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Posted at 4:47 PM ET, 01/27/2011

The United States of Awesome

By Ezra Klein

Yesterday, I linked to a map titled "the United States of Shame," which showed what every state should be, well, ashamed of. Ilya Gerner, however, has a persuasive rejoinder. Behold, the United States of Awesome:


By Ezra Klein  | January 27, 2011; 4:47 PM ET
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So I guess the District of Columbia has no shame and no awesome?

Posted by: bupkiss | January 27, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

How is Missouri the "political bellwether" when it voted for the loser in 2008 (not a close election)? Ohio has gone the longest without voting for an Electoral College loser: 1960, when it backed Nixon over Kennedy..

Posted by: escargot555 | January 27, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the post! I'm Ilya Gerner, though. Don't know any Gomins.

Posted by: ilyagerner | January 27, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@bupkiss DC has so much awesome that including it in the map would have made it more difficult to come up with superlatives for the other states. It has, among other things, the highest proportion of college graduates.

@escargot555 I know. But it's a traditional designation and doesn't have a lot of other #1s going for it.

Posted by: ilyagerner | January 27, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Alaska, which has socialist wealth transfer of oil receipts to its populace, is the "most equal." It's kind of ironical dontcha know. You betcha!

Posted by: CarlosXL | January 27, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

@CarlosXL Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho follow Alaska as states with lowest GINI coefficient (my admittedly limited measure of income equality), so it's not clear what policy choices should follow.

Posted by: ilyagerner | January 27, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I can vouch for the Ohio library usage. Ohioans also pay good taxes for their libraries. They support us (I'm a librarian) and love us, and we librarians love 'em right back.

Posted by: ciocia1 | January 27, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Church attendance? Most golf holes??

Best Armed???

Uh, UR doing it wrong!

Posted by: trevindor | January 27, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

@trevindor you try it. :)

Posted by: ilyagerner | January 27, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"I can vouch for the Ohio library usage. Ohioans also pay good taxes for their libraries. They support us (I'm a librarian) and love us, and we librarians love 'em right back."

Speaking of Ohio, it has the same statistic on both the awesome and shame maps.

From the shame map:

"35. Ohio: nerdiest state claim based on highest number of library visits per capita (6.9)"

Posted by: justin84 | January 27, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I love that the best he could come up with for Arkansas is bromine production. Congrats, you're the only state with access to a particularly highly corrosive, poisonous chemical (but don't get a big head because there's also the Dead Sea).

Posted by: amiller5 | January 28, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

New York, like Ohio, has basically the same stat for both. "Longest commute" becomes best "transit use" =)

Posted by: madjoy | January 28, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

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