One of the contentions made by advocates of left-of-center policies is that such state-run, interventionist policies that exert more control over the economy – nudging and directing it in beneficial directions – result in places that are better to live in.
Well, here in New England we have a case study in progress; Vermont is extremely liberal/progressive, while New Hampshire is right next door and long has been headed in the opposite direction on the political continuum.
So check out this incredibly interesting website that lets you compare all the states on various measures, including overall human development, education, incomes, health, etc.
It seems to me that NH is beating us out in several important categories. It depends on your priorities, of course, what you regard as most important.