Look at the education systems in California, NY, NJ, Illinois, Massachusetts, CT, etc and you will find both much better grade schools and universities. Those then feed entrepreneurial world class companies which create wealth and higher incomes and thus higher state tax revenues.
It is also true these states are more affluent and therefore have the funds to develop their societies. This attracts more business, which gives them more tax revenue and the ability to develop more. It is Pareto effect in motion.
There is nothing that prevents Red States from adopting this human capital first attitude.
It takes more than attitude to change the economy. Thirty years have gone by since East Germany was made free and able to reunite with the West, but the former red zone still lags behind economically. History and resources play a big role, no matter what policies you enact. You can make marginal improvements by investing in human capital, yes, but that doesn’t change the fact that California is home to several industries, while Kansas is 90% farmland. The building blocks of an economy determine how effective a policy will be.
Look at the difference between Atlanta and the rest of Georgia or Austin and the rest of Texas. Both cities have world class universities and guess what? They have thriving economies. They also vote for Democrats, pockets of blue within Red States.
This point is addressed already:
Even within California, this is true. Its urban areas tend to be the main producers of revenue, and some of that has to be spread out to the rural areas to keep them (and thereby the whole state) afloat.
Right there, I talk about how the surplus-deficit areas are found even within states. So of course Atlanta does better than the rest of Georgia. Atlanta is the capital, a natural hub for the state’s commerce. It’s a place that can boast the benefits of having universities, but it’s also the natural place for the state to put its best universities. Why build Georgia Tech in Macon, when Atlanta is clearly a better spot?
So any bright, young kid from the backwoods is fairly likely to stay in Atlanta, once he’s done at GT, meaning that his rural home loses that talent, just as someone from rural California is likely to stay in Sacramento or LA, once they get their education there too. Productive power gravitates toward urban areas, within states;and within countries, it gravitates toward the states/regions that have a lot of these cities.
It’s true at the national level the Democrats can improve the overall statistics of the national economy, but Georgia will still be Georgia, Texas will still be Texas, and California will still be California.