If Republican Ideology Is So Great, Why Are So Many of Their States Poor?

alabamaIt’s always been something that’s confounded me.  Republicans talk in length about the greatness of Republican economic ideology, and how it’s the only thing that can bring our country to greatness.

But outside of Texas, what strongly Republican state is a highly desirable place in which to live?  And even in Texas, where I live, every major city votes for Democrats in major elections.

Now, I can already hear the Republicans bashing California.  California is a very liberal state, and trust me I know it has its problems, but let’s not forget it had a Republican governor during the majority of the Bush years—you know, when it faced such terrible financial woes.

But when you look at states like Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Kansas, West Virginia, South Carolina and Mississippi—these are very poor states.  They’re simply not that highly desirable to live in (I’m not saying they’re terrible, and I’m sure there are a lot of great places and people in them, but facts are facts).

For this article I’ll focus on one of the “most Republican” states in the country–Mississippi.

For all the “greatness” of Republican ideology, let’s take a look at Mississippi:

Mississippi: One of the “most Republican” states in the country.

So, if Republican ideology is so great, why is one of the “most Republican” states so terrible for its citizens—on almost every level?  And why do so many other “strongly Republican” states share this same pattern?

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Allen Clifton is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a degree in Political Science. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on both Twitter and Facebook. Have feedback, compliments, criticism or hate mail? You can email him as well.
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  • Donovan

    Obviously they’ll say it’s because of all the lazy minorities in those states…

    • Edgar

      You have it figured out Donovan. I live in Louisiana and that is the exact argument that Is used every time I try to show these idiot Republicans that they are being lied to.

    • Annie

      No, I won’t say it’s because of the minorities in the states. But, I’ll use as an example-without bashing-California. California made promises that it couldn’t keep. what kind of promises, you might ask? It made promises to unions that must be honored and doling out pension funds to the tune of $2200 and way on up/ month. People are living longer than they did decades ago when these contracts were signed’ but they’re contractual agreements that the state must honor.

      The average new state retiree with 30 years of service receives a pension of $66,828 per year or @79% of what his/her last year’s salary was. What? To retire on nearly $67K/year? Sure people retire on less in California, but that’s usually because they’ve put in fewer years of service. Paying out those sums of money to every public sector worker can only break California’s bank.

      This happens in all states that have large public employee presences, but to a greater extent in those with greater populations like New York. Pensions have nothing to do with the fact that state governors are Republican-because California is governed by Jerry Brown and New York is governed by Andrew Cuomo.

      • Amy

        Amy, the retirement system for California employees began in the early 30s. Having worked for the State previously, the pay was about half of what people could make in the private sector. The State was able to attract good workers in spite of the low pay, because the retirement system was excellent. So California has saved money in salaries in exchange for better-than-average (1.5% of salary for every year worked) retirement. If they change the retirement system, they will have to pay competitive wages in order to attract good workers.

        Unions aren’t perfect, but they have raised living and working standards for all working men and women — union and non-union. Unions played a major role in ending the sweatshops and child labor, and have fought for better pay, safer working conditions, health care and retirement benefits, education and civic participation. Unions also gave us the weekend. Since union membership has declined, so has the middle-class. Although economists argue differing reasons, I believe that large companies have waged a systematic campaign to eliminate union contracts and undercut union influence.

      • Oneauta

        Well, now you’ve gone and done it. You have illustrated the “lie” of the economic return from prudent investment in America. The retirement of the workers was based on calculation of returns of investments in the private sector. With a healthy conservative restraint on projected return on investment.
        Because the actuaries failed to calculate the potential loss of jobs and industry from the United States (by the business community) and the overly generous tax reductions to the highest earners the ROI went out the window … along with Enron, bail-outs of wealthy investors, and adoption of “free trade agreements”. The people of every state suffer because contracts for services made in good faith were undercut by subsequent politicians seeking favor with the wealthy … as opposed to seeking to do the best for the electorate.

  • Will

    Remember how much money Texas gets because of Government services (the space program, military bases, etc) that are not counted as “receiver” dollars. If they seceded they would lose all of that and be as bad off as others.

    • Mark

      Let’s see, Texas has the THIRD highest high school graduation rate, produced more jobs in the last ten years than all other 49 combined! How? No sales tax, low property tax, local school control, and a legislature that only meets every other year for 180 days (each legislator is paid $7000/ year). We took the concept of limited government to the extreme. If our legislature isn’t in session they are not raising taxes lol

      • Jon

        You have OIL in Texas… That’s why.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rightoffacliff Allen Clifton

        Texas also leads the nation in jobs that pay minimum wage. And we have sales tax, we don’t have state income tax. Also property taxes aren’t that low. Our education system also ranks near the bottom.

        And Texas doesn’t rank 3rd in graduation rate: http://news.yahoo.com/texas-high-school-graduation-rates-175617033.html

        Texas also taxes the bottom 40% of its citizens above the national average and taxes the top 20% below the national average. It has one of the highest rates of citizens without health care and don’t even give me “limited government”.

        We can’t buy liquor on Sunday, or after 9pm every other day. Can’t buy beer after midnight except for Saturdays (in some places). Still have counties that don’t sell alcohol period actually.

        We just passed a bill which requires ultrasounds for an abortion (you know that Constitutionally protected right women have) and they’re pushing for voting laws which would require a government issued ID to vote.

        We also ran with huge deficits, and only balanced the budget between 2009-2011 because of Perry’s use of the stimulus bill, which he publicly denounced while privately took funds from.

        And the GLARING error in your little statement, Texas is very unique in that it is VERY natural resource rich. That’s where much of the job growth, outside of the millions of minimum wage jobs, comes from.

        So try again.

      • Seamus McVey

        Texas does have the third highest rate of graduation in the country (though this dubious honour is shared with 5 other sates), and it’s technically true that Texas has created more jobs than the other states over the last ten years (though a massive proportion of those were minimum wage part time jobs that would not allow a person a livable paycheck), Texas does have a sales tax though, it’s 6.25% (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon are the only states with no sales tax) and Texas features the fourth highest property tax in the country at 1.81%.Texas is still under the Federal level Dept of Education, and then has several levels of “local” control ranging from the individual school all the way up to the state level each falling under the authority of the one above it. AH, at last truth(ish)! Texas’ Legislature does meet only every other year for 140 days (not 180) BUT they also meet for special sessions at 30 day each at other times between regular sessions in order to do the bidding of the governor.

      • Julene Sullivan

        “low property tax”??? Texas soaks homeowners to make up for the no state income tax. Your state still has to support public education, roads, police force etc and it can’t do so without taxes….hence the homeowner pays around 3%….

    • Annie

      Texas attracts businesses and has a low tax rate. Or gee, does it attract businesses because of its low tax rate? Could that have something to do with the state being a bit better off than others? Just maybe it’s not all due to big bad OIL as was said?

      Illinois, poor Illinois is in financial ruin with high taxes and fiscal mismanagement. And, gee. It has a Democratic governor. So add it to the list of New York, and California and there seems to be a pattern that emerges. But, bottom line is that while NO ONE faring well, they’re doing pretty poorly.

      • Bo

        Hmm. And liberal Massachusetts has a lower unemployment rate, vastly better schools, vastly higher incomes and 98.2 per cent of residents have health insurance. Texas does have higher crime and violent crime rates, infant mortality rates, higher divorce rates, out of wedlock births, etc. but we prefer you take the honors there. Our taxes may be higher but our public schools are internationally competitive, we are the biotechnology and higher education capital of the world, and we actually respect and honor education, tradition, history and each other. Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia are red state train wrecks. So try it again.

      • Bo

        By the way, New York State is recovering nicely at this point. It’s crisis was due to the state’s reliance on financial services, the sector that caused the economy to crash in 2007-08.

  • John Campbell

    It’s because they are easily scared by their neighbors, church pastors, who guide them to Fox News, Hannity, and the ilk. I bet half of them only get their news from AM Radio. Fear and hatred of anything that isn’t “Wholesome Christian” leads them to follow the Republican charlatans who peddle their poison wrapped in Ol’ Glory.

  • Dr Phrogg

    if we learn anything from history, it is that we learn nothing from history

  • Tamara

    Interesting. I live in Minnesota. We have one of the best social welfare programs in the country. We also pay a lot in taxes, but our economy is great. We are home to a good number of major companies who either have their HQ here or a major regional hub. Our schools are excellent with graduation (and test scores) consistently in the top of the nation. We also have great communities. According to this map, we are also the lowest (second only to Washington DC) on money received vs. money paid to the Federal Government. I think this just shows that socialist programs do not hinder the growth of the people. We are educated, successful, and we still take care of our own. Just goes to show that systems like ours really can work.

    • Tamara

      Sorry, was supposed to say “the lowest state (second only to Washington D.C.)…” — which is not a state, which is why I said we’re lowest.

    • lindylou

      Explain Michelle Bachmann.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon


    • patryk

      Minnesota is also one of the whitest states in the Union. Ethnic diversity in Minnesota means having German AND Norwegian friends.

      • Julene Sullivan

        And your point is?????

      • Patryk

        Don’t be obtuse.

  • alan perez

    Having lived in the south for almost 4 decades I can agree with this article but there are important factors you have to include. Most of the south is rural. There are no forms of public transportation because most counties just are too sparsely popluated. For this same reason some counties have only a hanful of police officers. Response time can be 30 minutes just due to distance. People worry about losing their guns because they really cannot count on the police to get there fast. Hancock county Georgia is the poorest county and they vote Democrat. They have maybe three police officers patroling a huge county at night. There are no jobs not because of policy but because of the weather. Not many people want to live somewhere that boasts massive gnat and mosquito popluations with 95+ degree temps with 99% humidity. They vote conservative because that’s all they know. It is what their preachers tell them. Even with their lack of education they support the military because they see it as the best way out. Educational achievements are low because expectations are low. Minimum wage is accepted because rents are lower. We lived in a three bed room double wide on 2 acres on the lake for just $350 a month. Getting a job at the local Wallmart for $9 an hour was seen as getting a dream job. Pregnancies and drug usage are high because in many areas there is simply not much else to do. Some areas still do not have broad band or cable tv. Try getting satelite tv with no credit. Where I lived you couldnt even get a cell phone signal in most of the county. Comparing the South with the North is like comparing apples and oranges. I think there are much better arguements that support progressive stances.

  • Im4usa

    The south is mostly poor and rural because historically the region has not supported the education needed to develop successful urban economies. Inequitable legal systems and a tradition of crony capitalism don’t help either.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      I’m guessing it’s a little more complicated than that.

    • patryk

      Can you give me some citations to support what seems to be a rather wild claim.

  • meg gray

    Annie…ever watch the smartest guys in the room about the enron scandal? Explains some of cali’s difficulties. As for pensions…watch some american greed once a week for two months…then tell me why pension math isn’t adding up (cause it should have actuaries are smart people) it didn’t add up because greedy people stole it in thousands of ponzie schemes and you are blaming the victims. There are other factors that were and are beyond the control of states and their pensioners. But sure yeah,,,the world is a terrible place because of all those get rich quick, greedy cops, firemen, and teachers. The stats don’t lie…most republican states are poor, take more in fed dollars than they give, have low ed and health rates. Cali has its problems, but it still returns money to the us treasury, that georgia gets to take and then sneer at those over spending liberals. (Who are conveniently supporting them)

  • QThomas Gilbert

    Your question:,why is it that Republican states are so poor. Is it possible that the religious ideologies that come in those states (catholocism and fundamentalism) have a pervasive view that poverty is holy, and the depressed economy and poverty have been there for so long their beliefs are all they have left and they are not willing to relinquish that, as that belief might be perceived as their last best ticket to something better in an afterlife? Just a thought. Destitution over a prolonged period of time produces some bizarre mythologies.

    • http://ANY.COM AL JONES

      Not many Catholics in those states Q THOMAS

    • Bo

      And Massachusetts – both blue and wealthy – has a majority Catholic population.

    • aimee b

      Religion has nothing to do with it. Fundamentalist Baptist churches and Charasmatic churches in the South beg for money and it’s rarely for charitable means. There are a lot of mega churches where leadership leads rather fanciful lives of wealth. They do not preach that poverty is a virtue not one tiny bit. I’m not saying all fundamentalist Baptist churches are wealthy but almost nearly all Charasmatic churches are, except the strictist sects of hardcore Pentacostals. Catholicism, as a whole, doesn’t have nearly as much of a holding in the South as compared to the Baptists and Charasmatic churches. One must remember 40-50 years ago Catholicism was taught by fundamentalist churches as being evil, less then, in the South (excluding Texas, which is part of the old South and of course S. Florida as Cuban immigration began) the same as Judism was.

      These churches teach that faith alone is a ticket to heaven and not good works.

  • Dan Harmer

    I agree My issue is legalization/decriminalization.It would help the country with gun control,crimes involving pot,make more time for police to go after more serious crimes,it would give farmers another cash crop,provide medicines for all.Not to mention its 3rd largest industry and the tax would pay down our national debt.Why is it you never hear Republicans on this important issue.The last 4 Presidents have smoked it.This would be a good thing to hopefully address this greed….

  • Dan Long

    Um, did anyone look at the map? There are more Democrat states bringing home less tax dollars than Republican. BUT bringing home tax dollars is not a sign of a state’s wealth. The author’s argument is flawed because he’s based it on something that is not an indicator of wealth. He has a degree in political science, not accounting, economics or any math-based majors. Totally flawed argument.

    • Bo

      This measures how much each state gets back – or doesn’t get back – for each dollar sent to D.C. Th correlation between a state’s wealth and how much it subsidizes or gets subsidized is a direct one. A map showing relative incomes would be strikingly similar. My state gets less back because we are wealthy and subsidize less wealthy states. We have a progressive income tax system in this country, so this shouldn’t surprise anyone. As a liberal state, we don’t helping out, but would appreciate those on red state welfare not bashing us.

    • Frunobulax718
  • Chris W.

    You are seeing things that are not there.

    There are 4 “deep green” states, New Mexico, West Virgina, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

    Two are D and Two are R.

    There are 9 moderately dark green states, Hawaii, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Michigan, Kentucky, Alabama, Maine, and Vermont. Five are D and 6 are R. That is hardly convincing.

    Really all you have to favor your argument is the deep south, and that is only very recently republican, within the last 2 generations, as they were the last racist “blue dog” hold outs.

    • Bo

      If you are counting West Virginia as a blue state, I would disagree. In some cases, states receive more federal funding for military bases or facilities that combined with their small population, would them a net collector of federal revenue. I would put Hawaii in that category due to its military bases. Montana has a large federal presence with SAC bases, federal lands, etc. Certainly you’re correct that this can be oversimplified, but the south – not just the Deep South – is now the electoral college base of the GOP and has been for at least 30 years. I regard – of the moderately dark green states – three blue, five red and one “swing.” (Michigan). You framed good arguments, and I enjoyed reading and responding to your post…

  • Tina

    Kind of hard for those states to make it work without their previous secret ingredient — slave labor.

  • D. Lowery

    Mississippi: Ranked last in education.

    Hate to break it to you…but Idaho has them beat. Not only that…but within five years…you will see Idaho beating Mississippi and every other Bible Noose state. There’s never been a bad Bend Over Party idea this state is more than willing to try.

  • sdu754

    This article doesn’t take into account that standard of living is much higher in the liberal states. You have to be much “richer” to live in NY, Conn, NJ or Cal than you do in Texas, Miss, SC or WV. It also doesn’t consider that wealth is much more concentrated in Cal (Silicone Valley & Hollywood) or NY (Wallstreet) than it is in the conservative states. Unemployment is also much higher, not to mention state debt in the liberal states.

    • Nick

      You pay higher taxes but receive more public benefits in “Liberal” states…what this does is actually reduces private spending for those living in those states and overall lowers the cost of living. Lets take for example transit. Those that live in cities with effectively funded public transit systems (usually found in these “Liberal” states) tend to pay $300-$500 a month in public transit fees (fee for ridership [can range from $40-$150 a month, NY subway has $112 unlimited ride per month] plus the cost of local and state tax on individuals allocated to public transit) where as those that use private transit nation wide will spend an average of $600 a month (payments on vehicle, gas, and maintenance/year spread over 12 months). Also consider that those living near cities (where most jobs are located, and where 75% od Americans live nationally) will spend even more on average to private transit due to congestion and underfunded infrastructure. If you want to drive a car to work and accumulate the least cost to maintain your vehicle DO NOT LIVE IN TEXAS. They have the worst maintenance to infrastructure in the nation and that is in part due to underfunding and a overall lack of state spending. …http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/cost-car-ownership.asp

  • Dave in TN

    It also doesn’t take into account that alot of people from up north move down to the South during their retirement years because they are SICK of the WINTERs up North along with the HIGH COST OF LIVING. Therefore, all the Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all that comes with them.
    Also remember, that just a generation ago the South was almost entirely Democrat. The liberal progressives have taken over the Democrat party and naturally conservative Southerners gradually moved to where they would be heard.

    • Did not learn history in the South

      Ah, I think you meant those states went from Democratic to Republican the next election after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act…? Just perhaps?

      • Patryk

        The process of the South turning from Blue to Red took more than just LBJ and the Civil Rights Movement. For one thing, many Democrats opposed it while Northern Republicans supported it. But secondly, the shift was gradual not coming to fruition until Reagan in 1980 and 1984. By 1992, Southern whites had turned their backs on the Democrats for good when they didn’t support Clinton-Gore, two supposed Southerners.

    • Wendy Sembrat

      Check you history books and you will see why the south is no longer democrat. It was due to the civil rights movement and the laws that were passed there after in the 60′s by LBJ. He knew what would happen and was quoted as saying he handed over the south to the republicans when he did the right thing and passed those laws, but the mindset of the south was still fighting the Civil War. It has nothing to do with Southern Conservatives or a very liberal north, it was a southern President that put those laws into existance. Again which part of the country is STILL fighting that war from the 1800′s???

      Being from the “north” most northerners do NOT think about retiring to Mississippi, Arkansas or Alabama and yet they are the poorest of the poor so that arguement of yours does not hold water ei that the retirees of the north drag down the southern economy. Anyone coming south to live after retirement is looking for warmer weather, and cost of living is not that cheap when you look at most of the cities in Florida that they settle in to so that does not seem to hold water. Many who retire south, have great wealth they bring it with them and spend in the south along with their social security and medicare. With so much tourism in the south why is it so many are still so poor? Do the republican states from the south spread the wealth??? Hmmm… that is something to consider. Many live in those red states as the haves and the have nots…. There does not seem to be much middle class. Perhaps you could research that and see why instead of playing the blame game on the democrats.

      • Patryk

        Check your history books — the South did not go for Goldwater, Nixon or Ford as it should have if Southerners simply didn’t like the Civil Rights Act. So, your thesis needs to be adjusted.

      • southside mike

        No, they voted for George Wallace because…. (?)

      • patryk

        … because they were not Republicans. Yet.

  • Mike from CA

    Even if you take the above points(from the comments) into account, what about education, divorce rates, health care, etc… In fact the article really doesn’t mention an individual’s wealth so much as the emphasis on the state. Republican ECONOMIC ideals don’t work. Plain and simple. Free market economies are bullshit and , like communism, work on paper but not in practice. You need state/federal regulation to help properly disperse the wealth so as not to be too heavily weighted toward the “haves” so the “have nots” can try to move up from their station. It’s been proven time and time again throughout economic history and to try to argue against it is pure lunacy. You also need a healthy state/federal government to provide for the services in which the market/consumer should not have to be concerned with(i.e. police, education, emergency services, etc…)

    • Patryk

      It doesn’t look like you have properly studied economics.

      • Mike from CA

        Four years at UCSC in Econ and politics, n

      • Patryk

        >>It doesn’t look like you have properly studied economics.
        >Four years at UCSC in Econ and politics, n

        UCSC!?!?! HA! So, I was right.

      • Mike from CA

        And where are your credentials? My school was ranked thirteenth in the nation for their undergraduate social sciences program, which encompasses economics and politics, don’t see you giving any reason to believe that you’ve spent nearly as many years reading about this subject as I have. And free market economies have been doomed since the industrial era which truly allowed for those with enough investment capital and resource to out perform those without by leaps and bounds. Free market economies worked up until then, but since we started moving out of agricultural economies and into producer and management economies the potential for income disparity had increased exponentially which is why unions formed (though today unions have become twisted and are more harmful than beneficial) and federal legislation to protect the lower workers became an absolute necessity. Bottom line is as we move toward more conservative policies we do worse for ourselves. Take a look at other countries who still have mostly free market economies but have strong social government to help take care of things that shouldn’t be on the mind of the consumer/market. Take Germany: clean roads, no landfills, lower crime rates, hardly any homeless people, government healthcare, the doctors and lawyers and executives and CEOs are all still rich but teachers and farmers and people who would likely be poor in the US have clean healthy food, proper healthcare and childcare, etc… All because they find balance and realize that strictly free market economies or government regulated economies fail

      • Patryk

        Actually … I graduated from UCSC in 1994 (Merrill College). I then did my MA in European History in Wisconsin focusing on Central Europe during the Cold War. I then spent a few years in the Middle East and the last four years shuttling between Hong Kong and Manila. So, my views are shaped by a street level view of the developing world and the limits of governments’ abilities. It is my experience in the Middle East in particular that turned me off of government power altogether. The Philippines likewise is only now recovering from a lost generation of economic growth due to cronyism run wild. As for Germany, its labour market is too restrictive which results in higher structural unemployment. But the German model would not be acceptable to most Americans sense its social class structure actually quite rigid. But I believe your greatest methodological flaws are in your willingness to compare broad-brush stratistics like the number of murders across nations without any effort to unpack the demographic and cultural contexts connected to those numbers and then to tie them free market economics in a most casual and unsupported way.

      • Mike from CA

        Believe me, I am all too familiar with the Middle East, as I was deployed to Afghanistan and worked with their government, know of several people who worked hand in hand with Iraqi and Kuwaiti governments, and to even try to draw comparisons to these is ascinine and it boggles my mind why you would even bring up these points. My job in the Army has me working with government officials from other countries quite often and no government in the Middle East functions anywhere near to ours, they are all light years behind, as are their economies. Now as to Asian governments I’m only familiar with Chinese, as per my studying of the language and culture, and South Korean as I work with many people who have worked with and within the South Korean government. And once again, why do you make any sort of comparison? They’re not nearly close. The reason I draw the comparison between Germany and the US is they are fairly similar in numerous ways: constitutional republics, free market economy with controls put in via government, both first world countries(unlike these random third world examples you’re throwing in here). And the structure may seem rigid, but once you spend time in the country, as I am currently stationed here, you see that the people who are unemployed can make a decent life for themselves. They all want to be employed and search for jobs because their benefits last only so long, but they are not poverty stricken when unemployment happens. I see no homeless people begging for change in either large cities nor rural areas. And I as for my “greatest methodological flaws”, I made no comparison of murder rates, simply crime rates. And as far as unpacking “demographic and cultural contexts connected to those numbers”, that same argument can be made in comparing to major US cities. You could spend all day trying, but the bottom line remains unchanged: states and cities that are seen as more “liberal” versus “conservative” do better economically and usually, not always, in quality of life. But please, continue to argue with facts and make random comparisons, it’s entertaining.

      • Patryk

        Sitting through the Mandarin-Basic course at DLI hardly makes you a specialist in China. Most obvious is your conflation of Hong Kong with the People’s Republic of China without noting the 1984 treaty that governs their relationship — negotiated by none other than the late Lady Thatcher. So, Hong Kong and Singapore are my models and Germany yours. I do like Germany. I have been there many times and I was indeed pan-handled while I was there (bi-lingually pan-handled, I should add) but I am sure you don’t see too many beggers outside the PX. Germany is a nice country. I do not doubt that. But the US is a much larger country and German levels of state control will simply turn the US into an authoritarian wasteland. There are elements of Germany that I appreciate such as its job training system that keeps workers’ skills cutting-edge. But they operate under a different social-contract than the US and so a social-democratic system will not be acceptable in the US for at least another 50-100 years. Singapore and Hong Kong are the future — not Germany.

      • Mike from CA

        No, DLI basic wouldn’t but a half dozen courses specifically targeting china’s economy sure would. And the same rhetoric has been preached for twenty years. China is the future, blah blah. They have been growing regularly at an incredible rate, sure. They have a huge market that you’d be a fool to ignore of course. The future they are not. I never said Germany was either, I said they were a working model which has a much better system for treating their populace while still supporting the basic ideals of a free market economy. And the px comments? Really? Ignorance man. Ignorance. Your feet are firmly planted in the clouds. Please stay in Hong Kong.

      • Patryk

        My feet are in the clouds?!?! That’s rich coming from a current UCSC student. I was a socialist back in those days. My head was in the clouds then though I miss those halcyon days of Santa Cruz and later graduate school. But I am reminded of the adage; “if you’re not a liberal at 25; you are heartless — if you’re a liberal at 45; youare mindless.” I too studied China as a student and now have the benefit of actually living there. I’ll check back in a decade or so and see if you have matured in your outlook.

      • Mike from CA

        I studied at Santa Cruz, graduated nearly a decade ago. I am currently serving in the army. And yes. Your feet are in the clouds. If you haven’t come to the realization that conservative economic policies, particularly free market economies, drive increasing gaps in income disparity. This is proven over and over

      • Patryk

        Capitalism has indeed driven wealth inequality but wealth inequality has been growing since the Neolithic period when agriculture as first adopted. So, really, I am not worried about wealth inequality. Schumpeter explains this all nicely. As long as the Market is truly free and open — wealth will circulate both up and down as opposed to the Marxists who have been claiming for 150 years that it will concentrate at the top — without empirical evidence I might add. And when it has stratified at the top, it was due to government regulations and degrees like those in Medieveal Europe that allowed that.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Any way we could get you and Mike together for a debate? It would be fascinating.

      • Thom Cameron

        It’s a pissing match that solved nothing

      • Mike from CA

        The Republican Party, so great that Yeung the election their message was let’s beat the Dems. Not make America strong, not improve life quality, but their main page describing who they were during the last national election was let’s beat the Democrats. The GOP is a bunch of bass ackward idiots. I feel sorry for the few intelligent people in the party because they are lost to the wind of morons. Here’s some rhetoric for you: “if you’re not liberal at 25 you’re heartless; if you’re not liberal at 45 you fail”

      • Patryk

        I am not going to respond to this one since it was neither scholarly in its focus nor particularly coherent in its execution. It was mostly just invective and I expect better from some who currently wears, as I wore myself in the past, the uniform.

      • Mike from CA

        Four years at UCSC in Econ and politics, now working on my masters, yes I have properly studied it. It’s why I say that a strictly conservative model is just as flawed as a strictly liberal model. Humans are selfish by nature, not as an individual but as a whole. Which is why communism doesn’t work, they need incentive to try harder to be better than those around them otherwise they hit a floor of complacency. On the same line, free market doesn’t work because the power doesn’t rest in the market but those who are smart enough and have the resources to gain a controlling interest in the market and wind up monopolizing it. Similar to Walmart. Point is it takes a balanced hand to make a working economic model, and why the blue states usually have better economies is because their policies are usually not far left crazy policies but slightly left so as not to alienate the right. The red states tend to have more strictly conservative policies, which is what drives the income gap to become larger and makes the poor poorer.

      • Patryk

        You are correct about command economies not properly incentivising labour. ALL of them fail to do so properly and are forced to become ever more extractive and coercive in order to maintain the basic levels of productivity. However, it is demonstrably false — apart from being platitudinous — say that market Capitalism makes the poor poorer. If that were the case, and people have been saying that since the time of Charles Dickens, then those same Dickensian peasants would today be neolithic hunters on the verge of being pushed into the paleolithic by evil Republicans. That is simply not the case. While middle class incomes have declined about 10% since 2007, since capitalism began circa AD 1500, there has been a steady rise in living standards to the point that you see looking down the hill at downtown Santa Cruz. While there have been some reversals — usually caused by statist policies — minimal government interference coupled with strong institutional support for truly free and open Markets has produced tremendous prosperity over the last 500 years — not the deft hand of government planners and regulators.

      • WakeUP!

        Your beloved “free market” only works if consumers are educated and make good decisions. Large corporations use government to help keep consumers ignorant. Just look at big tobacco – for years they fooled everyone into thinking smoking was good for you, and even paid big money to the government to keep from having to disclose the poisons in their product. It wasn’t until the evidence was too much to ignore that things started changing. Now the big oil companies are doing the same thing with fracking, by getting governments to pass laws that lets them keep the poisons in their fracking water a secret. Government MUST create regulations to balance corporate greed: anti-trust laws, environmental regulations, and the like. Otherwise, big corporations will crap all over everyone (including you) in their race of greed. You are naive enough to think big corporations can and will “regulate” themselves if given the freedom to do so, while they quietly poison you and your family behind your back. Corporations are beholden only to money and their shareholders, and thus will only make decisions in the best interest of profit. Government is (should be) beholden to the people, and thus will (should) make decisions in the best interest of citizens. Unfortunately, because of naive conservatives like you (or maybe you’re a big corporate CEO?), our government has become a big corporate whipping dog.

      • patryk

        I wonder if cognitive dissonance hurts? In one sentence you complain that the government needs to be more proactive in “regulating” corporate greed and then you later go on to denounce governments being a “big corporate whipping dog”. So, government is our messiah or our scourge? Which one is it? Benevolent or malevolent? You walk right up to truth, and then seem to pass it by only to call back on cliches. Government is not your protector and corporations are not your enemy. Indeed, corporations are only dangerous, for the most part, when they team up with government which has been accelerating rapidly since “W” and has not slowed down any with Barry Soetoro. Without government power, without its police and its prisons, corporations are no more powerful than a sidewalk fruit vendor. The more regulations and controls a corporation puts on businesses, the more those businesses seek to win the favour not of the customers but to win the favour of the regulators and the regime itself. It is then that businesses become the arm of the government — freed from Market competition and the silly need to appeal to consumers. I suggest you study the case of Argentina leading up to the election of Juan Peron in 1946 (God knows Obama isn’t familiar with the case).

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        Closed eyes hurt whenever you run into something.
        Cognitive dissonance is the opiate that makes it all OK.

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        consumers and voters
        voters are supposed to be who oversees the government, not corps
        So, we free ourselves from the need (or ability) to oversee essential services by privatizing them.
        Perfect logic, no?

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        Only capitalism can raise living standards.
        Science only gets in the way of improving technologies.
        Good technology comes from having only the powerful deciding what to make, and how to make it, with shareholder profit as the only motive!!
        We owe nothing to any of our forebears except the legal fictions of people.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        And you have???

      • patryk

        My background is similar to “Mike from CA’s” background — University of California- Santa Cruz undergrad. My graduate degree is from Wisconsin and I don’t know about his – I suspect University of Maryland. He’s in the Army now — I spent four years in the CA Army National Guard. But I have spent the last decade living and working around the 3rd World which has totally turned me off of government activism in the society and turned me into a classical Friedmanesque free-marketeer.

      • Mike from CA

        Scarily similar in fact. I’m working on a masters now but don’t have one yet, slow progress with work. And Friedman economics works with most third world economies, but the US is no third world economy and the free market doesn’t reflect what the people want. Let’s say some major corporation, we’ll call them W for the sake of ease, has the capital to come in to some town and underbid all of its competitors(due to its purchasing of cheap goods made in foreign countries, further taking away domestic job/labor opportunities) until its competitors are all out of business. Now the majority of people shop in with this W corporation, not realizing that they are part of the contributing factor to the demise of their local shops because they didn’t pay attention or basic economics just wasn’t taught very well in their school and they wanted to save those few extra dollars every paycheck. Do the people in the market WANT corporation W to take over and ruin their local economy? Of course not. Do they understand what’s going on? Not likely. Are these problems that Friedman foresaw? Probably not. Are these third world economy problems? Nope. Do we have to deal and try to combat them? Yup

      • patryk

        I too am fond of small businesses and like to develop personal relationships with the people from whom I make regular purchases. But Friedman always advised us to look at all sides of transactions. If I decide to buy a bicycle, and the independent seller charges $500 but “W” charges $250, my decision to buy from the independent seller deprives me of $250 that I could have spent on a new banjo from another merchant elsewhere. Supporting the independent seller of bicycles impacts my ability to buy banjos somewhere else, or to put the $250 into my 401K, or give myself a steak dinner. It is unfortunate that the independent seller of bicycles may be forced out of the market. But it is also important for him to adapt to the changing market and focus, perhaps, on customised bicycles which “W” is not selling. This is the same for sellers of any products. Supporting small and inefficient sellers has a price as well. As a rule, I like to leave as many choices up to the individual because I find them frighteningly aware of their own needs and interests.

        I split my time between Hong Kong (where Friedman is revered) and Manila which languished for decades under uncompetitive crony capitalism. I believe Manila suffered because its markets were closed and new businesses were stifled at the behest of politically connected elites. Hong Kong, on the other hand, prospered because its markets were largely unfettered by the British colonial and later local government. Hong Kong and Singapore are both free-wheeling states with unemployment hovering around 2-3% and are destinations for thousands of immigrants. Manila — well, the less said about that place the better but hardly anybody in their right mind immigrates TO the Philippines.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        But we’re not a third world. GOvernment activism works in other countries. I’ve a friend in New Zealand who thinks we’re all crazy in the US.

      • patryk

        I have a British chum working here in Hong Kong who is devoted to Ron Paul. It’s a bit strange. Everybody is entitled to their opinions.
        Government activism works in some countries; that is true. Other advanced economies like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Switzerland have very little activist government (very little government even) yet prosper as well. But I have noticed that government activism works best in small, homogeneous countries like Denmark, New Zealand, and Uruguay. In large and diverse units, like the US, Brazil, the Soviet Union, and even France, activism quickly degenerates into authoritarianism. I really don’t think government activism is well suited to the US. Individual states — maybe. But not directed from DC.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        DC is dysfunctional, but that doesn’t mean it can’t provide the funds for improvement. We got the interstate highway system from a Republican president.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        It would still be illuminating to watch you two go head-to-head; two disparate views, both of which probably have legitimate points.

      • Thom Cameron

        And obviously you have!
        Reagonomics and trickle down was and is a disaster
        and the root evil of today’s situation.
        So, don’t quote the b.s you learned.
        Read the situation of reality not some book!

      • patryk

        Whenever somebody says “Reagonomics” (sic) or “trickle-down,” I know that I am dealing with somebody who has not been tutored in the various schools of economic thought. I am left to assume that most of your education is courtesy of MSNBC or through the near-mad rantings of Keith Olbermann.

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        Economics really only runs one experiment at a time.
        When the data comes in, they call it history.
        Not what you should call a predictive science.

    • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

      Do so, known fact! (as in, I know, so it’s a fact).

  • Joe D

    It is a personal observation I moved from Boston from a nice suburban Town I thought I was HUGE and not like ARNOLD. When I moved to McKinney Tx I felt tiny McKinney is upscale but the men and some of the Women were Huge. They were like a Herd of Beefalos going from all you can eat Buffets to another Buffet

  • Jazzyc

    Unfortunately some right wing nut jobs like Scott Walker want to turn progressive states like Wisconsin into the Mississippi of the north.

  • Robert Karp

    What a bunch of BS. First off California is not extremely liberal, the margin is a small percentage and the reason any stte is Blue is the heavy populations of the big cities. So. basically you have the non-self-reliants telling the self-reliants how to live. You have no common sense but book smart San Franciscans telling people that live by common sense how to live. Your Blue states have higher educational inputs but lower efficiency and output ratings than most red states. There are 11 states that have more people collecting welfare than working and 7 out of those 11. are blue states, so nice try, New York and Californis are among them. A bunch of liberals think they have something snd strike out again.

    • Sam Knudson

      There is not a single state that has more people on welfare than working where do you get this stuff?

      • southside mike

        Fox News

    • Boiler Cordova

      More people on Welfare than working? Just like Sam Knudson stated, where do you get this stuff? Republicans use our right to freedom of speech to say the stupidest things. Please go sit at the kids table, this is a grown up conversation. When you can stop saying goo goos and ga ga’s and learn to use intelligence instead of ignorance.

  • Jameson

    This article is complete nonsense. To say that red states or states in the south are simply not desirable places to live is absurd and unfair to the people that live in those states, many of whom are liberal minded and educated.

    • Patryk

      To call the article and “article” is unfair. It is a cheap and lazy polemic which demonstrates little proper research and a total lack of attention to research methods. It’s a bumper-sticker — nothing more.

  • Steven Roth

    It also seems like most of this countries most prestigious universities are in liberal states…New York, California, and Massachusettes. There is one conservative state that seems to be well run…..Utah!!

    • AJ

      Living in Utah, I will tell you this. The ONLY reason it is “run well” is because it is being run by the church. The separation of church and state here means that the SLC Temple is 2 blocks from the Capitol building. And the reason it’s run so well – there are very few services the state pays for. Everyone goes to the church for their needs – unless they’re not a member of the cult, then you’re shit out of luck. This place is definitely a Republican utopia… or would be if they didn’t hate the Mormon cult so much.

  • Patryk

    This was cheap and lazy polemic. Why not discuss UT, AZ, AK, ND NE,or SD? Why not look county-by-county and see that the all of the areas with the lowest life expectancies and highest drop-out rates are also reliably Blue areas like New Orleans. How about comparing Red Counties to Blue counties within so-called “progressive” states like Wisconsin — like Milwaukee to Green Bay! In short, this was a poorly researched product of a lazy thinker.

    • http://www.alanlight.nu Alan

      Yes, things are very different when you look at the county level – which is why progressives refuse to do so.

      There’s also another obvious correlation that is politically incorrect to make.

      Besides all this, there is the question of purchasing power. Taking purchasing power into account, the poorest cities in America are Philadelphia and New York – very blue areas.

      Finally, if these states are so bad, why are people voting with their feet to move away from blue states to red states?

    • Joe

      After running from responsibility from the state and insulating themselves in their well todo counties that have well funded schools, a high tax base, better funded police, etc they look at the poorer counties and say “Why an’t you be the same as us?”. Nice. And you wonder why people are abandoning the G.O.Teaparty in droves? Just because you live in “white suberbia land” in a state that ranks low in every category does not mean your political ideology is successful.

      • Patryk

        My political ideology is highly successful … I live in Hong Kong.

  • Nicholas Kindig

    As a Tennessean I do agree, except there is pretty much a thin Blue line running straight through the middle of the state (pretty much the I-65 corridor) where there is a LOT of wealth including Williamson Co. TN, which has one of the highest amount of millionaires per capita in the country, there’s still some major industry here as well… and THIS is where the intelligent Tennesseans are found… just don’t venture too far off the interstate, or you will run quickly into the backwards areas where there are few teeth and shoes, they still think that beating your wife is a way of “showing them who’s boss”… you know… Republican/Conservative areas

  • Sue

    Believe me, I agree. I could even add to that list. But, since moving to Mississippi from the West coast, I’ve realized that the economic problems in the South really do date back to the Civil War, and the lack of reconstruction or reintegration. Once an entire region has become economically depressed, it’s very difficult to bring it back again – especially if there’s no effort to do so!

    • Pandem

      I moved the other way, Sue, from the only reliably blue area of Mississippi (the Delta) to the West Coast, and I agree with you, except that the problems pre-date even the Civil War and are easily summed up: wealth too concentrated in the hands of a few.

      • Tamara

        “wealth too concentrated in the hands of a few”

        Hmm….where I have seen that before?

        Oh yeah. In the elite Republicans of today. I for the life of me can’t fathom how they continue to get the poor and uneducated to vote for them. They are so underserved by their own party, who feel the poor are there because they choose it. If only they worked harder. If only they worked four part time jobs for minimum wage, or FIVE or take two full time jobs at minimum wage.

        I can tell you what that does. It makes children raise themselves (possibly geting into legal trouble — aha! Feeding the penitentiary scam too!), and brings those hard working parents to an early grave….and they STILL weren’t able to bring themselves out of poverty. Go figure. I guess working too many hours kind of impedes any educational opportunities that may come along, squashing dreams too.

        And before I get a backlash, we’re both college educated professionals and our family income is a bit into the 6-figures. We’re what you’d call “the myth of the middle class” since we’re still not able to get ahead. We have a modest house ($145k) that we are underwater on (owe $190k), have a 2006 subcompact vehicle (for better gas mileage), recently replaced our totaled 97 minivan with a crossover SUV (again, for the mileage), and we don’t go on vacations (Unless a weekend every 1-2 years in Wisconsin Dells counts. It’s 3 hours from our home), we don’t own a retirement account, and our clothes are all either bought on clearance or at consignment shops. We have basic television, no premium services, and we eat out 2x per week. I shiver to think what the poor people are having to deal with on much less income.

        Funny thing, those poor people, working menial jobs, are the foundation of our economy. Without them, the CEOs of today wouldn’t have their incomes.

        And don’t even get me started on Walmart, the modern version of sharecropping. Pay employees a meager wage, which makes them basically buy all their necessities at Walmart to get the employee discount, stretching their dollars. Most of Walmart Employee expendible income (minus housing/transportation) is spent at Walmart. Sounds like another version of “the man” holding his sharecroppers in debt for things he provides to them.

        And yet I still shop there because even I can’t afford much else.

        The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the ultra poor conservatives continue to elect the people who keep this game going.

        I think I’m going to move to Arizona and live off the grid…..!

  • gray

    Talk about a misinformed article, West Virginia is a Democratic state. Most slums are in Democratic cities . Only a few in Austin and south Texas really vote Democratic. At least get some basic facts right.

    • Patryk

      Some states split their votes. WV tends to vote Democrat locally but in national elections, they vote Republican. Likewise, WI votes Republican in local and state elections then inexplicably votes for Obama. I am not sure what’s going on there.

    • lindylou

      Check out the demographic within that demographic. In my work, I encounter people who are from some of these poor states (this is a very expensive area to live in) … and for the most part, they still don’t “get it”, and they might be physically in Fairfax Country Virginia, but their minds are still in the rural south, and their politics are pure christo-conservative.

  • John

    It is because of the non voting democratic jobless loser blacks in those states

  • Tony

    OK, just because the article didn’t go into GREAT detail about where the pooriest counties were in these states does not mean the author was wrong in pointing out that these states are among the poorest states. Point was, these states are run by republicans, who, have pretty much full ability to do whatever they like, pass whatever they like, yet, these facts remain… regardless of what county you live in, the envirment is pretty much set by the state level. If the state is rich, the county is going to be richer. And besides, the point of the article was, if republicans are SO right, then why can’t they prove it in states they get full control over. Never did I think, Dems have it so right after reading this article…

    Sure, there might be some rich people in these states, cost of living is also lowest in these states. So why wouldn’t you, as a rich person want to move to a state that is cheap to live in? Someone mentioned cost of living above, saying New York comes into play then, NO it doesn’t… If you can’t afford to live in New York, then you need to move away. I know I couldn’t live there, so I don’t plan on moving there! However, if someone in my state (Oklahoma) is below poverty level and can’t make it, what are they to do? They can’t move to New York that is for sure…

  • John 2

    Two cultures in the south that are completely worthless…. afro-americans and mexican-americans… easy as that.

    • Brad

      I completely agree John. Every single black and Mexican in the southern regions bring the entire area down to the dirt with them. The hard working rest of the population votes and has to pay for their welfare and food stamps. Scum.

      • thomas samuelrich

        You people are such idiots. The majority of these states are caucasian and poor. Minority folks don’t impact caucasian earnings. If there were any good jobs they would go to non-minority folks first.

    • Matt

      Right. Like there aren’t Mexicans and African Americans in other states.

      • Brad

        Not as many.

      • Patryk

        There is nothing wrong with blacks or Mexicans. They are simply people who have been trapped in a system of government servitude, dependent on the State for hand-outs and jobs. They are similar to Soviet citizens in the 1980s — unable to imagine life without the benevolent hand of the handsomely- rewarded ruling elites. This is the unintended consequence of the Great Society — modern serfdom. We need another Czar Alexander II to free the serfs.

    • Denise

      This thread is a continuation of the article. Why are red states so poor? Because the citizens and politicians blame others for their lot. Blame the minorities! LOL, how ignorant can you get? Kansas doesn’t have a high degree of minorities and it is right up there with the rest of the red states. Urban areas are FULL of minorities and thats where more wealth is. I thought the GOP was all about taking responsibility….what a crock. If you looked at the situation squarely, you would be asking for consults from the blue states as to how they do it, but no….they keep doing the same things and expect different results….what is that a definition of again?

    • Barry

      There is so much prejudice here. It is what is really wrong with America. Too many whites especially uneducated ones blameing all problems on Mexicans and Blacks. What a bunch of B.S. The money just doesn’t trickle down to anyone. So many whites have been dupped by the the Rich. They have all whites believing their policies are good for them. When in fact the only policy of the wealthy is to screw over the middle and lower class.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      How so? They are doing your work.

  • chad

    I’d like to say most people that are on food stamps and other forms of welfare are whites. The reason why most conservative states are the poorest is because Republican policies don’t work for poor people. They only work if you’re already rich. The Republican Party is nothing more but a lock step service for the rich.

    • Patryk

      Yes — the Democrats LOOOOVE the poor so much they have gone about increasing their ranks so there are more people to love as seen by the 7% decline in household incomes since the start of the Obama regime. The Coastal Elites love the poor so much they want EVERYBODY to be poor.

      • southside mike

        “7% decline” Creditable source please?

      • lindylou

        That is such a stupid comment, when you start whining about how the “elites” want “everybody to be poor”, you are showing yourself to have not evolved from your teen years of “you don’t want me to have a coed sleepover because you hate me”.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Patryk, household incomes have been stagnating since the Reagan years. Where you been livin’?

      • patryk

        …and they have been going down since 2009.

      • Thom Cameron

        Because they can’t find jobs! Jobs that pay a livable salary. All the while jobs are sent overseas of downsized and your party fights every progressive bill offered. And what does your party do instead of fight for jobs????? They try to repeal a bill that is upheld by the Supreme Court. Not once or twice or 10 or 20 or 30 time but 37 times

      • patryk

        So, with 25% of African-Americans unemployed the answer to this problem is to import an extra 30 million people courtesy of the latest “Progressive Bill”. Progressive ideas are what have caused this economic disaster. That’s what happens when government tries to put its thumb on the scale for one group or another. The whole system goes out of whack. It’s what happens when people are governed by the emotions (Progressives) and not reason (Conservatives).

      • Charlie Norris

        i find it odd that people who argue again and again for the ‘rights’ of fetuses with brains so undeveloped they don’t feel pain, who argue to go into every single war that we’ve been in in the last 50 years, and who argue perpetually against ‘big government’ can do so from anything other than a highly emotional perspective.
        personally i won’t bother to defend democrats- i think in general when people have better education and more food to eat they’re more likely to vote democrat simply because they don’t *have to make a decision emotionally* out of hunger, or avarice towards whichever race, religion, or other subgroup the republicans are currently using as a scapegoat for their failed worldview. but it’s important for us all to remember that it isn’t that these democratic ideals create the wealth in these states- it’s the other way around. and really- if you’re voting for one of the two major parties in our country *it doesn’t matter which one* you are essentially just paying someone who’s already getting paid by the major corporations to sell your rights away as quickly as they can.

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        Once one is born one is in God’s hands, but until then it’s all up to us?

      • Sam Brosenberg

        God has no power inside the womb?

      • sfwmson

        well patryk, you can alter the argument every single time you are presented with a valid point, but it is the big business conservative mind set and greed that nearly broke the entire world economy. Is the democratic party the be all and end all? Of course not, but when it comes to helping people, that us what a society must do. and no I am NOT talking a bout third generation welfare families. of course that is wrong.

      • sfwmson

        and are you saying conservatives aren’t led by emotion? Really? I have a reason to help someone who is working poor. Is there emotion there as well, you bet. But a sound reason to help someone is to better the entire community. It is reasonable ot do that because then the entire community benefits and business grows.

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        bipartisans all play for the same owners
        gp dot org

      • Mr. Smith

        You are either ignorant, in denial, or simply abstinent and contrary because you refuse to see the truth. Your comments are some of the most asinine I have ever seen. Thankfully intelligent thinking persons do not share your deluded world view.

      • Patryk

        “Abstinent”?!?! What do my sexual habits have to do with the fact that I think we need diversity in our immigration not just Mexicans and Central Americans who make up the vast majority of current illegal aliens. BTW, I am marking your reply as an “F” for poor language usage, punctuation, and ad hominem attacks rather than a substantive rebuttal to the initial points.

      • jimtoday

        I believe he meant abstinence of thought and reason.

      • Jimmy

        Yeah, attacking the language skills is also an ad hominem argument which considering that the term ‘abstinent’ was actually used correctly (and that seems to be the one alleged error you cited), seems pretty ironic.

      • Lorrie Crabtree

        42 actually.

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        Rising productivity always results in greater income inequality…
        doesn’t it?

      • Charlie Norris

        when the productivity occurs in a situation which endorses profit as some sort of virtue i’d say yes, for the reason that profit *is* fiscal inequality. it’s paying less for something that’s worth more, it’s charging more for something that’s worth less. there is no conceivable way you could make the type of record profits our modern corporations brag about without screwing many individual contributors out of their fair share, and deceiving many customers.
        but it’s worth considering that in some sort of utopian system productivity would reap benefits that could be shared by all.
        also, it’s worth remembering the ever popular presupposition that people won’t work as hard, or come up with bigger and better ideas without the incentive of dragging themselves out of the ghetto- or in some cases keeping their five car garages.

        oh and i have no clue what you meant when you replied to my initial reply. I’m an atheist, were you accusing me of christianity? or were you assuming that i was a christian? maybe a muslim, a jew, a catholic? please give me some context here and maybe we’ll have an interesting conversation.

      • Thom Cameron

        Your ignorance and elitist mentality is showing and it is quite unbecoming. Very Christian of you and so very Jesus like. I do love the under privileged. I do hate those who have too much and look down their fat cat noses at those in need.
        And I don’t care if you think my LOOOOOVE is wrong because I feel you are wrong.

      • patryk

        Please site the chapter and verse where Jesus explains that charity equals taxation and that it is the role of the State to look after the poor through make-work programmes and wealth transfer schemes that inexplicably pay top-dollar to those who administer such noble[!] undertakings.

      • travelingcat

        Let me use your own logic: Please cite the chapter and verse where he doesn’t?

      • Patryk

        Sorry, it doesn’t work in that direction: YOU LOSE!

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        How about you show me where he says otherwise?
        “Render unto Caesar…” “eye of a needle”…

      • mister_g43

        “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ -Matthew 25:40

        ” ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.- Leviticus 25:35

        ” ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did nothelp the poor and needy.”- Ezekiel 16:49

        “He (Judas Iscariot)did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”- John 12:6

      • Patryk

        None of the above quote name the state as the vehicle for helping the poor. That Christians are encouraged to help the poor is well know, it’s become a platitude. This innovation of yours that taxation=charity is modern and more than a little bizarre. How can a coerced and involuntary payment to a bureaucrat represent “help for the poor” when I am reasonably sure that same bureaucrat has a very nice pension and a much nicer house than the poor he is supposedly helping.

      • Charlie Norris

        i love the mention of coercion – please explain to me why objectivists only ever see coercion when the government is doing it “at gun point” (usually with a written notice with a return envelope enclosed) and can’t even perceive it when a corporation does it with the same methods and the same threat- namely litigation. as far as the bit about the state being the … vehicle? for helping the poor i believe you misunderstand. the state is the ‘vehicle’ for judicial arbitration- many of these poor people have been lied to and cheated out of their money, those of us who see this, and see people living in the lap of luxury while making negligible philanthropic contributions wish to petition said arbiter for justice. no one is asking for a ‘hand out’ that creates the illusion that the equity was ever theirs in the moral and legal sense, we’re asking for compensation to settle a debt created by bad business ethics.

      • Patryk

        Does the IRS not demand payment (with courtesy envelope supplied) on pain of imprisonment if I fail to comply? Is that not coercion? As for corporation coercing me??? I have never been threaten with imprisonment for failing to buy a particular type of toothpaste or refusing to wear the latest fashions. So, really, I don’t know what you are talking about there with corporations being coercive. As for you view of the state as a judicial arbiter for the oppressed and cheated … well, that just doesn’t resemble any of the roles of government that I see outlined in the Constitution. That is a late 19th Century “Progressive” view of the State which doesn’t hold with the Founders (who obviously weren’t around anymore by then) or me. You are clearly dabbling in the “redistributive justice” area and I am highly, HIGHLY uncomfortable with that. If laws are broken, he courts can be used for redress. Otherwise, the state shouldn’t be redistributing anything.

      • Charlie Norris

        there are different kinds of coercion my friend- in the 1800′s it was common for businesses to have their own enforcers and in certain mining communities if you didn’t want to buy your necessities at the store provided by the company you would be forced to, at gun point. what happened is these businesses bought into the government sanctioned corporations to alleviate themselves of liability while at the same time outsourcing their security to the government. to say that they can now avoid paying for that benefit is insane. and to say that the same security now employed by the police isn’t sanctioned by the same corporations isn’t coercion is myopic. look- the point which i was trying to create here was that guns don’t actually come into it very often the threat is only a last ditch thing which is practically never used. in the same way that if i lose my job because i complain about my corporations practices no one will point a gun at me, i will simply lose the money to pay my bills and keep my already low standard of living intact, if i wish to argue this point i will be asked politely to leave, failing that they will finally call the police, even then it’s very unlikely that i will have a gun pointed at me but it’s still coercion.
        but that’s really only the beginning, there are many negative business models which strive simply to make more money at any ethical price- the worst part is these are the most successful models, it’s why we need government to keep an eye on these businesses and restrain them from raping our increasingly uneducated population as well as coerce them to give some of their ill gotten gain back to fund the roads and police that they use, as well as pay for the education which is really the only solution to our problems here.
        also i don’t consider myself a progressive, i endorse the idea behind socialized medicine but from what i’ve read i’m not that enthusiastic about what it will become and i think obama is just as big of a warmonger as bush and bush jr. combined.
        oh and if any of this doesn’t resemble the roles of what the government was created to do- fine, you’ve beaten me on precedent. also man never flew before the early 1900′s. we never went into space until the mid 1900′s. slavery was considered normal and fair by most civilized people until the mid 1800′s. the founding fathers probably wouldn’t have endorsed many of our modern ideals or technology but that is the whole point in moving forward in time, not backwards. thomas jefferson was a great guy in his time but he owned slaves. even abe lincoln never thought black people were the intellectual/moral equals of white people. long story short i think it rather trite to argue about what a bunch of people who lived before the industrial revolution would think of our modern infrastructure and politics- do you really care that much? maybe you should join them?

      • Patryk

        Likewise, my Founders are dead and your Company Towns are a relic of history too, long since deemed unconstitutional. I grant you that the Founders did not envision all that IS today but likewise, he have progressed to a point where the Marxist dialectics are no longer applicable. Similarly, I do no feel coercion from any corporation — only annoying suggestions to “Just Do It”, which happily ignore. Try that with the IRS. As for your employer coercing you — I consider that part of the implicit loyalty you owe to your benefactor. Quit the job and slag on them all you like. Take their dime; keep your mouth shut.
        Like you, I have issues with socialized medicine. It seems to diminish care. I support the idea of socializing only Catastrophic Illnesses — say 10-15K worth of bills in a year. Socialized medicine often distorts the relationship between value and product. People should pay for their healthcare. But, I accept that the treatment of many illnesses COULD BE SOCIALIZED because of the outrageous costs.

      • Charlie Norris

        it’s good we have some common ground. i find it odd that you brought up marx when i’m talking about socialism- not communism- you understand the differences right? as for the company towns the point i was making is that they were traded out for government security instead of local security i call this outsourcing because that is exactly what it is and it’s why they should be paying more for it and also why i have no problem with men coercing them if they refuse to pay for the security which they benefit from.
        next you say i can simply quit my job- do you even understand what this entails? i lose my insurance, and i lose income which can affect my ability to feed, shelter and, clothe myself. perhaps you don’t realize that my job apathetically cuts my hours whenever they can afford to, reducing that ability without any warning? perhaps you don’t realize that it’s currently an employers market so i have no choice but to play by a set of rules which border on totalitarian in order to get another job anywhere with my education level? i am, in a very real way coerced in this manner and though it’s rarely a gun pointed at my face i think it’s worth it to remember that taking 10% of someones income when they make six figures could at best be described as an offensive inconvenience, whereas taking that same 10% when they make less than 20k per year can seriously affect their health and well being.
        and i don’t think socialized medicine in and of itself is a bad thing- i don’t see any reason why we can’t all just pay a certain amount per person based on a scaling percentage by income and just not have to worry if we get cancer, or tonsillitis giving us the freedom to quit a job based on our own personal moral imperatives and resume work within the month without taking major setbacks should an illness occur in that time. as an objectivist i would think you would agree with this seeing as it provides more competition between employers to provide their employees with good work environments and human resource departments sensitive to the needs of their workers. i don’t see any reason why we can’t still pay our medical workers quite well out of that and still get good care- incidentally it’s the independent insurance companies with large groups of employees and ceos making seven figure incomes which show more of a detriment to the money getting to the people who actually provide the care, than it is the government mucking about. i could even add that we don’t need doctors to do a job beyond a certain par for most procedures. incidentally the problems that i have with the current approach to socialized medicine is that it’s leaving too much leeway for these organizations which have honestly become a major drain on our society and make no tangible contribution to justify the profits they make (off human misery i should add). oh and 10-15k won’t even put a dent in the sort of debt which accumulates after a catastrophic illness these days, the prices have been driven up to the point of fantasy thanks to the insurance companies, all the little hands dipping into the money that should really be going from the hands of the people who need care to the doctors, nurses, and medical staff providing that care.
        now the common argument i hear from objectivists at this point is an argument against the very principle of civil servants and politicians, saying they are uniformly inept or malevolent when it comes to things like this- i’d like to take that to the next level, and say that people in general who have any amount of power which cannot be easily removed by popular vote, have a tendency towards these behaviors, so it doesn’t really matter whether it’s the government or a private organization doing the screwing they’re all peopled by the same people who went to the same colleges. so yes, sure our current system is very corrupt but if we do things through them we at least have some modicum of control over how they behave and with the right amount of produce and independent representatives we can even take the system back- but if we scale down the system it will be increasingly hard to fill the few available positions with people with some sort of integrity- and increasingly easier for organizations who game the system to bribe one person instead of twenty to get their laws passed.
        i’m enjoying this conversation :D

      • Pixie Stix

        You are the first person I have ever seen refer to themselves as an “objectivist.” Could you please give me a definition so that I understand what you are saying?

      • Patryk

        I believe that’s an Ayn Rand thing. I call myself a Conservative and follower of the Austrian School of Economics. I don’t know anything about Ayn Rand personally except that a lot of other Conservatives thought she was swell.

      • Pixie Stix

        I am not familiar iwth the Austrian School of Economics and all I know about Ayn Rand is that she was for everyone taking care of themselves, which was great in theory, but like many others, she collected Social Security in order to make ends meet when she could no longer work.

      • Patryk

        Ayn Rand was primarily a novelist though many Conservatives like her the same way many Progressives like Michael Moore or Jack Kerouac.
        The Austrian School, on the other hand, has academic street cred. It was started by economists from Austria in the late 1930s who needed to flee Hitler’s Reich. The mostly settled at the University of Chicago. The professors and their students went on to get the ear of leaders like Reagan, Thatcher, and yes, Augusto Pinochet of Chile and they are credited with Chile’s economic miracle though tarnished by their connection to Pinochet’s crimes. The “Austrians” were primarily concerned with organizing capital markets and pension funds — not torturing dissidents. Paul Krugman HATES the Austrians and thinks they are insane. Paul Krugman has a Nobel Prize in economics. Another noted Austrian Economist, Milton Friedman, also has a Nobel in Economics. And so does Friedrich Hayek (also an Austrian) so, the Austrians are up on Krugman 2-1.

      • Patryk

        briefly — I may add more later: Marx was among the first the stress economic equality as opposed to the narrowly defined “equal before the law” that was a hallmark of the Glorious Revolution, American Revolution, and found in the writings of Locke. Marx expanded on that to begin discussing the abolition of social classes which were markets and perpetuators of inequality. Locke would have had no time for Marx’s arguments (we assume). Marx sought RE-DISTRIBUTION of wealth in general to level out ANY class distinction. Locke, the Founders, and William of Orange never thought of such a thing. Their “revolutions” were essentially bourgeois.
        The extent that “communism” and “socialism” are different is semantic in this regard. Each attempt eliminate social classes through the redistribution of wealth from the upper to the lower classes (from those who own the means of production to those who do not). Social Democratic Sweden on the one hand and Pol Pot’s Cambodia on the other, all tried to do this to different degrees. One was benign, the other … not so much. True “communism” was never achieved — by the admission of all those who tried it — so these were always varying sorts of State Socialism. On principal, I oppose any effort to re-distribute wealth since I believe it is none of anyone’s business how much anyone else has as long as all gains are not ill-gotten. My concern has always been that regimes that seek to re-distribute regularly become increasingly coercive and authoritarian as more and more people attempt to avoid the confiscation of their wealth, no matter how little it may be after a while. Indeed, when the raison d’état of a government is redistribution, it will not have an incentive to stop redistributing until all wealth is either destroyed or in state hands. This is the case with modern Zimbabwe and Cuba where their economies have almost totally collapsed due to the restrictions on private enterprise.

      • Charlie Norris

        it seems that you’re arguing that since there is no such thing as a pure form of communism (when defined as a society with no class distinctions) and therefor any form of communism is essentially the same thing as socialism. has it occurred to you that by that same slippery slope argument one could say that since there is no pure form of capitalism in that there’s always some sort of authority which makes decisions restricting free trade of commodities that that too is always socialism?

        moving on this presumption that communism and socialism only differ in the revocation of castes is a rather general and vague depiction of the two, very different, types of wealth distribution and depending on your perspective, types of government.

        moving on i think you’re references to cuba and zimbabwe could best be described as cherry picking seeing as you omit china- an example of a communist society which is apparently thriving at the moment. not to mention the fact that both countries might very well have other factors causing their economic turmoil instead of just the type of government they happen to have- this is the difference between a cause and effect relationship and a correlation, incidentally the misinterpretation of those two different things is often called the false cause fallacy.

        and i’m sorry i assumed you were an objectivist. your arguments are strikingly similar to other objectivists i’ve talked to and they too mention the austrian school quite often in debate though so far i haven’t really seen much evidence that the conservative (objectivist or otherwise) standpoint holds water in the global economy. it seems to be based around a survival of the fittest type of pseudo morality and though i don’t like the idea of providing for people with no chance of return i think it rather crude to assume that anyone who has something has it because they are smart, productive or benevolent and that anyone who doesn’t is poor because of stupidity, laziness, or malevolence.

      • Nik DeWitt

        Loyalty to your benefactor? You self serving ass! What about the loyalty to your employees who are a major reason for your success, if you are successful. What about the employee who pays into a retirement plan for twenty years and is then laid off just short of his eligibility or finds that the plan has been drained/robbed by management? Your attitude is a major source of the inequality in the world and the destruction of the middle class in the United States.

      • TamPie

        How about paying a decent wage? That would help the poor help themselves.

        How about NOT providing corporate welfare? We give Walmart subsidies in the form of tax breaks, then we give their employees welfare because they aren’t making enough to support their families. The amount of money given to Walmart via these two avenues is astronomical.

        Then, after Hurricane Katrina, Walmart had a press conference to announce the few millions they donated to the victims. I did the math. Walmart gave what equaled to a couple dollars of my measly income (I was under the poverty level). I think it was actually under $2.00.

        That’s just ONE example of the ways the GOP uses our money to help the rich while snubbing the poor.

        The old adage of “If you just work hard you can make it too” is false too. How on Earth is someone to get a college education while working their fingers to the bone? I only got my college degree because I happened to find a man who made a decent wage and HE supported me going to college. There is no way I’d have been able to do it without help. I was lucky. Plenty of people are not.

        So, the argument of using our tax dollars to help the poor being wrong, I believe the poor are poor because we created the mess by giving these corporations incentive to not pay them enough, and we PAY them to do it, in the form of corporate welfare.

        These corporations are sucking so much money from our economies, in the government subsidies to both the companies and their employees.

      • Patryk

        I am a Conservative and follower of the Austrian School of Economics. We abhor subsidies to corporation because we feel it actually hurts the corporation … like heroin to a junkie. I agree that subsidies should end. I, like most “Austrians” support a flat tax which does away with loopholes that corporations exploit.
        Now, as for your university, it was no different from mine. My family was poor. My father was disabled but received no money because he had some minimal abilities to work simple jobs though he had been a savings&loan VP in the 1960s and 1970s. He was a valet and security guard by the time I was in college (he had a stroke). So, I took out loans to go to college, worked part-time while doing so, and then it took me 10 years to pay back the loans but I did so — just a couple years ago. And since then, I was so used to being cheap and mindful of my money, I had enough for a down-payment on a condo 2 years after finishing my student loans.
        So, I don’t take issue with your desire to end “corporate welfare.” But I don’t see corporations as an existential threat. They have no prisons or police. Only governments have those. So, I fear governments, not Walmart or Starbucks.
        And remember; charity, when it is involuntary, is theft. That’s not politics. That’s the English Language.

      • TheDivineMisterM

        The “Austrian School of Economics?” What is that, Hitler University?

      • Patryk

        The Austrian School was founded at the University of Chicago in the 1930 and was composed of economics professors who were fleeing NAZI persecution often because they were Jewish. Good job mocking people who flee NAZI persecution. You’re a real mensch!

      • TheDivineMisterM

        I’m also a real Jewish man from New York City. Grew up in the Conservative Shul, Bar Mitzvahed in ’81, and a member of my local Minyan. Where and when were YOU Bar Mitzvahed, and what was your parshah?

      • jimtoday

        Then, you should know better.

      • williams1984

        35 states pay more than the minimum wage for welfare. You want to fix that problem? Tell companies to pay a better wage. When it becomes more profittable for a poor man to work than not work, perhaps that will stop your complaining about the 22% who are on welfare and do NOT work at least part-time or attend secondary education.

      • Patryk

        I agree with this. I do not like hand-outs and transfer payments with the intention of creating “equality of income.” I prefer the allow the state to fund technical education (not liberal arts nonsense) for the unemployed. I would also pay corporations and industries to provide the training that they most require providing those students are eventually converted into workers. The problem with the minimum wage is that the jobs skills, productivity, and work ethics of many people do not rise to the value of $8 per hour and hence are unemployable at that wage. They might be at $3 or $5 per hour but not at $8-10. We need to increase the value of their labour, not the value of the paycheck.

      • Nik DeWitt

        You are starting to sound a lot like a union supporter. I hope that doesn’t make your head explode — I think.

      • Patryk

        Unions are exclusive institutions. I want Inclusive institutions.

      • Joe T

        Well, the Bible doesn’t state anything in terms of modern political and economic policy. It’s supposed to be a statement of principles. The principles presented are often contradictory and confusing. But if you’re really an objectivist, religious considerations are irrelevant, so why is that even discussed at all?

      • Anthony F.

        Man Thanks! I just had to share your comment!

      • Daniel Kim

        Proverbs 22:16 ESV
        Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

        James 5:4 ESV
        Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

        Malachi 3:5 ESV
        “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against . . . those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

      • ReallyPissedOff

        We the People of the United States, in

        Order to form a more perfect Union,

        establish Justice, insure domestic

        Tranquility, provide for the common

        defense, promote the general Welfare, and

        secure the Blessings of Liberty to

        ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and

        establish this Constitution for the United

        States of America.

      • ReallyPissedOff

        How about Our Constitution…

      • jimtoday

        Sound public and fiscal policies do not rely on the supernatural. At All.

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        And I don’t care if you think my hate is wrong because I feel you are wrong.

      • Patryk

        “fat cat noses”??? What is this, 1937!?!? I suspect you are going to go on “helping the under privileged” no matter how much it hurts them because, “dammit, YOU love them!”

      • Kathryn Mccauley

        you are a moron Obama didn’t make all these problems oh lets see bush was there before him for 8 years so why not blame him your probably a republican thats why u sound so stupid

      • Patryk

        Obama has been president for five long and unpleasant years now. And you Progressives are still blabbering on about Bush. AMAZING! I will continue to blame Obama for this country’s very poor/non-existent economic recovery and the shift to part-time employment (courtesy of Obamacare) indeed, I will even blame Obama for your suspiciously small vocabulary and uncivil rush to ad hominem attacks.

      • Pixie Stix

        I will blame our deficit on Bush, he started with a surplus and wiped that puppy out. I will blame our current tax rate on Bush. It NEVER should have been lowered during war time and Congress’ insistence on keeping it low, as well as refusing to pass any jobs bills (including those dealing with the handicapped, veterans, handicapped veterans…..), has more to do with the economic woes of everyday people than anything the POTUS has failed to do. I say “everyday people” because the economy is freak’n BOOMING for the multi-billion corporations and their CEOs. The income disparity in this country hasn’t been this wide since just before the Great Depression. If we don’t fix it, we won’t be calling this the Great Recession any more.

      • Patryk

        Please be aware of the difference between the debt and the deficit. You seem to be conflating the two. The Bush entered office in 2001, he inherited a large debt but the deficit had been closed for a year or two due to a windfall of tax revenues in the dot-com bubble. When that bubble burst, so too did the revenue bubble that allowed Bill Clinton to “balance” the budget those last couple years. The debt, for all intents and purposes, remained the same. The debt is the accumulation of past deficits. For two years, Clinton simply didn’t add anything to the debt.
        George Bush ran modest deficits all through the 2000s until 2007 (around 5%) when he allowed it to explode to 30%. Obama, for his part, simply kept ALL of George Bush’s deficit spending as the new baseline for his first term in office and that continued until the sequestration kicked in a few months back. That Sequestration was simply an attempt to get us back to the 2006 baseline which Obama has tried to avoid returning to. Where Bush was reckless for 1-2 years, Obama doubled Bush’s recklessness by being equally reckless for four long years.
        As for Obama’s jobs programs — we are better off without them. They have all been poorly constructed, targeted, and those that passed, poorly implemented (the Stimulus). They are a waste of money. The job of government is not to spend 100,000 dollars to create 50,000 dollar job. Businesses that do that soon go bankrupt and nations are no different — see Greece, Argentina, and Zimbabwe.

      • Joe T

        Please be aware of the difference between balancing the budget and dogmatic tax cuts. A genuine commitment to balanced budgets means tax cuts may have to be abandoned.

      • Sherri G

        Perhaps if the REPUGS and Tealiban had worked with President Obama instead of conspiring to destroy him, this country would see all the benefits of what PRESIDENT Obama wanted to do to HELP Americans …..infrastructure, jobs bill, veterans bill, closing corporate loopholes for offshore cash hoarding, liveable wages and benefits like in the 1950s and 1960s which is what grew the middle class AND the economy….maybe.

      • Patryk

        I have not seen any evidence that Obama actually wanted to help the American people. I have only seen evidence that he wants to grow the size of the Federal Government into a giant mountain upon which he will continue to sit and preside. That’s not helping the people, that’s helping himself.

      • deannawoods

        Notably, statistics show that the Great Recession and losses of hundreds of thousands of jobs happened on the Bush watch. In fact, several studies of merit show that the Republican presidents have seen increases in the national deficits, while Democrat presidents have seen decreases.

      • jimtoday

        Facts only make them angry my friend! Look out!

      • Jimmy

        Stephen Colbert once said “Reality has a well known Liberal bias.”

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        That’s why the Dem states are so much more poor, now I get it!

      • Robert Hatch

        Huh, where you getting that? Can you back that up (Besides Faux news) or are you just pulling numbers out of the air? I mean the whole article was saying the exact opposite and could back up it’s claims. Tired of made up “facts” from political parties with agendas.

      • disqus_6AeSbMRBY2

        Another FOX “News” viewer; more to be pitied for his/her stupidity. Don’t feed the trolls.

      • Patryk

        Jay Carney is that you!?!?!

      • Vince Cannava II

        Yeah the poor problem only appeared while Obama was in office. Check your meds, something tells me you’re running low.

    • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

      Yes, but poor white people often know they if they empower the rich it will eventually lead to being rich themselves, because the rich are white and they will defend their race. Besides it’s obvious fate has a special place for you if your skin is the right color and you work hard enough.

  • Croaker

    Wow. Any moron can look at the data and see that whites use more food-stamps and welfare than any other race. Beyond that, you’re too stupid to even see that Conservative racist policies KEEP those people poor and uneducated and have since they were emancipated. Study some economic history before you spew that hate, you ignorant fucktards.

    • http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/28000.html Voice O. Reason

      Their are more whites on food stamps because their are more whites in Missisipi. Check the facts. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/28000.html Whites are 60%, blacks 37.3%, South Americans and Mexicans are hard to count with a census because many are illegal and do not participate in census data. I am from California and their is a shitlaod of uncounted, tax sucking, hard working, baby making, illiterate (in English), fun loving latinos in most sothern states.

      • Joe

        Actually to clear up a misconception, many illegals do pay taxes (albeit under false IDs) hence the help pay down the national debt because they can’t apply for a refund ever, they always pay social security and Medicare tax to a wrong account. I give you some work for cash and off the books but so do many good ole boys avoiding their child support obligations – so the illegals are in effect supporting their kids! Irony huh?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Illegals aren’t eligible for food stamps.

      • Thom Cameron

        Man! this dude is deluded!
        Not to mention a bigot
        Is it more wrong to not pay taxes on a minimum wage job
        while raising a family
        or more wrong to not pay taxes thru loop holes
        on an income of $100,000?
        And by the way who picks the crops and roof the houses ,cut’s your grass and does the shit jobs you can’t do because you have to be busy enjoying your golf game on Saturday. Face the facts. The Latin American is the slave labor of California in the present day.

      • patryk

        You over-state the case. Spanish speakers do those jobs not because they are slaves and because whites CAN’T. I cut grass as a kid in the Midwest and raked leaves in the days before the mass in-migration of Spanish-speakers. Whites have just found a labour force more efficient than 13 year old kids. Now teens sit and play their PS3s rather than mow lawns and dream of playing their Ataris as I did. I would like the flood of cheap Spanish-speaking labour to stop for this reason — it’s nothing racial (I am married to an immigrant) it’s because I want my son to start learning how to labour when he’s 12 or 13 and he isn’t going to be able to complete with at lawn mowing when an immigrant does it professionally.

      • TheDivineMisterM

        So…you want your kid to learn how to labor (proper American spelling) professionally as a lawn mower to be able to compete with all those horrible immigrants? I’m not following your logic (if it exists).

      • Patryk

        Firstly, I should excoriate you for being provincial. The majority of English speakers spell “labor” with a “u”. Obviously you are yet another silly American who is totally ignorant of the world beyond your front door.
        Next, I have every intention of teaching my children (both under 5 y/o at the moment) the value of labour as well as proper spelling. There is dignity in labour whether it has a “u” in it or not. The mark of an idle class is any class that believe that a particular type of labour is “beneath” them. You seem like the sort of person who fancies himself a member of an elite class who need not lower yourself to such base activities as manual labour (that’s for dark skinned people anyway, right?). I am committed to not producing another “DivineMisterM” for the world.

      • TheDivineMisterM

        “Elite class?” What a laugh. I’ve been “labouring” since I was nine years old, and not because my parents instilled it in me but because I wanted to. But you needn’t worry about producing another me. I’m too awesome to have sprung from the likes of your loins.

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        More whites in the US means more whites on food stamps in the US then?
        Score one for getting it right again.

    • NyteShayde

      You’re little diatribe here shows you’re one of the ignorant fucktards. Blacks and Latinos are climbing the ranks in education and breaking the glass ceiling in record breaking numbers. Perhaps you need to think about that before you say something stupid.

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        there’s some really not ignorant termilogoiations (frakturds?)

      • Patryk

        According to a report out just the other day (go google it!), young blacks (around 18-25) have an unemployment rate around 40%. Class ceiling!?!? Are you sure it wasn’t a glass floor that they just fell through?

    • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

      free quality education for life for all!

  • Joe

    There should be a rule that ignorant low IQ gun totin’ morons from states that border Mexico should not be allowed to post on these forums. The same dumb mother fuckers that blame the President for everything that was started before this administration, can’t read, can’t write, can’t do shit…..wanna call anyone on any kind of GA every imaginable name, when they are the cause for most of the programs being put in place. Just gonna be funny as shit when the Mexican Mayor of San Antonio (who is more literate than 99% of the white Republican population of Texas) gets elected President!

    • http://www.facebook.com/kristi.kho Kristi Kho

      Hey…CA borders Mexico……and we do not blame THIS president for everything. LOL.

      • Vrals

        he’s only referring to some states

      • patryk

        New Mexico is another Blue State that borders Mexico. So, really you JUST mean Texas and Arizona.

    • Katrina Claypoole

      Not everyone who lives in a Border State is uneducated, ignorant and has a low IQ. I live in Texas and am FOR education spending, FOR Equal rights, FOR less military involvement.
      Your ascenine comment wrapping all citizens in those states into such a category with such sustain just makes anything that you say sound moronic and VERY incredible.

  • JWay73

    First, you’re equating Conservatives with Republicans. There’s an large overlap, but they are not equal. I am a Conservative, but I will never be a Republican.

    Second, in general, Conservative areas are more rural and middle class while Liberal areas are more urban. This is logical. In spite of the relatively recent trend in national politics, Conservatives lean toward independence, personal freedom, and self-sufficiency; Liberals lean toward large communities taking care of each other; things like public transportation, public parks, a loss of personal freedom in exchange for security, and higher taxes to pay for everything. Neither system is better or worse, just different. Also, rural conservatives tend to be religiously conservative. Therefore they will never vote for a national party that endorses homosexuality or abortion (or “baby murder” as they call it). Unfortunately, that means they wind up voting for the party that is run by rich people who would send their jobs overseas and convince them it’s the Union’s fault.

    Third, the cost of living in rural areas is generally significantly less than urban areas. I have relatives in rural MS who live very comfortably on wages that would be poverty level in many cities. A $150k house with 40 acres and a large pond in MS would be $500k in a larger city and $2mill+ in CA. So just because they make less money doesn’t mean they are less well off.

    Finally, you’re assuming all states are homogenous. They are not; not even close. There are more conservatives in New York or California than there are PEOPLE in many smaller red states, but their voices are drowned out by the cacophony coming from the cities (and yet, Prop 8 still managed to get passed in California…). The article picks on red-state MS, but a look at a county breakdown of voting in the last election show large swaths of MS to be decidedly blue. Ironically, these swaths of blue happen to correspond almost exactly with the poorest areas of the state. So pointing to MS as a “poor Red State” is a fallacy. In reality, it’s a middle-class Red State with large very poor blue areas.

    • Patryk

      Nobody is going to listened to your thoughtful analysis here — I suggest you employ vitriol and bile. It seems to be the lingua franca here.

      • lindylou

        Good point. He does OK until he characterizes the liberal voice as a cacophony.

    • Robert

      I agree with Patryk. If more conservatives and liberals talked like JWay–trying to develop thoughtful insight by objectively looking at facts– then Americans might not hate each other’s opinions, which would be a big distraction from creating ideological brand loyalty. Now; time to go back to political pound and grind…

      • Patryk

        “Facts”, such that they are, are usually sterile data points. Those cannot be argued. For example, MS has a yearly per capita income of about 20K and CT is around 35K. Those are facts. That’s it. What we are arguing is interpretations of WHY those facts exists as they do. But far too many people mistake their own interpretations for an extention of the facts. They are not. Once we accept that our interpretations of various data points ARE NOT FACTS BY THEMSELVES, it will go a long way to reviving civility in our discussions.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marti.salvato Marti Salvato

      Thank you, JWay. Finally a conservative that appreciates and writes actual dialogue style comments. Your points about the states not being homogenous is something I would like to address. As a liberal trapped in a red state (Arizona) I would just add that if you were to further break out your Mississippi example with respect to those swaths of decidedly blue, what % of those voters are minority, specifically Black, voters?

      Statistics are interesting little buggers.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jerry.l.coburn Jerry L Coburn

      Well i have never seen Conserative on any voting ballot just Dems and Repugs…so just how do YOU vote ?

      • J-Way

        I vote for whichever candidate most agrees with my ideas, or is the least idiotic. Sometimes this is a democrat, sometimes a republican. Last November I voted third party.

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        always Green Party

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Articulate insight. Thanks.

    • FlowMaster

      Taking a single example does not fit the question. The multiple data points show a picture that is not included in relatives living well on less money. The real example is in the literacy rate, infant mortality rate, divorce rate and so on, combined. The total effect of Republican policies is what is being talked about. That there are a stack of both fiscally and socially conservative policies is what has wrecked the low states… not the how well a single family lives on less money. If they are surrounded by death, disease and the like they are doing well in a Third World country. There seems to be considerable confusion in the case you are trying to make.

    • Mason Colbert

      Conservative ideology is what the Republican party pushes. You can dance around the issues and blow smoke and throw shadows here and there all you want, however, it is conservative policies that have screwed this country up. Besides, I toss conservatives, neo-Nazis, skin-heads, and the KKK in the Republican basket anyway and I’m sure most people consider you all the same as well.

      • patryk

        Just when I think that the run-of-the-mill progressive poster’s IQ has finally climbed up into the AVERAGE range, there you go with a post that makes plunge back into the sub-normal area. Your conflation of Conservatives with skinheads (who aren’t very welcome in most Republican-clubs) and the Klan makes as much sense as me conflating Pol Pot and Idi Amin with Progressives. Are you willing to own all of the Progressive Terrorists like The Weather Underground, the Unibomber, and Jared Loughner? Have you actually studied National Socialism well enough to know that its economics were strangely similar to that of the current regime? Were you aware that much of the resistance to the NAZIs in the later years came from Conservatives, particularly the old aristocracy which Hitler despised? Maybe you should re-think your broad and overly inclusive generalisations.

      • Thom Cameron

        But! by J-Ways explanation the skin head, nazi,and Tea Baggers and all other radical elements of the far right will vote Republican as that party fit’s most closely to their ideals. So yes, they all fit under one umbrella. And don’t try to say you don’t share some of the same ideologies. And don’t try to say your Republican party doesn’t pander to them for their votes.

      • patryk

        Two can play at that game — and they do! How many active CPUSA members vote for Democrats? How many members of the Socialist Workers Party? What about eco-Maoists who advocated neat total de-industrialisation and mandatory birth control. There are unreconstructed Stalinists who find a home in the Democratic Party — and sometimes even an anchor position on MSNBC or Current TV. And all those anarchists breaking windows and setting fires at every WTO or G8 summit — that’s ALL YOU GUYS! So, I think we can call it a wash. Your extremists lunatics cancel out my extremist lunatics.

      • travelingcat

        Why exactly is it conservatives think Socialists are automatically bad, I’ve always wondered? What about Democratic Socialism, a hallmark of most other developed countries in the world?

      • Patryk

        Maybe it has something to do with the 100 million dead bodies they racked up between Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Castro, Pol Pot, and Enver Hoxha. Just because little Sweden managed to avoid that trap doesn’t automatically rehabilitate the above list. I just say, “good for you, Sweden!” and continue to cast a very suspicious eye toward anyone who adopts the moniker, “socialist.”

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        What if I don’t own any extremists, or people in general?

      • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

        Nazis are not conservative. At least they always claimed to be socialist.

    • Boo-face

      This was more informative than the article. I love when that happens! Thank you.

    • http://Allness.be/ Monte Letourneau

      Lowest life span and highest infant fatality have nothing to do with quality of life, right?

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  • Rich

    If Democrat ideology is so great why is unemployment to high in their states?

  • Rich

    correction… If Democrat ideology is so great why is unemployment so high in their states?

    • http://twitter.com/leginfo Lura

      GOP states have the highest unemployment.

  • Marion Nelson

    You had to mention Alabama? 49th and 50th in everything EXCEPT government corruption, under age pregnancy, and still functioning out houses. Yeah boy; great we aren’t Mississippi. But we are NOT more than a percentage off of them no matter how you cut it.

    • southside mike

      Alabama’s state motto “thank god were not Mississippi!”

    • lindylou

      Off topic, but I am reminded of the “hillbilly haiku” … “When I see you in that tube top, I do forget you are my sister”.

  • AJ

    Being a Democrat from Oklahoma I’m going to have disagree with you. Oklahoma may be considered one of the “poor” states but you need to consider that the cost of living in this state is lower than just about any other state. You need to keep in mind that inflation is not the same everywhere. The economy in Oklahoma is pretty strong. We only have a 5.2% unemployment rate. I bet I live under the so called poverty line but I can promise you I live far more comfortable than those who live in a city above the poverty line, and no I’m not on any welfare. Never take the numbers at face value. I’m democrat, a very strong one, but I am disappointed in how much effort you put into interpreting those numbers.

  • LibinUT

    I’m a liberal in Utah. Our economy is very strong, but people are so depressed and the suicide rate here is off the charts. So, religion and conservative politics does not make a person happy, in my experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000129103545 Cliff Bowman

    Simple, they don’t care about EDUCATION.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doug.byrd.338 Doug Byrd

    If Mississippi is so “poor” why is it ranked at the top in charitable giving?!

  • IrishPolitico

    My great fascination with Southern US politics is that many of these States had Democrat Controlled legislatures until the mid 1990s they also sent more Democrats to represent them in congress than Republicans. These Democrats were as conservative as most Republicans. In Mississippi the vote is polarised amongst racial lines. The African American Community there is the largest in the US in percentage terms and their vote is overwhelmingly Democrat. However the turnout is low in comparison to the White vote there which is now overwhelmingly Republican.

  • Mike from CA

    All debating is a pissing match that solves nothing. Really the sad fact is that nothing will get done, mostly because republicans in congress are too busy cock blocking Obama to get anything done

  • D Lowrey

    You left out Idaho in this…especially since it has surpassed Mississippi in many of the items you mentioned. Plus…they try out many of the social items in this state that Mississippi only wishes it would try.

  • dsdjkhjb

    right on talking points.. and we know how those can change at the drop of the hat.. the problem i have with the demo lib agenda is that it is so full on emotions with little to no hard evidence.. sure you site one state and attempt to generalize it to all republican states. you justify a poorly performing demo state by blaming it on the bush era.. where did you get your numbers for mississippi.. how can those numbers be verified.. i have asked many questions of you several times and never get answers from you .. that in its self is very telling..

  • dsdjkhjb

    you want me to swallow the info on mississippi as if dead on fact and then to generalize that to all other republican leaning states.. that is ideology.. political ideology.. the demo party is full of this kind of crap..

  • Heather

    I live in Mississippi. And basically all of these facts are true. *facepalm*

  • Angela Walker

    Consider also how the GOP (with the help of Fox News et al) sells it’s message: in the most childish form imaginable. Remember the color coded “terror alerts” that were used for political purposes? How Fox called Obama unAmerican during the campaign for not wearing a flag pin. Etc, etc, etc. They aim for support from the poorly educated and uninformed.

  • Jay Yoon

    It’s because the Southern States have a large population of African Americans, who traditionally have lower education attainment and achievement, wealth and income, and (slightly) life expectancy. I’m not being racist or bigoted when I say this, I’m merely stating facts. If you compare the white population of all of the states, there will be a statistically insignificant difference in these demographic statistics, I suppose.

    I could be completely wrong, of course.

  • Jonathan Windham

    I’m as liberal as the next well informed guy, but I can’t seem to find your sources for this, am I missing something? I really need to refute some hurr durrs on the old visage parchment if you catch my drift.

  • Craig

    *-per wiki. Gov of Mississipi 1825-1865 Dem (40 years) 1865-1876 Rep (11 years) 1876-1992 Dem (116 years) 1992-2012 Rep (18 years) Dem 156- Rep 29 See the Reps fault !

  • Truthsayer

    Kansas isn’t “poor”, you effing moron.

  • Truthsayer

    Kansas isn’t “poor”, you silly liberal moron.

    Every home owner living in Overland Park can buy and sell you alive.

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  • anon

    The republican policies don’t work for the rich either; how many rich people live in Mississippi? On the contrary, most rich people are not stupid–they choose to live in the blue states.

  • anon

    If you make the comparison to the bluest part of California–such as Marin County–the contrast is even more stark. People in Marin live an average of about 10 years longer than in Mississippi, and earn far more money. People who live in wealthy blue areas tend to understand the importance of education, infrastructure, and public services to creating and maintaining health and wealth.

  • jimtoday

    Because they’re full of people easily convinced to vote against their own interests, or not at all.

  • Colleen Ryan

    Not to mention the high enlistment rates (lack of employment and choice) and low secondary and higher education rates….

  • LindsayCA

    The funniest thing is that while I lived in Los Angeles, the minute I move to the Republican agricultural center of California…. it’s dead beat poor! Yet blue areas of California have better living conditions and more wealth!! It makes me laugh! Oh and if I say I’m Democrat voting God shall throw a lightning bolt to me!! I can’t wait to get out! Too much ignorance!

  • joan bailey

    suggestion comrades – live in CA – play tennis and golf everyday after work – have 9 years of college – earn a high tech paycheck – have a housekeeper, someone to clean your pool and Jacuzzi, 70 degree weather and don’t give a shit about anyone else!