Blue States Prosper While Red States Falter

The data is in and cannot be refuted. Red states under the influence of Koch-styled governance are hurting their citizens through their inhumane policies. They are promoting “an economic model [so] disconnected from the true sources of prosperity.”

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons

Editorializing earlier this week, Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, the authors of American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper, discuss this red-blue economic differential, noting that “the key drivers of growth are science, education and innovation, not low taxes, lax regulations or greater exploitation of natural resources.”

The difference between thriving blue states and floundering red states have other indicators as well. Red states, especially in the southeast, have the highest rates of child poverty, unwanted teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (the direct results of abstinence only sex education), welfare to white people, pornography dependence, and religion-driven discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. There is just no separation between policies/laws and economic outcomes and quality of life.

The primary elections in Kansas, yesterday, offered the first hope that this corporatist-driven theft of our democracy will be rejected by reasonable people. More than a dozen Kansas extreme rightwing lawmakers were sent packing.


The states are indeed our laboratories where new ideas can be tried. If they are good they should become national models, as they often are. If there are bad results, policies and laws and the responsible elected officials must be changed.

But, what can you do about it, you ask? Get involved in down-ballot candidates that support progressive ideas, from the school board through the state houses. Do a little or a lot, but do something. You can make a difference. Data like these, including the excellent infographics offered by Hacker and Pierson, are excellent tools to help change the minds of those around you.



Alison Gardner