Doesn't look that way. The Human Development Index, put together to assess developing countries, has been adapted to go beyond economic factors in US and look at "the well-being and opportunity of Americans." State by state.
Uh-oh. Are we getting "healthier, smarter, richer"? Not so much in "red" states. Doing better in "blue"states. Texas may be rolling in dough, but that dough (we Texas know this very well) goes into select pockets, leaving a huge population sicker, dumber, and poorer. Meanwhile the bluer states have experienced pay raises and the prosperity has affected all areas Lucky them...
" ...The vast majority of income gains have gone to the top one percent of earners. 'Ordinary Americans are now in their fourth decade of treading water when it comes to wages,' says Lewis. That's Kathy Lewis, co-author of "Measure of America."
Makes me think there is a certain brand of politician who doesn't put up much of a fight for the people s/he represents. Right?
Vermont isn’t a wealthy state. But it does a good job of broadly raising its residents’ life expectancy, education, and income. Louisiana -- despite a booming petrochemical industry and high per-capita GDP -- does poorly by comparison at spreading the well-being around. Vermont ranks 15th overall on its Human Development Index; Louisiana ranks 46th.
Michigan is the only state in the study to have fallen in HDI from 2000 to 2010.
The only states with rising incomes (aside from Washington, D.C., which has thrived on government jobs and contracting) are in the oil-drilling and natural-gas-fracking patch -- Montana, North and South Dakota, New Mexico, Wyoming, West Virginia.
But booming resource-based economies don’t necessarily improve people’s overall well-being, says Lewis. That’s because natural-resource extraction industries (drilling, mining), processing (refining and chemical production), and transportation (pipelines, trucking) bring a host of problems with them -- everything from dangerous, risky work with high injury rates, to transient jobs, overcrowding, and inflation of local housing costs. Such development also disproportionately impacts poor and minority communities, bringing pollution, traffic and other problems. ...Marketplace