Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Liberal Blue States Outperform Conservative Red States

If conservative policies of cutting taxes and ending regulations are considered the best economic path to wealth and education, why is it that liberal blue states generally outperform the conservative red states?  Has anyone looked at how Louisiana, Kansas, and Mississippi have fared under conservative economic policies versus, say, Massachusetts?

The New York Times reported on this: 

"[The New York Times] identifies blue states as the 18 that supported the Democratic candidate in the last four presidential election., and red states as the 22 that supported the Republican candidate (alternative definitions yield similar results). If you compare averages, blue states are substantially richer (even adjusting for cost of living) and their residents are better educated.

Companies there do more research and development and produce more patents. Students score better on tests on basic science-oriented skills like math.

How can conservative commentators claim that red states dominate? A tactic favored by Mr. Trump's economic adviser Steven Moore is to rely on measures goosed by population expansion, like job growth or a state's economy size.

That's like portraying India as a beacon of prosperity because it has one of the biggest economies in the world and creates millions of jobs annually. Economic performance is measured in the lives of individuals, not the aggregate.

Another favorite approach is to cherry-pick a handful of red states with decent records and contrast them with the most troubled blue states. With Texas now stumbling as oil prices fall, the new conservative favorite is Utah.

Utah's low poverty rate and long life expectancy  are impressive, but spotlighting a single state ignores the more numerous red states that dominate the lowest ranks of state performance -- whether for life expectancy, obesity, rates of violent crime and incarceration, or labor force participation of prime age workers.


"...income differences between red and blue states stopped closing around 1980 and, in some revealing cases, widened.  For example, Texas and Massachusetts -- often considered exemplars of the red and blue models -- had almost converged by 1980.  Since then, Texas' per capita income has fallen significantly relative to Massachusetts' .  The same is true of Utah.

Yes, the cost of living is higher in Massachusetts than it is in Texas -- by 11 percent in the last few years, according to recent government calculations by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. But surely even this significant difference (surely longstanding) can't close the widened gap.

This red-blue divergence is all the more striking because red states still receive much more in federal spending relative to the federal taxes their residents pay. In other words, blue states are outperforming red states, even while heavily subsidizing them."

See the chart HERE.


Rational Nation USA said...

There's always been something about figures and liars. I betcha DJT has the best of the later working hard spinning the former.

Jerry Critter said...

What is amazing is that so many crappy red states keep voting republican. But then, they are not known for their great educational systems either.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Jerry, conservatives never address the red state/blue state comparisons or talk about the economic disasters that conservative policies wrought in Kansas and Louisiana, and is ongoing in states like Mississippi.

Massachusetts still has its problems, but overall the quality of life for its residents far exceeds those of, say, states like Louisiana. Bobby Jindal was supposed to be a new superstar for the GOP, instead he and the conservative policies he instituted in his state were failures.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Crikey, the conbots must have been given their talking points at their recent bund meeting because several of them have come here and left comments about Hillary's mental health. That must be the GOP's newest attack that they think will send voters running to support Trump, who, as we all know, has shown mental stability since his last temper tantrum meltdown a few minutes ago. (snort!)

Jerry Critter said...

Interesting! As soon as people begin to question Trump's mental state, the GOP stooges start questioning Clinton's mental condition. They have no original thoughts.

Shaw Kenawe said...

That's a old dirty trick, Jerry. Accuse your opponent of the very thing you've been doing. I think Karl Rove perfected it.