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Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 244 -- Affordable College Education, Red States & Blue.

Red State, Blue State-

In the past, WILLisms has noted that taxes are generally lower in red states (ones that Bush won in 2004) than blue states (ones that Kerry won in 2004). This is not so surprising. What might have been slightly more surprising to you was that GDP growth, job creation, and a variety of other economic indicators were substantially stronger in red states than blue.

But, wait, there's more. And this shouldn't come as that much of a surprise, either, but public colleges and universities in blue states are becoming ridiculously expensive, while public schools in red states are relatively affordable. The data, thanks to Viking Pundit:

Most Expensive
1. Penn State, University Park: $11,508
2. Rutgers, New Brunswick, New Jersey: $11,051
3. University of Vermont, Burlington: $10,748
4. University of New Hampshire, Durham: $9,778
5. University of Massachusetts, Amherst: $9,278

Go check out the rest of the list, and more comments here.

Now, there could be a little of the "you get what you pay for" in these numbers. Indeed, the money floating around the more expensive public schools might somewhat arbitrarily (or legitimately) boost the rankings in those magazines high school seniors (and their parents) pay so much attention to.

But what's the deal, here? Consistently, everything costs so much more in the blue states. Houses, cars, food, electricity, college, taxes... just about everything. So although blue state median incomes are certainly higher, and blue state taxes are higher, the cost of living just eats away at that income.

Don't liberals tell us that affordable education requires higher taxes? So shouldn't higher taxes produce affordable public education, for more individuals? I hear all the time that all Texas needs to do is implement an income tax (we don't have one) and it could fully fund its public elementary, middle, and high schools. Easy as pie. There wouldn't be any budget crises, if Texas just got with the program, joined the civilized world, and added an income tax.

But, again, as noted before, states with income taxes have far more budget crises than states without them.

So, let's review:

Despite higher taxes, blue state colleges charge more from students.
Despite lower taxes, red state colleges charge less from students.

What am I missing here?


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Katrina Killed Mostly Old People.

Posted by Will Franklin · 13 December 2005 10:25 AM


You should know, Will, that Durham New Hampshire is a decidedly blue town in a purple state. Here's the voting from Durham in the last presidential election

In a state with 32% Republicans and 25% Democrats, Kerry won Durham by about 3000 votes, and carried the state by only 9000 votes. Why? Durham is where UNH sits.

BTW, you don't get what you pay for at UMass. That state university is little more than a liberal warrior indoctrination center.

Posted by: Giacomo at December 13, 2005 10:54 AM

As a PSU alumnus I can state a pretty simple reason that Penn State is at the top of the list; it isn't an entirely public university. Penn State is actually "state related" and receives fewer than 20% of its funding from the State of Pennsylvania.

Can't explain the other 4 though.

Posted by: Connard at December 13, 2005 06:15 PM

The Holy Spirit's messages on The Christian Prophet blog indicate that taxation can be viewed as theft or slavery. Why would somebody talk about "getting what they have paid for?" I don't think the Holy Spirit is totally anti-government, but seems to warn against government worship and favors voluntary funding in the way that churches are required to be funded voluntarily.

Posted by: A Christian Prophet at December 13, 2005 06:46 PM