The State of Our State Economies

The 2009 Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has ranked the economies of each state and the District of Columbia based on 4 criteria: Their budget condition, their change in employment, the number of home foreclosures, and their food stamp case load. There are a few interesting aspects about this report:


26 of the top 31 states with the worst economies voted for Obama and are primarily Democrat run states.

18 of the top 20 states with the best economic situation voted for McCain and are primarily Republican run states.


The results seem to be independent of most demographic categories of gender, religious beliefs, or race. Although the Bible belt states in the Deep South generally have better economies. States with high white populations like New Hampshire, Idaho, and Vermont have poor economies, but Wyoming and the Dakotas have good economies. States with diverse demographics can be found on either end of the spectrum.


The results are independent of population and size. Heavily populated states such as California, Pennsylvania, and New York have poor economies, but Texas has the best economic situation. States with smaller populations such as New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, and Alaska have poor economies, but Wyoming, North Dakota, Utah, and South Dakota have better economies.

Arizona voted for McCain and is his home state, but their economy is in trouble and is one of the worst. It is important to note that boarder states with a high number of Hispanics have a poor economy with the exception of Texas. It is also important to note that Arizona did have a Democrat governor the past several years. Colorado has a good economy, but it is becoming more and more liberal the past decade. It will be interesting to see if its economy gets worse in the future. Indiana, Nevada, and New Mexico have also been migrating from conservative to liberal and they already have poor economies.  What can be surmised from these results? It is simple. States run using fiscally sound conservative policies are in better shape than liberally run governments that like to spend. It is also interesting to note that the 9 of the top 10 states in the country with the highest taxes are also liberal states. It is interesting to note that states with the highest taxes still have terrible economies once again illustrating spending does not work to fix economies.


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