Last week, the New York Times published a widely discussed article updating an argument that progressive bloggers noticed a very long time ago. It’s now well-understood that blue states generally export money to the federal government; and red states generally import it. [..]
But the NYT story and that map up there prove beyond arguing that the conservative interpretation of events is 100 percent, 180-degrees, flat-out wrong. America’s real producer class is overwhelmingly concentrated in the blue cities and states — the regions full of smart, talented people who’ve harnessed technology and intellect to money, and made these regions the best, most forward-looking places in the country to live.
This is true, indisputable, and has been proven time and time again. But it’s actually worse than just hypocrcisy over welfare-like addiction to federal government handouts:
Certainly the heartland has no claim to superiority when it comes to family values. If anything, the red states do a bit worse than the blue states when you look at indicators of individual responsibility and commitment to family. Children in red states are more likely to be born to teenagers or unmarried mothers — in 1999, 33.7 percent of babies in red states were born out of wedlock, versus 32.5 percent in blue states. National divorce statistics are spotty, but per capita there were 60 percent more divorces in Montana than in New Jersey.
And the red states have special trouble with the Sixth Commandment: the murder rate was 7.4 per 100,000 inhabitants in the red states, compared with 6.1 in the blue states, and 4.1 in New Jersey.
Not only do “red” states take more handouts from the federal government than they pay back in taxes, they are closer to the redneck stereotype end of the social scale with more sin, not less.
I can’t speak to social issues, but the handout issue probably has a lot do with conservative states tending to be large and lightly populated. It’s easier to provide many services to a city, even a massive one, than many rural communities spread out over long distances. So there’s nothing wrong with these red states being consumers while the blue states are the main providers to the economy and our society. That’s why we have a federal government that can reach across state lines in the first place.
The problem is the disgusting hypocrisy we constantly here from “small government” conservatives that actually seem to hate the federal government and actually believe that they aren’t the problem. It’s always somebody else. As usual, if you hear a conservative complaining about something, you can safely assume most of the time that it’s just projection.