It’s a Fact: Republican Run Red States Have America’s Highest Poverty Rates


During the protests against America’s involvement in the Viet Nam war, it became very popular for warmongers and so-called patriots to tell young men facing losing their lives in a worthless war and those protesting to save them that this is “America, love it or leave it.” The implication was that since Congress adhered to the Constitution in waging war, regardless the devastating consequences, the American people were obliged to either show their love of country and support the war or get out. There is a segment of the population today that hates America, its people, and the nation’s founding document, but instead of packing up and leaving the country, they have tasked Republicans to punish the entire population by legislating that all Americans suffer their lifestyle founded on poverty, bigotry, ill-health, and religious ignorance. Although there are Americans who hate this nation across the country, it is the former Confederacy that is punishing the people because they failed in their attempt to destroy America of their rejection of the United States Constitution they claim to love.

Southern states are still resentful they were unable to rip America apart because the Constitution forbade them from keeping dark-skinned human beings as livestock, so they spent the past 149 years punishing different groups of Americans based on their religion’s instruction manual (Christian bible). Over the past thirty years, angry southerners began electing Republicans to strip everything from the people until they relented to a government by bible that drove their attempt to restrict other Americans from their Constitutional freedoms. Republicans have happily accommodated southerners to bring down the rest of the nation to their level of poverty and distress that southern red state voters embrace so long as they have imaginary enemies who believe Americans deserve more than slave wages, sickness, dire poverty, prayer, and firearms.

It is fairly common knowledge the former Confederacy considered owning human beings a biblically-supported and constitutional right according to their interpretation of the 10th Amendment. But even after losing the Civil War they persisted in targeting other groups for discrimination with biblical justification. Since their war against America, southern states opposed interracial marriage, women’s right to vote, civil rights, voting rights, women’s right to choose their reproductive health, and recently gay rights. The impetus for their opposition to those rights guaranteed in the Constitution is founded in their religion and since they were prohibited by the Constitution from depriving those groups of their rights, they have taken out their anger on the rest of the population by electing Republicans to Congress who promise to subject every American to conditions red southern state residents live under including poverty, slave wages, sickness and disease, and no hope of ever escaping their chosen lifestyle.

It is difficult for reasonable Americans to comprehend why voters in the South continue electing Republicans that campaign on perpetuating living conditions most Americans consider unacceptable. It is not because they believe all Americans live in poverty and love it, or that they are unaware their miserable plight is unavoidable. Most likely they are willing to live in poverty and ill-health with no chance of escaping because they are angry the rest of the nation will not tolerate their bigotry and hate; their only recourse is electing Republicans to legislate America into one big red state mired in bigotry, religion, guns, and deep poverty.

According to The Department of Agriculture’s measure of poverty, every red state from Arizona to South Carolina has the highest poverty rates in America; between 17.9% and 22.8%. The so-called bible belt is America’s poverty belt including Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, nearly one in four children trapped in Southern red states live in dire poverty and parents of those children elect Republicans to make those despicable statistics uniform across America. Part and parcel of conditions driving the South’s poverty is low wages that voters elect Republicans to perpetuate across America.

Southern states are hostile to organized labor, five states have no state minimum wage, most are “right to work for less” states, and the 10 states with the lowest average incomes are in the former Confederacy including Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina and Oklahoma according to the Equality of Economic Opportunity Project. Republicans in Congress promote policies that create poverty across the South and red state voters elect them anyway to subject the entire nation to low wages and the poverty they engender.

The depth of Southern voters’ hatred for other Americans and their own families is evident in their support for Republicans that rejected expanding Medicaid in most of the South. According to a map by the Urban Institute, counties with the most people without healthcare insurance are in the Southern United States and it defies comprehension why voters support Republicans who prevent their children, parents, brothers and sisters from access to healthcare that does not cost states one cent for the first few years and only 10% (at most) thereafter. The same voters avidly oppose the Affordable Care Act that reveals they want tens-of-millions of Americans to suffer the same ill-health and disease they choose for their families.

It is unfathomable that residents in southern red states reject attempts to help them climb out of poverty and sickness, but religion and guns are powerful motivators for people still holding a grudge over being prevented from owning slaves, restricting women’s rights, and discriminating against Americans according to their religious beliefs. It is no coincidence that the poorest Southern states are also the most religious and have the most firearm violence. In fact, the poorest states have the highest incidence of gun violence to go along with some of the highest gun ownership rates that Republicans take advantage of by joining the National Rifle Association fear mongering that President Obama is coming after their guns as fervently as he is coming after their religious liberty.

Many pundits assert the conditions in southern red states are the fault of Republican-dominated legislatures, but without voters electing Republicans and teabaggers to preserve the deplorable conditions southern states would not lead the nation in poverty. Unfortunately, the same people electing Republicans at the state level vote for Republicans in Congress because they promise to oppose Democrats and President Obama’s campaign to disarm Southern state residents’ of their guns and bibles. It is certain that if President Obama and Democrats supported religious-driven bigotry and gun fanaticism, red southern state voters would reciprocate and support policies giving them decent wages, healthcare, and domestic programs to combat poverty. However, since that will never happen they will vote to elect Republicans to Congress to impose their deplorable living conditions on the entire population and spread their real America to every state in the Union.

44 Replies to “It’s a Fact: Republican Run Red States Have America’s Highest Poverty Rates”

  1. Never underestimate the ability of miserable people’s desire to spread their misery.

    I’ve seen that mentality at work in rural Indiana. “I can’t have it, so neither can you.”

    I had to escape from that area to keep from getting infected with that attitude.

    They are the dogs that have been set on to fight each other while the Koch brothers and other fat cats are laughing and taking bets on who will be destroyed first.

  2. It’s not too hard to understand why this is or to imagine that the situation will only get worse. Eventually, we can expect a stream of Red State aliens streaming across Blue State borders; much like Mexican aliens today.

  3. Having had the “pleasure” of living in the south for several years. A job requirement sent me to Louisiana. It was a nightmare. If you were not born and raised there it is like Alice in Wonderland staring into the looking glass. The mindset of the people from there is almost like Stockholm Syndrome. They accept that the few run things and that is it. The caste system and subtle racism is rampant and as an outsider your opinions and observations are not welcome. It is a dont rock the boat mentality.

  4. What does it suppose to mean about mexicans? Racist prick. Sadly, there is still plenty of racism in the democratic party against minorities. Many liberals live in their own little bubble about race issues. I’m a mexican and proud of it.

  5. It’s not quite this simple.

    The real source of the problem is that the Republicans have a death grip on ALL the levers of power in these states. That means that the information that is disseminated by the local newspapers, television stations, chambers of commerce, rotary clubs etcetera etcetera is totally skewed. Add in Fox news being on in every business everywhere and you have a complete knowledge drought.

    These folks truly don’t know that they’re getting screwed. They think that “right to work” laws really have something to do with having a right to work. They think that Democrats are demons coming to steal their money, guns, and pervert their children. They think that the Republicans are free market warriors that are on their side.

    Because they don’t ever pay attention to what is being done by their politicians. My US Representative runs unopposed every time. If he has ever done anything I’m not aware of it. At least he’s harmless.

  6. Quote of the Day
    We have a whole class of people that is hell bent on not only taking everything and re-instating slavery, but committing species suicide as well. I feel that at least the ancient Greeks understood how to live in a world like this: make sacrifices to the capricious, sociopathic gods and hope they didn’t decide to kill you this morning.
    I don’t even know who to sacrifice to.

  7. I’m from the heart of South, Alabama. The Article goes overboard with the hyperbole of painting a picture of the backward south. The Republicans in the South are the same as Republicans all over the United States. Just Republicans have a stronghold of elected offices in the South. Democrats need to seriously put in the work with the right candidates and win some elections. Stop just blindly giving up the area.

    2014 Vote in Full Force to KO Congress extreme Republicans – Vote midterm elections Nov 4, 2014 #ShutdownGOP.

    The Republican Party of Lincoln and Eisenhower are now a bunch of Grifters jumping off the cliff with no leadership or moral character. They follow the daily lie no matter how outrageous because they are laughing to the bank while they screw their base. They have no Contro and follow the insanityl of TParty – Koch Brothers, Faux – Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Karl Rove, NeoCons – Dick Cheny, Don Rumsfeld, Grover Norquist. Dixiecrats (SouthernTParty Base) – AL, GA, LA…

  8. Pretty sure what he meant was that Red state citizens will want to move to Blue states to improve their lives…much like Mexican immigrants want to come to the United States for opportunities…I sensed no disrespect, maybe just a clumsy way of putting it.

  9. I too live in a very red state and agree completely with your assessment as well as with Rmuse’s article. But, the unopposed Representative is not harmless by a long shot for he enables the continuation of the toxic environment that is a red state. In my state, AZ, the Mormon Church wields a huge influence over the political landscape. While I don’t have the exact figures handy, and I apologize for not having the time to research this at the moment, if my memory serves me correctly, the percentages are like this: AZ population who are Mormons, 28%; AZ State legislators who are Mormon, 79%. As a progressive independent, I feel that only a few of my State legislators represent me and those who think like I do, perhaps 4 at the most.

  10. I am an liberal athiest from Kentucky and everything Rmuse says is true. What is also true is that the more desperate the poverty gets in the South, the more they blame Democrats for it (not so much Democrats but liberals). These people are not known for their critical thinking skills. This conservative mindset is of course reinforced by the area churches (mostly Protestant, but not necessarily).

  11. Democrats refuse to understand why we can’t throw money at such a problem, communities have to look out for themselves and give back to one another to create better conditions for the less fortunate around them. Give to local charities, tutor children in low income neighborhoods, take part in your community instead of having some arrogant benevolent attitude about the redistribution of wealth. Such concepts are farcical, they are not applicable or realistic, and anyone with basic economic knowledge knows this.
    In the south, we give more to charity than the rest of the Union combined. It is far more effective and efficient than relying upon the federal government.
    It is also why southerners believe in state’s rights and lower taxes, because we know we can do a better job than the federal government when it comes to managing our own communities. The journey out of poverty comes from cultivating WILL in an individual, not by subjugating them to a condition of dependency.

  12. Not surprising. Conservative Republicans suck at economics. They deliberately enact policies that make people poor, hungry, and desperate so they’ll work longer, harder, and faster for less. It’s all about profits for the robber barons to right wingers.

  13. Dumbed down Americans vote against their own best interest! They’re brainwashed by corporate media dollars and actually believe the false ads and then they blame their heartship on President Obama! What a racket! People please vote for your democracy!

  14. The GOP needs youth and minorities to go to prison for minor offenses or crimes that they didn’t commit so that they can fill up the private prison racket! It’s all part of it. What the Republican administrations have done to America and democracy is devastating! And that includes their hero Ronnie Reagan who’s administration sold dangerous missiles to Iran! The facts prove that the GOP presidents raised the deficits and the Democratic presidents have reduced them. But the GOP claim to be deficit hawks. They’re deficit hawks because they rob from the poor to give to the rich! (That’s the real meaning.)

  15. It just makes me want to cry when I think of the south. We should have let them leave in the 1860s. All they do is hold up back and make us look like fools to the world.

  16. You really need to get out of the south. The south sucks and is holding us back. Giving to charities is good. I do it all the time. But I am not stupid enough to think that is all we need to help the millions of folks hurting because of the disgusting repubs not supporting legislation that would help the country. They don’t want PBO and the Dems to get the credit. Wake up.

  17. Karen, critical thinking skills seem to be an unknown in the south.
    Have had more then on member of family go south for the winter, from what they relay back, “critical thinking” is not possible.
    What I have experienced from those from the south who come up north in the summer. Well I have run into the very limited quality of the southern
    Extremely dumb! Pretending Christianity, while not displaying one of it’s qualities. Like living with your boy friend. since when has that been, Christian?
    The mind set of the south is exactly why I will NEVER live in the south. Yankee I am, and Yankee, I will stay.

  18. Austin,

    If charity is all we really need, why has poverty continued to fester in the South and all over the country? Why is it that wealth continues to concentrate in the hands of 400 people of the 1%? Why hasn’t “trickle down” worked in this country? Some people want a bigger slice of the pie. I say the pie is rotten and we need a new recipe of economic democracy that focuses on Main Street not Wall Street. The unregulated “invisible hand of the free market” has never fixed poverty anywhere and never has eliminate racism, sexism or environmental destruction, never has and never will.

  19. Austin, sooo…. the south gives more to charity then all the Union together?
    Explain to me and others, why…. the south has sooooo…. many poor? way more then the other states. why the south has such poor quality education, Low pay and no medical care available, until the ACA act.
    Sorry Austin I call a big B.S. on your comments……Your filled with rethug double talk. Go away, drink your teabagger tea. leave us alone.

  20. Thanks, a Shiva but no Thanks! am way to old to even try and handle the mountain people. I have beauty right where I am. Snow yes, cold yes, even a few rethugs. Still, I will stay right where I Am.
    Yankee rebel,to the core since 1642

  21. Oh yeah the republicans want to have slaves again? More race politics. What party was Robert Byrd, hint (D) and a grand wizard in the KKK. What party was gov George Wallace.

  22. Child please. You are puling dingle berries out your ass from 60 years ago. Don’t waste my time with your nonsense

  23. Whatever novenator believes in you can be quite sure its not Austrian since that theory has proven not to work and even Austria has not adopted it idiot

  24. Yet Marxism worked well also. When do you think the dollar bubble will burst? You know the 1 US dollar today is worth .04 cents in 1913 dollars. what caused the inflation in just 100 years? The federal reserve. What is your stance on QE?

  25. I am quite well read on economic theory. Are you? I know what Marx said and what happened in the Russia in the 1930’s. Why don’t you answer any questions. How long can QE last before a correction is made? It will be a bumpy ride down.

  26. The current Republican con men operate to maintain a permanent poor and labor class by blocking opportunities in business and with laws. America is a country of Laws and If you don’t understand the game, you have no idea of how politics in America works. America is the richest Country in the World and if we truly wanted to solve the Job, Education and Crime issues we could.

    Republicans want to divide and conqueror keeping the middle and poor fighting about their manufactured issues while they continue robbing country blind. The highest food stamp recipient’s are White and living in Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia. There are 317 million Americans with 47 million receiving food stamp recipients 59% White (28million), 28% Black (13 million), 13% Other (6 million).

  27. The outright hatred and ignorant comments on this post make me feel ashamed to call myself a Democrat.

    Good work stereotyping all southerns.

  28. Might want to check your history, West Virginia was union, they split with Virginia to avoid the confederacy, of didn’t you know that? I don’t disagree with the intent of your opinion, but making such a glaring mistake in history says something about your research.

  29. The article paints an overly simple and incorrect picture of what is going on here. It ignores the fact that poverty rates are established based on a set income level that does NOT vary based on geographical region. Many of those same states with higher levels of poverty also have lower costs of living. (See The census also has a slightly different map then the one cited in this article ( for the same time period, showing TX with a range from 15.9-17.8%, the same as CA, which is a historically blue state. Compare the cost of living of CA (128.1) with the cost of living in TX (91.8), and I think it’s clear that those living in “poverty” in CA are worse off than those in TX, and that those above poverty in CA could be at the same standard of living as those in poverty in TX. Other factors are also ignored, but I’m out of space.

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