Who’s prospering in America today? Overwhelmingly, it’s people who live in blue states, according to a pair of political scientists writing in the New York Times. The study defines red and blue states as those which have supported Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in the last four elections, respectively.
If you compare averages, blue states are substantially richer (even adjusting for cost of living) and their residents are better educated. Companies there do more research and development and produce more patents. Students score better on tests of basic science-oriented skills like math.
How can conservative commentators claim that red states dominate? A tactic favored by Mr. Trump’s economic adviser Stephen Moore is to rely on measures goosed by population expansion, like job growth or a state economy’s size.
That’s like portraying India as a beacon of prosperity because it has one of the biggest economies in the world and creates millions of jobs annually. Economic performance is measured in the lives of individuals, not aggregates.
Where’s Arkansas? The chart was too long to get it all in the post, but not surprisingly, we’re at the bottom in every category aside from taxation of the 1 percent. If Governor Hutchinson has his way next year, we’ll see that drop considerably, too.