As home foreclosures hit a record high and states continue to face budget shortfalls, Forbes's Mike Linton ponders how the nation's nifty-fifty could dig themselves out of a hole. He asks: Should states act more like corporate brands?

Think about it:

Do you appreciate your state? Feel like you get a decent return on your tax dollar? Would you recommend your state to friends as a place to live or, conversely, as a place to avoid? Is your state ascending or descending as a brand?
To attract strong businesses and "consumers" (read: residents), Linton advises states to market themselves and remember that the same law holds for states as for companies--image is everything.