entire article? Actually, these morbid facts are not at all the issue. What is important to note is the state's leadership. Georgia's public officials, especially those who have occupied their post for a significant amount of time, ought to be challenged. Beyond that, perhaps you should examine your beliefs as it regards policy. If you love your leaders and continue to vote for them in the face of these facts, perhaps you are the idiot.
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