Ever since the election of Ronald Reagan, conservative Republicans have insisted on repeating the blatant lies that deregulating business, creating a “free market” with welfare only for business, lowering taxes on the wealthy, and electing right-wing conservatives to government will bring jobs, prosperity and joy to all. Recently, 24/7 Wall St. published a list of the ten poorest states in the country, based on criteria from the Census Bureau like poverty, lack of health insurance and unemployment.
Heading the list as the poorest of America’s states is Mississippi, which yet again holds that dubious “distinction” despite having had conservative Republican control of its government for decades. Next comes Arkansas, and the rest of the list is a litany of politically conservative strongholds: 3. Tennessee; 4. West Virginia; 5. Louisiana; 6. Montana; 7. South Carolina; 8. Kentucky; 9. Alabama; 10.North Carolina (where the governor is a moderate Democrat but the legislature is controlled by Republicans.)
In the 24/7 Wall St. list of America’s richest states, the Democratic-voting Northeast predominated. Virginia was 6th, but their analysis of the state’s wealth showed yet again that there is absolutely no correlation between conservatives and prosperity for anyone except the wealthy elite.
“In terms of wealth and poverty, Virginia can be divided into two regions. The vast majority of the state is rural…Of its 135 counties, 83 have a median income well below the national average. However…,six of the counties near the border [with Washington DC] – Loudon, Falls Church City, Arlington, Prince William, Stafford and Fairfax – are all among the fifteen wealthiest counties in the entire country. The last of these, Fairfax, is also the most populous county in Virginia, representing nearly 40% of the state’s total population.”
We all know that northern Virginia consistently votes for moderate government. Right-wing Republican bastions are located in the parts of the state where poverty is highest and wages are lowest. We also better never forget that those rich counties depend on the federal government for their prosperity, and when the Republicans starve the federal government of funding, they are taking money out of the pockets of Virginians, too.