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Red States vs Blue States

MrWonka

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I always enjoy listening to our right wing friends talk about how we need states rights so that they can experiment with different ideas to see which ones work the best. It's been awhile since I've ran the numbers so I thought I'd check in with our friends the states again and see who's doing better.......

Unemployment Rates for States

Of the top 17 states in in the country with the best unemployment rates...10 are generally liberal states and only 7 are conservative.

Of the bottom 17 states in the country with the worst unemployment rates it is the opposite. only 7 liberal states with 10 conservative.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ates_by_income
Of the top 12 states in the country ranked by median income 11 are liberal and only 1 was conservative.

Of the bottom 12 states in the country ranked by median income all 12 are conservative states. ALL OF THEM!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._states_by_GDP

of the top 16 states ranked by GDP only 3 voted Republican in the last two presidential elections whereas 13 voted for president Obama.

Of the bottom 16 states ranked by GDP only 7 voted for Obama while the other 9 voted republican.

The 10 states with the best quality of life

Of the 10 best states ranked by quality of life 9 voted for Obama twice, only 1 did not.

Of the 10 worst states in the country as ranked by quality of life only 1 voted for Obama while 9 voted for Romney.

So Republicans tell us why exactly it is that you think the states you control need more freedom to fail even worse than they already are?
 

Glen Contrarian

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I always enjoy listening to our right wing friends talk about how we need states rights so that they can experiment with different ideas to see which ones work the best. It's been awhile since I've ran the numbers so I thought I'd check in with our friends the states again and see who's doing better.......

Unemployment Rates for States

Of the top 17 states in in the country with the best unemployment rates...10 are generally liberal states and only 7 are conservative.

Of the bottom 17 states in the country with the worst unemployment rates it is the opposite. only 7 liberal states with 10 conservative.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ates_by_income
Of the top 12 states in the country ranked by median income 11 are liberal and only 1 was conservative.

Of the bottom 12 states in the country ranked by median income all 12 are conservative states. ALL OF THEM!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._states_by_GDP

of the top 16 states ranked by GDP only 3 voted Republican in the last two presidential elections whereas 13 voted for president Obama.

Of the bottom 16 states ranked by GDP only 7 voted for Obama while the other 9 voted republican.

The 10 states with the best quality of life

Of the 10 best states ranked by quality of life 9 voted for Obama twice, only 1 did not.

Of the 10 worst states in the country as ranked by quality of life only 1 voted for Obama while 9 voted for Romney.

So Republicans tell us why exactly it is that you think the states you control need more freedom to fail even worse than they already are?

If you'll check, red states are also generally worse off when it comes to teenage pregnancy, divorce rates, violent crime rates, homicide rates, poverty rates, percentage of population covered by health insurance, and life expectancy. When I started digging, the only - repeat, the only - metric that I could find where red states were generally better was in percentage of population using drugs.

But here's the thing - the problems that red states are having are NOT because of conservative governance. Conservative governance ain't helping, but it isn't the cause. It took me a long, long time to figure this out, but those states are not poor because they're red states - they're red states because they're generally poor and generally more rural than their blue-state counterparts.

And this isn't an American thing - it's a human thing, seen all over the world. Look in any nation you want, and you'll find that when compared to that nation's religious and social mores, that nation's rural areas are mostly more conservative, and its urban areas more liberal.

So what it boils down to is the reason why red states are red is because they're rural and (mostly) worse off than the national average when it comes to economic well-being. Again, they're not poor because they're red - they're red because they're rural and generally economically worse off than the rest of us.
 

MrWonka

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But here's the thing - the problems that red states are having are NOT because of conservative governance. Conservative governance ain't helping, but it isn't the cause. It took me a long, long time to figure this out, but those states are not poor because they're red states - they're red states because they're generally poor and generally more rural than their blue-state counterparts.

And this isn't an American thing - it's a human thing, seen all over the world. Look in any nation you want, and you'll find that when compared to that nation's religious and social mores, that nation's rural areas are mostly more conservative, and its urban areas more liberal.

So what it boils down to is the reason why red states are red is because they're rural and (mostly) worse off than the national average when it comes to economic well-being. Again, they're not poor because they're red - they're red because they're rural and generally economically worse off than the rest of us.

I disagree with this heavily. States like Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin are relatively rural. They are every bit as rural as many conservative states and they are doing very well. At least Wisconsin was until Walker got control a few years ago. Now they're sinking. What is actually happening in the states boils down to education and morals. Intelligent people..particularly young well educated professionals don't want to live in ****ty conservative states filled with racism and bigotry where no investments are made in education, science, arts and infrastructure. It is well educated young people that are the single biggest resource that drive a powerful economy and if you can't attract them to your state your state is doomed.

The state of Minnesota has one of the best educational systems not only in the country, but in fact the world. They are cranking out young educated professionals at a clip like no other state in the country. That is why they have been ranked the #1 state in the country for business last year despite having some of the highest tax rates in the country. http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/24/00-advantages-minnesota-is-2015s-top-state.html Those tax dollars are being spent wisely on education and infrastructure that grow the state and make it a Mecca for business despite it being freezing cold half the year and in fly over country.
 

Glen Contrarian

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I disagree with this heavily. States like Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin are relatively rural. They are every bit as rural as many conservative states and they are doing very well. At least Wisconsin was until Walker got control a few years ago. Now they're sinking. What is actually happening in the states boils down to education and morals. Intelligent people..particularly young well educated professionals don't want to live in ****ty conservative states filled with racism and bigotry where no investments are made in education, science, arts and infrastructure. It is well educated young people that are the single biggest resource that drive a powerful economy and if you can't attract them to your state your state is doomed.

The state of Minnesota has one of the best educational systems not only in the country, but in fact the world. They are cranking out young educated professionals at a clip like no other state in the country. That is why they have been ranked the #1 state in the country for business last year despite having some of the highest tax rates in the country. http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/24/00-advantages-minnesota-is-2015s-top-state.html Those tax dollars are being spent wisely on education and infrastructure that grow the state and make it a Mecca for business despite it being freezing cold half the year and in fly over country.

That's why I used the word, "generally". There will be exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, I am right. The more rural a region is, generally speaking, the less-educated, the poorer that region will be...and as a result, the more conservative that region will be. Again, this isn't an American thing - it's a human thing.

Oh, and your example of Minnesota only holds for K-12. When it comes to bachelor's degrees, they're 10th in the nation...and when it comes to advanced degrees, they're 18th. If you order the ranking of the states by bachelor's or advanced degrees, the divide between red and blue becomes glaringly obvious.

And the reason for this is simple: the larger a city, the more industry or shipping or whatever means of making big money that city is likely to have...and the more likely that city will have not just one university, but multiple universities. Think about it - where are the very best universities in America? In and around large cities. Same thing all across the planet. Sure, you'll find some good universities in rural areas...but it's simply a matter of market forces that result in the best universities are in and around major metropolitan areas.

And the lower the average education of a population, the more likely that population will be conservative...but those two factors in that correlation are NOT dependent on each other, but are much more dependent on how rural and how economically-challenged that population is.
 

MrWonka

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That's why I used the word, "generally". There will be exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, I am right. The more rural a region is, generally speaking, the less-educated, the poorer that region will be...and as a result, the more conservative that region will be. Again, this isn't an American thing - it's a human thing.
But I think you're looking at a correlation and not a causation. The conservative policy is the primary cause although it's a somewhat circular problem.


I'm basing this off standardized test scores for students. Educational attainment does not necessarily indicate where people are originally from.

And the reason for this is simple: the larger a city, the more industry or shipping or whatever means of making big money that city is likely to have...and the more likely that city will have not just one university, but multiple universities. Think about it - where are the very best universities in America? In and around large cities. Same thing all across the planet. Sure, you'll find some good universities in rural areas...but it's simply a matter of market forces that result in the best universities are in and around major metropolitan areas.

Sure, but what keeps these students from moving back to rural areas after college? They clearly have friends and family in those rural areas.
 

Glen Contrarian

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But I think you're looking at a correlation and not a causation. The conservative policy is the primary cause although it's a somewhat circular problem.

And I thought as you did, using the exact same arguments that you are giving, until a strong conservative (who had previously earned my respect - he really was a good guy) forced me to see that the arguments that I was using - that you're using now - are in violation of the correlation/causation logical fallacy. But it's really not a which-came-first-chicken-or-egg circular kind of problem. There is a cause - actually a set of causes - that result in the conservative mindset: a rural region, beset with poverty, with less-than-average education, and not a great deal of interaction with other cultures.

I'm basing this off standardized test scores for students. Educational attainment does not necessarily indicate where people are originally from.

Sure, but what keeps these students from moving back to rural areas after college? They clearly have friends and family in those rural areas.

What matters is not the standardized test scores, but the average level of educational attainment for the state's population as a whole...of the people who actually live there. And when it comes to the highest level of education, Minnesota's in 18th place. Considering their lack of high-tech industries as compared to tech-heavy states like NY or WA or more than a dozen others, Minnesota's not doing bad...but Minnesota - not being as poor as the Deep South, and having significantly more interaction with other cultures (they do border Canada), it's not surprising that they are not as conservative as any of the Deep South states.
 

Carjosse

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Sure, but what keeps these students from moving back to rural areas after college? They clearly have friends and family in those rural areas.

Let me enlighten you, I am a university student form a rural area with no intention of ever returning, no matter what. The biggest and most important reason is job availability. Cities are filled with all kinds of well-paying jobs, rural areas not so much, and what does exist usually pays next to nothing. Then there is also the quality of life hit you taker by living in a rural area. Rural areas have the worst schools, offer little in the way of services, entertainment is near non-existent, etc. People may have family in rural areas but you can always just visit them. With friends you tend to lose all ties with the friends you went to high school with (usually realizing most were jerks) and usually have better friends from university.
 

MrWonka

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And I thought as you did, using the exact same arguments that you are giving, until a strong conservative (who had previously earned my respect - he really was a good guy) forced me to see that the arguments that I was using - that you're using now - are in violation of the correlation/causation logical fallacy. But it's really not a which-came-first-chicken-or-egg circular kind of problem. There is a cause - actually a set of causes - that result in the conservative mindset: a rural region, beset with poverty, with less-than-average education, and not a great deal of interaction with other cultures.
I'm sorry, but that is absolutely ridiculously. The notion that the policies of the states have no bearing on who chooses to live there, who grows up there, is just nonsense. The fact that you have rural regions, beset with poverty, with less-than-average education is a direct result of the fact that you're not doing a very good job of growing your cities, and improving your university system. That's something that conservatives in southern states simply don't understand and won't do.

What matters is not the standardized test scores, but the average level of educational attainment for the state's population as a whole...of the people who actually live there. And when it comes to the highest level of education, Minnesota's in 18th place. Considering their lack of high-tech industries as compared to tech-heavy states like NY or WA or more than a dozen others, Minnesota's not doing bad.
I don't think those high level degrees are quite as important as you seem to think especially in terms of what we're talking about.

The real question in my mind is how do you go about converting your state from a poor rural conservative state to a wealthy urban liberal state, and I think that Minnesota and Iowa are serving as excellent blue prints for the nation. By doing an excellent job of funding education at lower levels you increase the likelihood of your kids getting higher education, and even if you lose some of those kids to the coast, you retain enough that over time your cities grow and become the kinds of economic hubs that some of the coasts already have.

That's why you really have to look at education overall, and 91% of Minnesotan's are graduating high school, and their graduating with the highest average ACT scores in the country. In Bachelor's degrees they're still 10th despite losing more than they gain to the coasts, and with respect to advanced degrees even the #1 ranked state only had 16%.

I grew up in a small town of 3,000 people in Minnesota. It was very rural, and very conservative, but I still got a very good education in a democratic state that does an excellent job of funding it. Most of my closest friends were actually very smart, very liberal and also went on to get excellent educations. Now while it's true that some of the best educated of my friends ended up moving to the coasts(me included), a ton more ended up heading to the Twin Cities and they love it including a quite a few people from Wisconsin who came there to go to college. By continuing to grow the educational system in Minnesota particularly in and around the Twin Cities area they are creating an environment that gives young well educated professionals all the benefits of living in a major city without having to move ridiculously far away. They still lose a lot of brilliant minds, but no where near as many as southern conservative states. Despite the disadvantage of cold weather they are retaining significant numbers of their best minds, and investing heavily in the next generation.

When you look at conservative policy their "plan" is to make it cheap as **** to do business hoping to attract businesses which will grow their cities, but decent businesses still won't come there because A.) the people who start those businesses don't want to live in those ****ty rural areas no matter how cheap they are, and B.) They don't have access to other talented minds that they need to grow a business even if they wanted to. Even for low level modern jobs these days you need a degree of education and technical understanding and without a pool of people with at least a decent high school education businesses can't survive.

it's not surprising that they are not as conservative as any of the Deep South states.

Minnesota is the only state that didn't vote for Reagan either time. I think it's fair to say their more than just "not as conservative."
 

MrWonka

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Let me enlighten you, I am a university student form a rural area with no intention of ever returning, no matter what. The biggest and most important reason is job availability. Cities are filled with all kinds of well-paying jobs, rural areas not so much, and what does exist usually pays next to nothing. Then there is also the quality of life hit you taker by living in a rural area. Rural areas have the worst schools, offer little in the way of services, entertainment is near non-existent, etc. People may have family in rural areas but you can always just visit them. With friends you tend to lose all ties with the friends you went to high school with (usually realizing most were jerks) and usually have better friends from university.

Right, and this is just case in point with what I'm saying. This is why conservative economic policy fails miserably. Their goal is to try and make it insanely cheap to live in an area hoping to attract jobs with slave wages and low taxes, but that doesn't actually work at all. Young educated professionals are the single most important resource there is for growing an economy(particularly a modern economy), and that requires good schools which cost money. Invest in education and universities and your cities will grow up strong around them.
 
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