Economy

'Worst States to Live In': Correcting the Record

"There are ways to objectively measure quality of life, and some states do not measure up."

Business Review Board · Jul. 19, 2018

According to CNBC, “There are ways to objectively measure quality of life, and some states do not measure up as well as others.” Let’s start by objecting to the word “objectively,” because the network’s list of worst states to live in should come with major caveats. Beginning at No. 10 on the worst-states list is New Mexico, followed by Mississippi and South Carolina (tie), Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Notice a theme? These states are disproportionately from the Deep South and nine of the 10 have Republican governors. Worse, one of the most-cited criterion isn’t economic opportunity, cost of living, or education — it’s LGBT protections.

CNBC admonishes Missouri (6) lawmakers for a dearth of “protections against discrimination for LGBT people.” The same goes for Indiana (5), which “still lacks explicit protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, age or marital status.” Furthermore, Tennessee (4) has “no statewide antidiscrimination protections based on marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity,” Alabama (3) is absent “statewide protections against discrimination of any sort,” Louisiana (2) “lags in inclusiveness, with no protections against discrimination based on marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity,” and Arkansas (1) “lacks such protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status and age.”

In other words, this is a follow-up to “Gay Pride Month” and a way to shame those who don’t submit to the homosexual agenda.

Importantly, all of these states have Democrat inner-city mayors, which accounts for the high crime rates in very specific areas of those cities and reflects nothing about the standard of living for the rest of the states. CNBC explains: “Our Quality of Life category in America’s Top States for Business, worth 300 out 2,500 total points, looks at factors such as violent crime rates, area attractions, health care, and environmental quality, based on our Top States methodology and sources” — meaning the list is but a small part of a broad analysis. But things like economic opportunity, cost of living, and education should be part of the calculus, particularly when we’re talking about residency. By the way, leftist policies underpin the great blue-state exodus. But who are we to judge the “worst states”?

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