If you want to live in an American hellscape, the first thing you need to do is find a patch of land governed by a Republican legislature and Republican governor, according to a new analysis by CNBC.
CNBC used various metrics from crime to housing prices to access to medical care, all to come up with a scorecard for “Worst states in which to live and work.”
According to CNBC’s report, “Life, Health and Inclusion” is included this year as one of the study’s ten categories of competitiveness. But, given the worker shortage is so severe lately, the category is taking far greater weight this year.
CNBC also considered many other quality-of-life factors, including crime rates, environmental quality, and health care, along with the quality and availability of childcare, which is one of the most important factors in getting parents back into the workforce.
Coming in at Number Ten is the State of Florida, which follows nicely under that “life, health, and inclusion” thing. As CNBC says, tossing the widest net for workers means not tossing anyone away. Florida’s rejection of everyone “not white” and pro-DEI and CRT would scream that they are tossing away talent.
Next up at Number Nine is Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Arkansas. CNBC lists violent crime as a big problem. The one thing proven to drive crime down is increasing the likelihood of being caught. So, did Sarah raise money and buy a bunch more cops? Reshuffle personnel? No, she increased sentences, something that has proven to have a near-negligible effect.
But Arkansas also suffered due to dismal health coverage (No Medicaid money!) and an unhealthy lifestyle.
At Number Eight, we have Tennessee, the state with the most outwardly racist legislature. The report gives Tennessee bad grades for its hardcore anti-LGBTQ stance, crime, and voting rights.
Lucky number Seven is not so lucky Indiana. Indy’s biggest problem is the lack of childcare facilities, making it nearly impossible for parents to return to the workforce. But the Hoosiers do score well on crime and environmental concerns.
Let’s get to Six and show me the Show Me state of Missouri. CNBC cites Missouri’s strictest abortion law in the country and its violent crime statistics as indices as to why Missouri has trouble attracting workers.
BREAK: I am sure you’re noticing a pattern.
We have a tie for Fifth and Fourth, and – this does go to show that there are regional differences within each state because we have Alabama and South Carolina tied. Both get destroyed on quality of life and health in a state with terrible diets and terrible inclusiveness scores.
I will point out that living in a highly educated and fast-growing area, as I do, on the Gulf Coast of Alabama can make a difference inside various states.
I can think of worse places. One might be 25 miles east in Florida, where everything is the same except more expensive and controlled by a guy named DeSantis!
Everyone knows that Three is a magic number, but not on this list because there’s very little magical about Louisiana and its pollution and childcare issues.
Yes, everyone loves New Orleans (Mark Twain said there are only three “original” American cities, NYC, New Orleans, and San Francisco), but finding childcare, healthcare, and just living health is difficult in the Pelican state.
We must also be honest and note that Louisiana currently has a Democratic governor and a…veto-proof Republican legislature.
Coming in hard at Number Two is OOOOklahoma! And OK is really not “okay” when it comes to the highest rates without health insurance, horrific abortion laws, and voting rights.
And now, you know what’s coming, right? What’s the ONLY BIG RED STATE LEFT? Yes, Numero Uno on the list is Texas because everything is bigger in Texas, including the Republican domination of government, the horrific voting rights record, the lack of inclusiveness, and the lack of healthcare.
To quote the report:
“The Lone Star State keeps hacking away at inclusiveness, with laws targeting the LGBTQ+ population, voting rights, and the nation’s strictest abortion ban. Yes, there are enormous economic opportunities in Texas, and it is attracting people from far and wide. But this state also has some Texas-sized issues when it comes to life, health and inclusion. And it is one of the reasons that the state fell out of the overall top five for the first time in the 16-year history of CNBC’s rankings.”
“2023 Life, Health & Inclusion Score: 53 out of 350 points (Top States Grade: F)”
“Strengths: No metrics in the top 25″
The last time a Democrat won a statewide race in Texas was 1994. You would think that they might try something different.
And you can already imagine that the “best” are the states at the opposite end of the political spectrum: Connecticut, Massachusets, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Hawai’i, Minnesota, New Jersey (!), Maine, and Vermont.
This column is based on original reporting by Scott Cohn of CNBC.
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here: