June 12, 2017

Dirty secret: "Blue" states don't believe in equality (updated)

Oh, California or Massachusetts may believe in gay marriage equality or something like that.

But, they and most other "blue" states, driven in large part by the tech-neoliberals who drive their economy (or the banksters in New York State) really are NOT that supportive of income equality.

The Gini coefficient, while not perfect, still remains in many ways the go-to shorthand for income equality or inequality. And Wiki has a ranking of US states. (Link fixed.)

First, take a look at the top 12. Those are the most "equal" states, relatively speaking, on income. Hawaii is the only unabashedly blue state in that mix. You have blue-ish Wisconsin and purple Iowa and Maine, otherwise.

The bottom 12, starting with No. 39 Rhode Island? Five of the 12 are definitely blue, as is DC. Florida is purplish. The red states? All in the South. Hawaii being the exception to the note above, as a majority-minority state. (New Mexico and Texas are, too, but it's a recent deal with Texas and Texas Hispanics are abysmal on vote turnout.)

That said, that doesn't tell the whole story.

Housing is pricey as hell in most those bottom-tier blue states, whether for purchase or for rent. That's why people commute 60 miles one way to San Jose. Yes, there is rent control in places in New York and California. But, not everywhere or even close.

The Census Bureau, per this Sac Bee article, does take note of that with its "supplemental poverty measure," on poverty rates. Scroll to page 9 of the report. DC is worst, then California. Next comes purple Florida, followed by New York and Louisiana in a tie.

More importantly, just about all the states whose supplemental measure is higher than the official poverty rate are blue, with the exception of purplish Florida, Nevada and Virginia, as noted on page 11.

That said, worldwide, the US is almost as unequal as Mexico. That's why you may be seeing Guatemalan and Honduran immigrants in the US more and more, but fewer and fewer Mexican ones.

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