Playing with numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, “Gross Domestic Product By State”. I downloaded the Excel file and fiddled around with the numbers there. Interesting thing is that matching this map with the 2016 election results, the red states and the blue states have roughly equivalent GDP at around $9 trillion apiece. However: 1/6th of the red states’ GDP is Texas. The same is true of the blue states and California, except there’s much fewer of them so it’s not quite so much one queen state and a buncha loser states. Interesting.
Things get more lopsided if you look at the county level. The Brookings Institute did a county-level matchup of the maps and found that the counties Hillary won accounted for around 2/3rds of the economy — around $12 trillion, with the red counties accounting for $6 trillion. I would need to see their source data to see if they’re adding right, but a brief check seems to show that their claim that every one of the top twenty major counties (as sorted by economic activity) went to Hillary other than Maricopa County (AZ) is correct.
This is… interesting. What it seems to say is that this election boiled down to an election between the 21st century and the 20th century. Those counties that have embraced the 21st century and its demands for a smart flexible workforce and thus are thriving voted for more of the same. Those counties that want their 20th century back, when a man could make a living for his family with a strong back and a narrow mind, went for Trump, who promised that they could have their 20th century back.
Of course, the 20th century is gone and isn’t coming back. Even if manufacturing comes back, today’s manufacturing is highly automated and demands far more intellectual flexibility than 20th century manufacturing required, where you just needed to be able to do one thing, and do it well, and it’s unlikely that they will be employing the people who were laid off when the toaster factory in Coushatta Louisiana shut down to move production to Thailand. Those people had little education and no skills other than being able to put peg A into slot B, over and over again, and we have robots that do that now. But hey, people have been believing false promises by politicians since long before we were born, so.
– Badtux the Economics Penguin