An increasing amount of research is finding that lockdown measures aren’t worth the cost, and a new analysis adds to that body of research.
Nationally, states led by Republican governors have generally been more lax in the types of restrictions they implemented, while Democrat run states behaved as if they were prepared to keep businesses shut until the next century (unless their governors needed a bite to eat, of course).
A recent analysis of the economic downturns and recoveries of states that voted for Donald Trump and Biden finds that “Trump states” are leading the nation’s economic recovery, while “Biden states” lag massively.
According to the Daily Mail:
Between February and December of last year, states that went for Biden saw the total number of people working drop an average of 6.2 percentage points, versus a 2.5 point decline in those voting for the Republican.
The 13 states that saw the lowest decline in employment all lean strongly Republican, led by Alaska and Utah which actually saw employment increase by 0.7 and 0.3 percentage points respectively.
On the other end of the spectrum, 13 of the 14 states with the most significant pandemic job losses went for the Democratic candidate, led by Nevada with job losses of 10.2 percentage points, and Hawaii at 9.3.
Reason’s Matt Welch found the same trend when states are categorized based on if Democrats or Republicans control their state governments. As he notes:
There are meaningful differences in governing styles and results between the two major parties on the state and local level. As a general baseline, GOP states tend to have “right to work” laws (prohibitions on mandatory union membership), lower taxes, lower minimum wages, and lower unemployment rates (4.6 percent was the December 2020 median for the 25 states with unified Republican governance). Democratic states tend to have higher taxes, higher minimum wages, higher cost of living, and higher unemployment (7.8 percent was the median for the 15 states controlled by Team Blue).
So it’s little surprise that the coronavirus response, too, has diverged sharply along partisan lines. Blue-state governors in California and New York and Michigan have been far more strict about shutting down economic and physical activity than their red-state counterparts in Florida, South Dakota, and Texas. The comparative death tolls are roughly the same (California tracks with Florida, New York with South Dakota, and Michigan with Texas); the economic performances are anything but.
To little surprise, blue states hemorrhaged even more residents than they usually do last year, with New York leading the pack (and Florida being the #1 destination for those leaving).
Sadly, those fleeing will likely run their new home states by voting for the same backward policies.
Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate
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