My problem with this article has to do with its numerous oversimplifications and semi-baseless assumptions to form faulty conclusions. Firstly, I don't believe this red state/blue state division (at least described in this article) is political. The political division reflects the lifestyle, cultural and economic differences, not vice-verse. Although there is always a cyclic feedback. This division is caused by cultural developments shaped from the history, geography, population density, and to a minor degree political history of each state. When your state consists of one big city and its suburbs as a major part of its voting constituents then you'll be more well equipped (politically not functionally) to control its economy. When your state is very decentralized and rural, you are not well equipped politically to control the economy (people will dispute such powers more often.)
I don't believe in the concept of economy by human design (which this article assumes) and I think no matter how hard you try there is going to be largely an economy through human action (spontaneous order.) When one implements controls, they are creating a means to distort this natural order, ideally with the intentions to make it better. But because, like weather, this is a chaotic system the results tend to be unintended and there is no way to predict if utility will be maximized, minimized, or have no net difference.
And I think that is the large difference between these supposed blue-states and red-states. The red-state governments are not politically able to (even though they want to) control their economies. So they try to cover this up by advertising the positive features brought from it (relative to the blue states.) On the other-hand, the blue states are more able to control their economies, and the results can be great, or not so great depending on how lucky the politicians making these economic decisions were with their bets.
Anyway, I think Northeastern States (and the West Coast) would learn a lot from states like, say, New Hampshire. It is a state that promotes decentralized, lesser controlled, lesser taxed economies without any hubris that a group of politicians are capable of controlling such economies, and it matches this with a great record in civil freedoms (the two go hand in hand.) The Mid-West is starting to transition in this direction as well, as more people become non-religious there, but there is still a long way to go culturally.
I don't believe we will (again we can't control this very much) depend solely on higher education as the article posits as the "future." Some occupations require large research universities, particularly the STEM fields, but not everyone can be in the STEM fields. Other fields of study are largely a huge opportunity cost which exceeds any gain. That is why it is important to not distort the market too much that false information about the viability of certain fields of study is exchanged, and surpluses and shortages are the results (which we are now experiencing with the unemployed but highly educated population.) In the end it can be very dangerous to pick and choose which industries need to be subsidized and which need to have a pigovian tax and discouraged.
Overall I have a very optimistic view about the situation. The Red-States are becoming more libertarian/liberal in their social attitudes. The blue-states are starting to learn that controlling an economy does indeed have negative and unintended consequences. As the article exemplifies, one instance is that blue-states are becoming less egalitarian, not more due to these policies. Overall though, this division helps us give context of how things can be different, and allows all states to look at the others and experiment. If the country were not divided and all states were homogeneous, change would not occur at the already slow rate it does.