Some new lows for the Obama administration today....
Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. This is the second straight day that his overall approval rating has been below 50% among Likely Voters nationwide. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove.
This doesn't mean Obama is wrong, but it does mean he is not popular. Those that conflate the two should now stop.
A fascinating bit of insight can be found in this piece called Blue State Meltdown.
Living in California it very much resonates with how I see things coming down and additionally, is a fresh perspective in the realm of ideas about actions and consequences. In short the Blue States and their respective meltdowns were blamed on Bush. Their models have failed and somehow Bush was the convenient strawman to blame. The problem now is that those same policies and officials are in place and the meltdown still continues.
For example, while state and local budget crises have extended to some red states, the most severe fiscal and economic basket cases largely are concentrated in places such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oregon, and, perhaps most vividly of all, California. The last three have among the highest unemployment rates in the country; all the aforementioned are deeply in debt and have been forced to impose employee cutbacks and higher taxes almost certain to blunt a strong recovery.
The East Coastdominated media, of course, wants to claim that we have reached the twilight of Sunbelt growth. This observation seems a bit premature. Instead, traditional red-state strongholds such as the Dakotas, Idaho, Texas, Utah, and North Carolina, dominated the list of fastest-growing regions recently compiled for Forbes by my colleagues at www.newgeography.com
This part is amazing....
In case you weren't aware this last issue is what recently turned Paul Rodriguez into a Republican.
The Great Delusion and Its Blue-State Victims
This elite strategy has served to bifurcate most blue states into an affluent core and a rapidly declining periphery. For example, California, a state whose shift from red to blue has given some heft to progressives everywhere, has experienced an increasing gap between a small sliver of wealthy metropolitan residents along the coast and an increasingly marginalized interior populated largely by middle- and working-class Hispanics.
And then there is the imposition of increasingly stringent environmental regulation. This has hit hardest the essential sectors of the non-creative class economy such as manufacturing, warehousing, and agriculture. Basic industries depend more than finance or creative ones on reasonably priced energy and land, access to raw materials, and a sane regulatory regime. In California, notes economist Watkins, everything has priority over the economy.
You can see the effects clearly in California. Climate change regulations work to constrain new construction of homes, particularly suburban single-family homes. Manufacturing industries, even relatively clean ones, make easy targets for carbon-hunting regulators. A recent Milken Institute report found that between 2000 and 2007 California lost nearly 400,000 manufacturing jobs, all this while industrial employment was growing in major competitive rivals such as Texas and Arizona.
Trucking firms, saddled with harsh new deadlines to shift to cleaner vehicles, also are going out of business. Like manufacturers, many of these have historically been sources of upward mobility for largely Latino entrepreneurs and workers.
Perhaps the most searing disaster is unfolding in the rich Central Valley. Large areas are about to be returned to desertdue less to a mild drought than to regulations designed to save obscure fish species in the states delta. Over 450,000 acres have been allowed to go fallow. Nearly 30,000 agriculture jobsmostly held by Latinoswere lost just in May. Unemployment, 17 percent across the Central Valley, reaches to more than 40 percent in some towns such as Mendota.
So what is going to happen now?
Many in the true blue states greeted Barack Obamas election like the coming of a Messiah who would redress these serious problems. After all, it is widely believed in blue states that the red-state barbarians had looted the Treasury for their clients in the energy, industrial, home-building, pharmaceutical, and defense industries. Now the blue states, and their industries, would get payback. A vast expansion of public infrastructure, more emphasis on basic industry, and incentives for new entrepreneurial ventures could now help rapidly declining areas in the blue states.
Yet hopes that Obama would emphasize such basic infrastructure now have been dashed. Instead, the stimulus has been largely steered to social service providers, green industries, and academic research. One reason, as we now know, is that feminists saw such an approach as too favorable to burly men who might not have been among the presidents core fan base.
Sadly, many of those burly men, particularly the unemployed, still reside in the blue states. They might not be in the places inhabited by the post-industrial elites but they do live in the hardscrabble neighborhoods, industrial suburbs, and small towns from Michigan and upstate New York to Californias vast interior.
Another group that may be unexpectedly hurt by the Obama policies will be the middle and upper middle classes in blue states. Already burdened by high rates of taxation locally and higher costs for everything from housing to education, these hardy soulsmaking more than $125,000 to $250,000 a yearnow are about to find themselves heaped in with the rich. Higher federal tax rates, as proposed by the administration, could prove disastrous for many blue-state middle-income families.
Do a couple searches on mancession if you want any elaboration on above. 80% of the jobs lost have been in male dominant fields.
Is There Hope for Blue America?
Ultimately, waiting for Obama will not revive the blue states. Instead the best prospect lies in blue states healing themselves. Fortunately, there are some tentative signs of unrest. The same regime failure that stuck to Republicans in the wake of the Bush presidency soon may be felt by Democrats burdened with the failed legacy of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, or New York Governor David Paterson. Even Illinois, the presidents home state, could go Republican, suggests political scientist Simpson, if the Republicans put up a viable, middle-of-the-road candidate.
Powerful signs of mounting resistance have emerged in the most important state of all, California. The massive rejection of the budget agreement last spring was a blow to not only its architects, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democrats in the legislature, but the general conventional wisdom that holds increased taxes as the key to addressing the states budget problem.
Even in deep blue Los Angeles, the public sector machine built around onetime union organizer and current Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has lost some recent battles, including an attempt to create a public sector union monopoly over the citys solar industry. There is now greater appreciation of soaring public sector pension obligations as groups like the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility expose lists of public employees enjoying mega-pensions.
Even Illinois, the presidents home state, could go Republican, suggests political scientist Simpson, if the Republicans put up a viable, middle-of-the-road candidate.
Similar efforts have started in other states, and with private-sector pensions being cut around the country, anger over the emerging privileged class of public workers may well gain traction. Ultimately, more people in blue states will begin to realize that their states need to learn again how to compete against both their red counterparts and the rest of the world.
There is no intrinsic reason blue states should continue to decline. They have created much of the industrial enterprise, technological innovation, and cultural vitality that made the United States the worlds preeminent country. The prospects for these places can certainly be brighter than they are today.
There is plenty of hope for them and for America if we go back and remember that we are not Post-Anything.
That last link ties the first together very well. Red states still get their hands dirty with things like... energy production, manufacturing, etc. Get rid of the utopianism and get ready to work.