Propaganda: The 10 Poorest States in America are run by Republicans! This proves their policies don’t work!
The meme goes like this: 9 out of the 10 poorest states are Republican. Therefore, Republican policies don’t work.
Where does “policy” come from? It comes from government; Governors and Legislatures. So let’s take a look at the 10 poorest states and their current governments:
- Mississippi: (R) Governor, (R) Senate, (R) House of Representatives
- West Virginia: (D) Governor, (D) Senate, (D) House of Delegates
- Arkansas: (D) Governor, (R) Senate, (R) House of Representatives
- Kentucky: (D) Governor, (R) Senate, (D) House of Representatives
- Alabama: (R) Governor, (R) Senate, (R) House of Representatives
- Tennessee: (R) Governor, (R) Senate, (R) House of Representatives
- Louisiana: (R) Governor, (R) Senate, (R) House of Representatives
- New Mexico: (R) Governor, (D) Senate, (D) House of Representatives
- South Carolina: (R) Governor, (R) Senate, (R) House of Representatives
- Oklahoma: (R) Governor, (R) Senate, (R) House of Representatives
Of these top ten, Democrats currently control 3 Governorships, and 5 legislative bodies. Government is shared between Democrats and Republicans in 3 out of the 10 and the second poorest state is completely controlled by Democrats.
So, how do progressives claim 9 of the 10 poorest states are Republican? By redefining what a “Republican State” is.
At the top of the Politifact article, they write: “We’ll start with the standard definition of a Red State: one that voted for the Republican Candidate in the most recent presidential election.”
Whoa, wait a minute. The meme doesn’t say “Red States” it says “Republican”. And it’s used to claim Republican Policy doesn’t work. What does voting for a GOP president in the last election have to do with the economic effects of state government policies?
This is a typical Progressive deception: if the reality of a thing is inconvenient, simply change the definition of that thing (see Global Warming to Climate Change).
It’s also important to know that, until recently, the South was controlled by Democrats for a very long time (from Reconstruction until the early 2000s). Republicans didn’t hold majorities in the South until after the 2010 elections. So if we’re indicting policies, here, shouldn’t we be looking at centuries of Democrat rule, not just years of Republican rule? And why did the South switch from Democrat to Republican if Democrat policies were working so well?
And this is largely nonsense anyway, as the roots of Southern Poverty stem from the Civil War and Reconstruction, not policies enacted over the last few years.
And then there’s this: Blue States (states that voted for Obama in 2008) have done much worse economically than Red States.
- Job Growth: Blue 1.2%, Red 1.9%
- Unemployment: Blue 8.5%, Red 7.4%
- Income: 4.27%, Red 4.35%
- Home Prices: Blue -18.5%, Red -7.5%
- Gas prices: Blue states 5% higher than Red States
The only economic indicator that was better in Blue States than Red States was GDP growth (2.5% vs 2.2%). Unless you’re a politician, jobs, income, home values, and gas prices probably mean more to you than GDP.
You can ignore the roots of Southern Poverty, you can ignore that these poor states were controlled by Democrats for nearly two centuries, and you can ignore that recent economic trends are much better in Red States than Blue States, but you can’t ignore that 9 out of the 10 poorest states are not governed by Republicans.
And, so, this meme is just bunk.