For years now people have been migrating, on net basis, from blue states to red states. That has accelerated recently, with New York hemorrhaging the most residents of any state from 2019-2020, and California recording their first ever population decline. States like Florida and Texas have attracted the most blue state refugees.
This is a worrying trend because there’s no evidence that those fleeing blue states aren’t going to vote for the exact same policies that ruined their home states – but also serves as validation that red state policies are mostly superior to blue state policies.
A new study from WalletHub compared the states on one criteria: taxpayer ROI. The metric is calculated by comparing taxes paid per-capita to the quality of government services the state provides (including infrastructure, crime, schools, water quality, hospital systems, and the percent of residents in poverty). And to little surprise, red states ranked the best, on average.
The results are as follows:
|‘Taxpayer ROI’ Rank (1=Best)||State||‘Total Taxes Paid per Capita’ Rank*||‘Overall Government Services’ Rank|
The study did have some flaws, such as ranking states by their hospital systems, most of which are privately owned. They also ranked states based on their poverty rates, but they ranked them based on nominal poverty rates (not adjusted for differences in costs of living). The best and worst hospital ranking were roughly evenly split among red and blue states – though the poverty rankings became biased against low-cost-of-living red states as a result of their methodology.
Regardless, red states still came out on top overall, with red states being given an average rank of 21.2, and blue states a 29.8 (the lower the better). States are being ranked as “red” and “blue” in this context based on how they voted in the 2020 election.
New Hampshire comes out on top, and while they’re listed as blue due to how they voted in the 2020 election, they are hardly solidly blue. Trump lost the state by a miniscule 0.4% margin in 2016, and their state legislature recently flipped Republican. They’re also consistently ranked the #1 and #2 most economically free state by the Cato Institute, and high rankings on that metric are dominated by red states.
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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