What Do The Ten Worst States To Live In Have In Common?

Image courtesy of The Bayou Progressive.

Image courtesy of The Bayou Progressive.

CNBC recently released a story titled “America’s 10 worst states to live in” and the results were not surprising. Before you jump down my throat, this is CNBC, a financial TV channel, not just some blogger’s opinion. Here’s how they came to their conclusion:

There are many ideal places around the country to raise a family, get a job and have a great recreational lifestyle. Then there are the states mired in problems that don’t get high marks for quality of life in America’s Top States for Business. We look at several factors—including crime rate, local attractions, health care and the environment—for the ranking. These 10 states rank last. If you call one of them home, you may disagree. But by the objective measures we consider in our Quality of Life category, these states have plenty of room for improvement. (Source)

Of course, just because these are the worst states to live in, doesn’t mean they’re the worst states to do business in. If you’re a wealthy industrialist, you can put your chemical factory somewhere along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, pay as little as you can get away with, pollute the shit out of the local environment, and then tell people they should be glad to have the jobs. Meanwhile, you can live thousands of miles away in New York or California where you can enjoy a cleaner environment, while hiding your money offshore to get out of paying your fair share of taxes.

So what do all of the ten worst states have in common? They’re all moderately to heavily conservative, with 7 out of 10 having conservative Republican governors. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at them, state by state.

10. Arkansas: Arkansas got a good rating for air quality but a poor rating for crime and health. The state is Democrat-leaning with a Democrat, Mike Beebe, in the governor’s mansion, but the Democrats in Arkansas tend to lean further to the right than most others in the nation. Like many of their counterparts here in Louisiana (especially the northern part of Louisiana), it’s safe to say they’re often indistinguishable from moderately conservative Republicans.

9. Kentucky: Same thing as Arkansas and legislators on both sides are in the pocket of the coal industry. Kentucky also got a poor rating for health, as well as air quality, thanks in part to #8.

8. Ohio: Ohio has been a swing state for the past few elections and currently has a Republican, union-busting governor, John Kasich. Again, the coal industry is strong as evidenced in their poor ratings for health and air quality.

7. Indiana: Think Ohio, with less coal and more boredom, if that’s possible. Oh yeah, and they also have a Republican governor, Mike Pence.

6. Michigan: Rick Snyder, emergency management taking over cities, poor air quality and high crime. Despite bordering Canada, Michigan has some of the characteristics of poverty-stricken states to the south, like Mississippi.

5. Alabama: Poor health, crime and their governor, Robert Bentley. Unlike states like Ohio, Alabama is firmly in the Bible Belt and completely under conservative Republican control. In fact, the Chief Justice of the Alabama, Judge Roy Moore, thinks that the 1st Amendment really only applies to Christians and perhaps Jews. But hey, if you’re rich, there’s the Robert Trent Jones golf trail, so there’s that, I guess?

4. Louisiana: We could just say Bobby Jindal and David Vitter and just leave it at that. Like Alabama, Louisiana is solidly Republican and the few Democrats here, including Mary Landrieu, are barely distinguishable from the GOP. The roads suck, the pollution sucks, and we’re the prison capital of the world. New Orleans is fun to visit, the food is good and Lafayette is cool for Cajun culture, but that’s really about it.

3. Missouri: I went to Springfield, Missouri once, and left as quickly as I could. Missouri currently has a moderate Democrat in Jay Nixon as governor, which may be the only thing that doesn’t suck. Crime, pollution, a conservative state legislature and Springfield is considered to be the “buckle” of the Bible Belt. Yeah, think I’ll pass.

2. Oklahoma: I hear Oklahoma has a couple of decent college football teams and that’s about it. They also have an extremely conservative governor in Mary Fallin and the state legislature is equally conservative. Despite being ranked poorly for healthcare, Oklahoma has rejected Medicaid expansion like many other conservative states.

1. Tennessee: Crime, Governor Bill Haslam, and 11 active chapters of the KKK, what’s there to love about Tennessee? Well, Memphis is known for the blues and BBQ and that’s about it. While Tennessee has launched a get healthy initiative, the fact that Governor Haslam and the conservative legislature have refused Medicaid expansion shows that they’re not really that concerned about the issue.

It’s obvious that this list isn’t perfect and was based off a small set of factors. The fact that Mississippi was not in the top ten for whatever reason proves that. However, it does show that the poorest and unhealthiest states tend to have one thing in common: conservative government.

Want to change that? Then vote in November or you have no right to complain.


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  • exmotogo

    although we have to be careful… probably what *actually* makes these states awful to live in is lack of education and poverty… not a conservative government.

    that being said… lack of education often leads to a conservative government, which often leads to poverty (and a further stifling of education, and more poverty… a vicious cycle)

    • Cutter John

      Not only that, but parents brainwashing their kids from the beginning about an invisible fairy that watches everyone nonstop and judges them (very harshly, to the point that nobody goes to said heaven, but the fairy loves us…) which is a big contribution to the conservitard syndrome. Mix that in with poor education and you have a machine that may seem unstoppable. Especially with the exploding population of the conservative ‘families’ who ironically bitches about cat and dog population while they sit down for dinner with the wife/husband and 8+ kids.

    • Jonathan Arndt

      Chicken or the egg. Republicans are famous for keeping people uneducated because they are easier to manipulate. They are pro corporations and rich so that goes hand in hand with keeping the 99% as poor as possible. Religion is another tool they use to keep people in check and occupied. Everything that happens is God’s doing and the people think the way to change things is to pray. It is really pitiful but a great con they have going.

      • Stephen Barlow

        But it doesn’t make sense to keep the poor from getting well.

        The most prosperous time in America without a doubt is when people had Union jobs they could trust a pension from. had the Republicans honored their contracts with Unions and FUNDED them (which is just how Christie is screwing civil servants in NJ today) there never would have been a meltdown because there wouldn’t have been 401K’s and IRA’s to swindle from.

    • geez

      And who chokes the funding for education? Many of the residents have no idea there are alternatives to poverty and the ones that do generally leave.

  • Jane Laycock

    How could you miss Kansas?

    • Avatar

      You got it right because that particular state is #1 for people to flee away and #50 for moving into.

    • Stephen Barlow

      What yu replace with it on the list? Arkansas is booted because of texas, and everything jumps down a peg under Tenessee…

      North Carolina is actually pretty decent living. If you’re WHITE.

    • Stephen Barlow

      Or Okla-nobodyget’smarriedbecausewe aretoo-homa phobic

  • shopper

    A poorly educated population will never attract businesses who need educated employees. FL may soon join this group as the state keeps cutting funds to public education.

  • Avatar

    Memphis is the most active liberal city in Tennessee.

    • Stephen Barlow

      Memphis is cool! maybe the coolest city in the south.

      • Travis Hamilton

        Memphis isn’t even in the top 100 southern cities. You need to get out more.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Top or not, I love it. the people are NICE.

  • IndianaBruce

    I’ll take number 7 anytime. Here in Indiana, we love our state and our governor. It doesn’t hurt my feelings if an inbred cretin doesn’t appreciate a good state.

    • noah vail

      speaking of cretins, your avatar speaks volumes about you and indiana, another KKK stronghold

      • IndianaBruce

        noah, spend your food stamps on real food instead of alcohol. You’re a drunk.

      • noah vail

        i don’t drink , neither am i a racist that advertises that i’m an asshole like you do

      • IndianaBruce

        How’d you like some good redneck sausage to munch on, boy.

      • noah vail

        first you’ll have to find one and then you’ll have to teach me how…idiot

      • IndianaBruce

        My guess is you know where to find it, and know how. Don’t play dumb.

  • geez

    I just visited my parents in Oklahoma. I have never lived there. The overall ignorance was suffocating. I couldn’t get decent service in hardly any business establishments, like getting paint mixed in a home improvement store! because the workers couldn’t figure out how to do their job. It was down right scary and depressing. I’m not saying other areas are perfect but it was like being in another country altogether.

  • Stephen Barlow

    Other than the Cheerleaders and Willie Nelson, WHAT good IS texas?
    I’d put it #2 and pint out that their IS hope in Arkansas and some good things came out of Hope.

  • Andre Cox

    Keep them stupid not a hard plan at all if you control the state government.

  • PloCoon

    Southeastern Tennessee was good when I went to college in the area. They should have put Chattanooga as a positive; it’s good for business and is developing internet infrastructure that’s faster than the stuff in Silicon Valley.

    As for Kentucky, did they only survey the eastern 1/3 or something? There’s way more there besides coal.

  • TomDegan

    What? Not even a dishonorable mention for Texas?