The blue state depression
People are leaving the Hillary-supporting states in droves
When I say the blue states are in a depression, I don’t mean the collective funk they are in because they lost the election to Donald Trump. I’m talking about an economic depression in the blue states that went for Hillary. Here is an amazing statistic. Of the 10 blue states that Hillary Clinton won by the largest percentage 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) over the last 10 years (2004-14). Nearly 2.75 million more Americans left California and New York than entered these states.
They are the loser states. They are all progressive. High taxes rates. High welfare benefits. Heavy regulation. Environmental extremism. Super minimum wages. Most outlaw energy drilling. The whole leftwing playbook is on display in the Hillary states. And people are leaving in droves. Day after day, they are being bled to death. So much for liberalism creating a worker’s paradise.
Now let’s look at the 10 states that had the largest percentage vote for Donald Trump. Everyone of them — Wyoming, West Virginia, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Idaho — was a net population gainer.
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, southeast and mountain regions.
By the way, pretty much the same pattern holds true for jobs. The job gains in the red states carried by the widest margins by Mr. Trump had about twice the job creation rate as the bluest states carried by Hillary.
The just-released 2016 edition of ALEC’s Rich States, Poor States, which I co-author with Reagan economist Arthur Laffer and economist Jonathan Williams shows a persistent trend of Americans moving from blue to red states. The best example is that from 2004-2014, the two biggest conservative states in terms of population size — Florida and Texas — gained almost one 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 percent 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 percent? 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.
Even when it comes to income inequality blue states fare worse than red states. According to a 2016 report by the Economic Policy institute, three of the states with the largest gaps between rich and poor are...those progressive icons New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Sure, Boston, Manhattan and Silicon Valley are booming as the rich prosper. But outside these areas are deep pockets of poverty and wage stagnation.
The lesson to be learned from the states is that the “progressive” tax and spend agenda has been put on trial. Not only do the policies lead to much slower growth, they also benefit the rich and politically well-connected at the expense of everyone else.
President-elect Trump is now promising that on a national scale, he will cut taxes, deregulate and cut wasteful government spending, In the presidential debates Hillary Clinton disparaged this agenda as “trumped up, trickle-down economics,” and then she asked, when has that ever worked? Actually in prospering red states like Florida, Tennessee, Texas and so many other states that voted Republican, that is exactly how they grow the economy. Stephen Moore is an economist with Freedom Works and a senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign.