Monday, August 24, 2015

The outcome of living in a Red State or a Blue State

In the early days of the industrial revolution, capitalism had two classes: the capitalistic class and the working class. The capitalists wore tops hats and suits and the workers--work clothes. This was the case in the US after the Civil war and until the height of the Progressive movement.

Workers worked 60 hours a week under oppressive conditions. There were no benefits, and safety in the work place was non-existent. Child labor was common. Many of the industrial management practices in the US were based on techniques used during slavery in the antebellum South

It wasn't until the Progressive movement which broke up trusts, the rise of labor unions and the New Deal that a vibrant middle class developed in the US.

It seems the entire objective of Red State conservatism and,in particular, libertarianism, is to return the US to a two class system. Conservatives have achieved this to a certain degree already. The middle class has been declining since the Reagan era and class mobility in the US is the most stagnant of the industrial nations. Even billionaires are concerned about lack of social mobility in the US.

In the past, a college education was a ticket out of the working class, but college expenses have risen as fast as medical care and many young people do not wanted to be saddled with lifelong student debt. Extending public education two more years may provide a partial solution to the conundrum millennials are now in.

Student debt and working wages are the main reason millennial couples cannot afford to purchase a house. Blackstone, the hedge fund has been buying up houses in the $100-$150K range because it suggests “renting is the new American dream.”

Conservatives say the nation will be better off with more privatization and less regulation. They support right to work laws and want to raise the retirement age for Social Security, which will be raised to 67 shortly, and to privatize Medicare and Veterans Affairs. Conservatives also strongly resisted the Affordable Care Act which has reduced the number of medically uninsured to below 10 per cent in the US for the first time.

Red Staters can waive their Confederate flags, picket planned parenthood clinics and yell about State's Rights, but it is clear the Red States lag behind the Blue in many areas: lower literacy rates and higher drop out rates, more STDs and teen pregnancy, lower wages and more poverty. Most of the federal welfare disbursements in the US go to the Red States. 

In the end the Blue States with more liberal polices win. Many of the people who live in the Red States will be lucky to make it to 74. Most of the people in the Blue States live past 80 years of age.


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