Blue State ‘Depression’ – And Not Just The Psychological Kind


Like Droopy the dog, so-called “Blue” states that voted for Hillary Clinton are experiencing a depression. And it’s not just the psychological kind.

There’s an economic malaise sweeping the liberal states that voted for Hillary Clinton and it might not go away anytime soon.

Of the ten states that Democrats won by the largest margins, California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Connecticut — every single one of them lost domestic migration (excluding immigration) between 2004 and 2014, economist Stephen Moore writes. “Nearly 2.75 million more Americans left California and New York than entered these states.”

Moore called them the “loser states.” They’re all “progressive.” They have high tax rates, high welfare payments, heavy regulation, environmental “extremism” and very high minimum wages. Most of them have laws against drilling for oil or any kind of fossil fuels.

“The whole left-wing playbook is on display in the Clinton states,” Moore writes. “And people are leaving in droves. Day after day, they are being bled to death. So much for liberalism creating a worker’s paradise.”

On the contrast – looking at the ten states that had the largest percentage vote for Trump, eight of them – Wyoming, West Virginia, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Dakota and Idaho – had population gains.

This is part and parcel of one of the greatest internal migration waves in American history, as blue states, especially in the Northeast, are getting clobbered by their low-tax, smaller-government rivals in the South and the mountain regions.

This is also true of jobs, Moore writes. The job gains in the “Red States” that Trump won by the widest margins has twice the job creation of the “Blue States” that Hillary won big in.

The latest “Rich States, Poor States” report, published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, shows a persistent trend of Americans moving from blue to red states. The best example is that from 2004-2014, the two most populous conservative states — Florida and Texas — gained almost 1 million new residents each. The two most populous liberal states — California and New York — saw an equal-sized exodus.

It’s easy to understand why people might want to leave gray and rusting New York. But California? California has, arguably, the most beautiful weather, mountains and beaches in the country, and yet people keep fleeing the state that is supposed to be a progressive utopia.

What doesn’t make California and New York paradise is the high cost of living — thanks to expensive environmental regulations, forced union policies and income tax rates that are the highest in the nation, at 13% or more. Florida and Texas are right-to-work states with no income tax. Is it really a shocker that people would choose zero income tax over 13%? New York politicians know that their record-high tax rates are killing growth, which is why the state is spending millions of dollars on TV ads across the country trying to convince people that New York has low taxes. Sure. And Chicago is crime-free.

What is the lesson? “Progressive” tax-and-spend policies don’t work. It results in slower growth and only benefits the rich and politically well-connected at the expense of everyone else.

The winning strategy of the Red States is something that Trump is promising on a national scale. His plan: cut taxes, deregulate the workforce, and cut wasteful government spending. Hopefully he actually carries it out.

Blue states, move aside.

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