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Is Connecticut the Best State to Live In?
#1
(Mostly taken, if selectively, from an old T4T thread of my creation)

Connecticut has eked out a narrow victory over the cradle of the American Revolution in this fascinating report on overall well-being. The 2013-14 report, released yesterday by Measure of America, under the auspices of the Social Science Research Council, slices and dices America’s performance not just on income, but on various metrics of health and education as well.

The rankings are based on the American Human Development Index (HDI) , “an alternative to GDP” that aims to summarize not just how rich Americans are, but how we’re doing on the things that we presumably want riches for: a long and healthy life in which everyone can make the most of their talents and interests. The American index is derived from the U.N.’s Human Development Index (on which, by the way, the U.S. currently ranks third in the world, after Norway and Australia).

I first became familiar with the American version of the index (and the haunting inequalities it reveals) while examining why Massachusetts is pretty much the best model we have for the healthy, wealthy, well-educated future most Americans want. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/..._place_to.html

The full PDF report here

Not surprisingly, Mississippi is at the bottom. Educational achievement accounts for about 83% of the difference. Per capita income is not enough to decide which people live well and which don't. At an extreme

State GDP per capita, which measures a state’s total economic activity, is much higher in Louisiana (17th in the US) than in Vermont (34th). But residents in the Pelican State are not better off than their Green Mountain State counterparts as a result of the increased economic activity…people in Vermont can expect to live nearly five years longer than people in Louisiana and are less than half as likely to lack a high school diploma.

But HDI in Vermont, a state in which nobody expects to get rich, ranks 15th in HDI... and Louisiana ranks 46th (District of Columbia included).

So wealth doesn’t necessarily lead to longer lives and better education. It’s possible to argue, of course, that Vermont’s social investments are holding the state back economically—that it might be richer if it focused less on education and health. But even if a state was paying some GDP penalty for its social priorities (and Connecticut, Massachusetts, and so on don’t seem to be), that only clarifies the question that the Measure of America report hopes to raise: Why focus so exclusively on GDP growth, instead of a mixed measure of wealth and improved human outcomes?

Maybe Vermont government is unusually effective even with limited resources to tax for spending, but the politicians get things right and people may have healthy patterns of life. Louisiana government has been infamous for incompetence, corruption, neglect, and demagoguery... and maybe the people eat too much, smoke too much, and exercise too little. (Ironically, Louisiana has the best [Cajun] regional cuisine in America, but one can maintain a healthy weight on it. One must lay off the beer, sweet rolls, sugary sodas, and pralines, of course, but only one of those is specifically associated with Louisiana).

[Image: quote_icon.png] Originally Posted by Eric the Green [Image: viewpost-right.png]
I would expect that a lot of the GDP in states like Louisiana consists of revenue from fossil fuels, in this case offshore oil wells, which may create some jobs, but mostly the economic benefit goes to the oil companies, and probably to foreign ones like BP to boot.

(I say)


True. Which explains why many countries have nationalized their fossil-fuel resources. Even the Shah of Iran did.

(I add now)

Extractive industries are good for one quick binge of prosperity from early investment in capital that creates a one-time boom. They do not create jobs in proportion to the easy money for foreign investors, local owners, or governments that typically take their cuts. The jobs created are well-suited for young workers with well-developed physical strength but little training. "Oil-field roustabout" or "miner" are not good choices for people who want to work into their forties and fifties. If fatal accidents or crippling injuries do not end one's job, then the work so degrades one's body that one will be obliged to retire young from the activity. The pay is good for a strong, healthy worker, but how long does one stay strong and healthy?

Years ago a Venezuelan politician called petroleum la mierda del Diablo -- the $#!+ of the Devil -- for its perverse effects upon the Venezuelan people.

Here's something interesting -- how 'developed' the states are (in order) , and how they voted for President in 2008 and 2012).

Connecticut
Massachusetts
New Jersey
Maryland
District of Columbia
New Hampshire
Minnesota
New York
Colorado
Hawaii
Virginia
California
Washington
Rhode Island
Vermont
Illinois
Delaware
Wisconsin

Nebraska*
Pennsylvania
Alaska
Iowa
Utah
Kansas

Maine
North Dakota
Arizona

Oregon
Wyoming
Florida
South Dakota
Michigan
Ohio

Texas
Nevada
Georgia
Missouri

North Carolina
Indiana

Montana
New Mexico
Idaho
South Carolina
Tennessee
Oklahoma
Louisiana
Alabama
Kentucky
West Virginia
Arkansas
Mississippi


Obama both 2008 and 2012
Split in 2008 and 2012
McCain 2008, Romney 2012

*The Second Congressional District of Nebraska (largely Omaha) split in 2008 from Nebraska itself in its voting but voted with the rest of the state in 2012.

Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a

Here's something interesting -- how 'developed' the states are (in order) , and how they voted for President in 2008 and 2012).
You mean the human development index, I take it. Not industrialized or urbanized.

A pretty good indicator of the red/blue split, and by no means the only one.

The report's conclusion:

In general, the analyses that Measure of America has conducted for this
and other reports show that investing in the health and education of
Americans pays huge dividends to them and to the country as a whole.
If all we care about is a growing economy, than that’s all we should pay
attention to; GDP and other economic metrics suit that purpose well.
But if we care about the ability of all Americans to live freely chosen
lives of value, to realize their personal American Dreams, then shining a
spotlight on the actual conditions of people’s lives in communities around
the country is critical.

Last edited by Eric the Green; 06-23-2013 at 08:16 AM. (subsequently edited by me)

Eric the Green;473537 Wrote:You mean the human development index, I take it. Not industrialized or urbanized.

A pretty good indicator of the red/blue split, and by no means the only one.

I say:

HDI recognizes the effectiveness of a community not only in extracting wealth (the easy part) but also in distributing it fairly, people using their incomes wisely, and having a government that uses its tax revenues effectively. If all goes well, then people enjoy as good health as is possible, get good educations, and have cause to trust their governments. They probably also face low crime rates. If all goes well they have cause for hope. Note the contrast between Vermont and Louisiana.

Much relates to life expectancy and to personal habits. People who smoke and drink heavily will pay a high price in degenerative diseases. Such probably knocks Kentucky way down from its neighbors to the north. Even if people face low taxes on cancerweed products as in Kentucky anything that they spend on them cuts into personal welfare. Kentucky also has a drinking culture reflecting one of its high-profile businesses -- distilled liquors. Of course it is possible to get drunk on beer and wine, but distilled liquors promote pathological drinking -- and much spouse abuse, violent crime, and highway carnage.

Of course it is easy for someone in a "blue" state like Michigan to make fun of Kentucky or Mississippi. But here we have our own problems due to our own neglect. Michigan was the most prosperous state in the Union in the 1950s when an estimated quarter of all GDP was somehow spent on cars. To be sure Michigan was a net consumer of motor fuels, but most of the cars were built in Michigan. So were the aftermarket parts from spark plugs to windshield wipers. Anyone with a good work ethic and a healthy body could make a good living in Michigan as a worker on an assembly line... and the auto assembly line worker could enjoy a middle-class standard of living. The political system favored the more conservative rural areas that liked low taxes and laws favorable to the dairy industry (oleomargarine was long banned in Michigan and then made difficult to buy through legislation). But because of the rural areas and the limited need for education (dropping out of school to take a job in an auto plant was a common trajectory), Michigan could get away with low levels of government spending. It spend heavily on a road system, with Detroit having more miles of freeway than any other American city except Los Angeles (unless one sees NYC-area parkways as "freeways").

The state failed to invest as much of its bounty on public services as it could have when things were going well. Now that the auto industry in Michigan has shrunk because cars last longer and much of the auto industry has moved elsewhere. The sorts of people who used to make good livings in auto plants are lucky to get jobs in fast-food places or as domestic servants. Rural Michigan might still be somewhat like Iowa, but urban Michigan is increasingly like bad southern cities. Just think of Detroit -- in bankruptcy due to an inability to adapt. Its city government has been corrupt, wasteful, incompetent, and improvident. The model of economic success in Michigan is a pizza chain and that chain's ownership of two successful sports franchises. (I wish that that family would get control of the pitiable Detroit Kittens football team). So if you 'live' in Michigan, all that you might be able to do is watch televised sports at night and stuff yourself with junk food and cheap domestic beer. The Tigers are good, but they play a boring style of baseball. Michigan is the one state that regressed in absolute rating between 2000 and 2010.

... The political connection should be obvious. The top seventeen states and DC all voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. The next twenty or so states split almost evenly -- and that goes down to Indiana and North Carolina (and those were #38 and #39). Of the bottom twelve, only one (New Mexico) voted for President Obama -- and he lost by margins characteristic of George McGovern in the other of those twelve states. Those twelve are on the whole miserable places in which to live, as shown by the low percentage of people with graduate degrees in all of those states except New Mexico. People with graduate degrees are mobile, and New Mexico has its share of physicists (Johnson Space Center near Las Cruces; the Sandia Lab). Sandia was set up in the 1940s by the University of California for the nuclear program so that it would be out of reach for carrier-based bombers and it had to be attractive to people who were in the paradise known as the San Francisco Bay Area. Northern New Mexico has some good ski slopes that the Bay Area does not have.

OK -- Nebraska is a fairly-good place to live even without a resource boom. Utah gets blue-state results despite the right-wing LDS Church having huge influence. Alaska seems to be using its oil boom somewhat well. Kansas seems much like Nebraska. If conservative government gets good results it will get entrenched*. On the other side... Nevada and New Mexico have Blue-State politics but awful infrastructure; Michigan and Ohio have state governments trying to guide those states toward cheap labor, severe inequality, and underdeveloped infrastructure as in the bottom rank. The Michigan Snake Legislature has enacted Right-to-Work legislation intended to gut whatever power unions ever had. It's trying to make the state another Oklahoma, if without the oil... but Oklahoma is an abject failure on HDI.

So maybe America splits largely along lines of whether people trust the government to do well for them with good schools and public-health services and whether people like cheap smokes, plenty of liquor, and cheap domestic help but prefer not having their superstitions challenged.. Ethnicity has its own divides, with poor blacks and Hispanics knowing that the "red" solutions keeping them poor but poor whites largely accepting "red" solutions that fit their core beliefs.

*So what does that say about the "red" states with poor results? In 1976 most of them voted for Jimmy Carter. In 1992 and 1996 most of them voted for Bill Clinton, probably reflecting the short-lived alliance of poor whites and poor blacks on economic issues in the wake of the Civil Rights movement. Most of those states have gone from being largely-Democratic in local politics and voting for Democratic nominees for President in years other than Republican blowouts to being (at least among whites) largely-Republican in local politics and voting for Republican nominees for President in.

It's possible to have statistical measures that exaggerate one measure over others. Mississippi would obviously be close to the top in church attendance per capita, low cost of labor, and cotton production per capita while Massachusetts would be toward the bottom. Wow! If you are a chain smoker, you would definitely prefer cancerweed-friendly Kentucky to a state like California that taxes the Hell out of tobacco. Never mind that Kentucky is a political and economic sewer.

Crime rates were not mentioned -- but on the whole, such would really hurt the states already at the bottom. New York City is the safest big city with respect to crime. Like being raped and subjected to armed robbery? Then work in a convenience store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area or Greater Houston. But if you want automobile ownership as a measure of economic achievement, New York City is at the bottom. People who work in Texas convenience stores (and as a rule they are very badly paid) have and need cars so that they can work, but middle-class people rely heavily on public transportation in New York City.

Before the boom in natural gas, North Dakota was a largely-conservative state that got good results cheaply. But note well that a resource boom comes with a price. North Dakota now has a severe housing shortage, and people can endure ungodly commutes. Resource booms rely heavily on young workers with short careers who are untrained for anything else but construction and energy field work... and once their careers are over they are wrecks. Often ill-educated, the roustabouts bring their kids along or have them... and considering where many of them are from (like Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma) you can expect to see the school achievement scores plummet.

School test scores? Those were not mentioned. In general, urbanized states with real winters do far better than those without real winters. California does badly for school test scores and Kansas does well. Could it be that large cities in California find it difficult to keep teachers in the classroom when the skill set of a good teacher is good for salespeople and people in the tourist trade. Bad teachers find few alternatives, and the only good teachers are those who couldn't imagine giving up teaching for more lucrative activities like bar-tending or selling real estate. In the rural Plains states, teaching is a very good job from an economic standpoint... and kids are well motivated if they want to get off the family farm because they have the ability to do something other than milk cows or run a combine.

But this is beyond denial: even if one ignores per capita income (which can easily be absorbed in high living costs) then Connecticut, which has an 80.8-year life expectancy at birth, 11.4% of its adult population with less than a high-school diploma, 35.5% of all adults have at least a bachelor's degree, and 15.3% of adults have graduate or professional degrees is a much better place than Mississippi, in which the life expectancy at birth is 75.0 years, 19% of all adults have less than a high-school education, and only 7.1% of the people have a graduate or professional degree. Maybe Mississippians smoke more, drink more, or have bad eating habits... but that is connected to the level of formal education.

Credit scores are a relevant metric for determining the quality of life. Unlike GDP per capita they can make their own adjustments for the cost of living and for the degree of economic equality in a State.   

It's been done.

T-1 Hawaii, Minnesota 667
3 Wisconsin 663
4 District of Columbia 660
5 Massachusetts 659
6 New Jersey 658
7 New York 657
T-8 California, Vermont 656
10 Washington

T-11 Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut 652
14 Utah 650
15 Oregon 648
T-16 Illinois,
North Dakota 647
T-18 Iowa, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Virginia 646
T-22 Montana, Rhode Island 645
24 South Dakota 644
25 Idaho 643

26 Maryland 642
T-27 Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Pennsylvania 641
T-31 New Mexico, Wyoming 637
T-33 Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio 636
37 Delaware 635

38 North Carolina 634
39 Georgia 633
T-40 Indiana, Missouri 632
42 Texas 631
43 Tennessee 629
44 Oklahoma 628
45 Kentucky 627
46 West Virginia 626
47 Arkansas 623
T- 48 Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina 622
51 Mississippi 613


Here, Connecticut drops significantly and Minnesota goes to the top.

Does anyone see a correlation between credit scores and statewide HDI? Political results

Obama twice
Obama once
Obama never


It's certainly not race. DC has a high average credit score and Mississippi has the worst. DC has a larger percentage of blacks than does Mississippi. Maryland and Delaware do worse in credit scores than their statewide HDI. California has a huge Hispanic population in proportion to its population and a good statewide credit score -- but so does Arizona, which is just below the median.

It's not income, either. Louisiana does well in income (17th in GDP per capita) but is tied for second-worst for statewide credit scores. Vermont is tied for eighth in statewide credit scores.  (In fact, income is rarely part of the assessment of a credit score unless for a giant purchase such as a house or car or for a gigantic credit line).  A worker in a sweatshop or a small-town clergyman might have a low income but good credit, and a store owner with a high income might have very poor credit.  

States being stressed economically due to declines in key industries (Michigan, Nevada, Ohio) do badly.

The connection between statewide credit scores to HDI might reflect the competence of State and local governments to meet basic human needs. The Federal government is effectively the same everywhere.  I suspect that well-educated people have better habits that allow them more economic resilience in hard times, to have some savings socked away, to be more mobile, to be less sentimental, and to be more decisive in their actions  so that they can go from Michigan to Minnesota. A good welfare system might ensure that people get help when they need it most and keep people from facing shut-offs of utilities; keep people from having to choose between food, rent, and medical bills; take away the need to write hot checks -- all of which put people in trouble with their credit scores. Mass poverty (often related to poor educational achievement) is the norm in several states with low statewide credit scores.

Of course such bad habits as smoking and pathological drinking have their contributions to poor health and (due to expense) economic distress.

Credit scores may be the best measure of all. $40K a year goes much further in San Antonio than in New York City -- or in Mississippi than in Hawaii.

Other possible explanations:

DC, Maryland, and Virginia are near the top in HDI because they (and federal employers and contractors and lobbying firms) attract degreed professionals. What does Mississippi have to offer? But note well that Maryland does not do so well in credit scores. Maryland is prosperous around DC, but Baltimore is reputedly a dump. Government employees are probably good credit risks due to steady income.

Of the top 21 states and DC in credit scores, seventeen went for Barack Obama twice. The four others are very conservative in their politics... but Alaska has a good welfare system funded by a severance tax on petroleum. Utah looks like a very blue state and would probably be such except for the political influence of the very right-wing LDS Church... but the Mormons take care of their own and anyone in Utah (let us say a Roman Catholic) must follow the pattern, which I can't say about Southern Baptists. Utah is without question a right-wing success story. Nebraska does much well. If you want your kids to get a good education despite low taxes you could hardly do better than in rural Nebraska.

I told you that Maryland and Delaware do far worse in credit scores than their HDI would indicate. Idaho and Montana, poor in HDI, do well in credit scores. Go figure.

The ten states at the bottom in credit scores are also low in HDI. In general they have gone from being strong Democratic states in Presidential elections to strongly Republican in Presidential elections. Their Congressional delegations have gone from overwhelmingly Democratic to overwhelmingly Republican in the last 40 years. Every one of them voted for Jimmy Carter in a close Presidential election in 1976, and every one of them voted for John McCain by at least 10% in 2008. Among their twenty Senators, almost all of whom were Democrats forty years ago, only four of them are now Democrats -- and this has all happened as the Republican Party has gone from the center-right (Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller) to the Hard Right (Pat Toomey, Scott Walker).

The Right has been touting these states as oases of job creation, but it is hard to see how lives are so great in those states. Poor credit scores would seem to correlate closely to economic uncertainty and distress.

Originally Posted by Copperfield Wrote:Not surprisingly Connecticut is the best state to live in for people who really enjoy living in Connecticut. Of course I’ve known several people who didn’t enjoy living there and who left as soon as they were able.

The measures may be controversial, but they are objective. They do not account for such aspects of life as climate, traffic, taxes, scenery, and recreational opportunities. I can think of other states far superior to Connecticut on one or more aspects. Hate the fire-and-ice climate of southern New England? OK, Iowa is really bad at that, too. Traffic? You can zip along on Interstate 94 in North Dakota faster than you can travel on the Connecticut Turnpike, of course. You might have a longer distance to travel. Of course if you are in southwestern Connecticut you are a short distance away from the cultural attractions of New York City. If you are in North Dakota you have a long drive to Omaha, Minneapolis, Denver, or Salt Lake City to find any sophisticated culture not on a music or video disc. Maybe you would rather go surfing or skiing not available in Connecticut. Scenery? Michigan at least has plenty of lakes, and Vermont is better known for its autumn foliage.

Connecticut surely has high taxes to support a good educational system, so maybe one might prefer Mississippi taxes. The best of both worlds -- low taxes and good public services -- is rarely available.


Quote:This is no different than living in any other place of course. Some people like living in some places and not in others which is usually why they live where they live.


Some people are so sentimental that they not only can tolerate living in an objectively-awful place but couldn't imagine living anywhere else. There are people who would never leave the nastiest slum because they believe that they could never cope with anything else. There are even people who like prison life. But just the same someone disappointed with his life in San Antonio might be unwise to move to Minneapolis because his friends and family are all in greater San Antonio. Likewise, some 30-year-old Alabaman with a tenth-grade education who works in a filling station is not going to fit in easily among government administrators, attorneys, lobbyists, and academics after making a move to northern Virginia.

So what? One could come up with all sorts of measurements from average annual temperature (but that would hardly distinguish San Francisco from St. Louis) to the average length of the commute, church attendance per capita, population density (Manhattan best, Death Valley worst -- or vice-versa), cost of real estate, crime rate, proximity to a symphony orchestra, proximity to an enclosed shopping mall... If you love to gamble you might love Nevada and hate Utah.

I can't deny that someone who owns a large cotton farm in Mississippi and loves the way of life of growing cotton and of course wouldn't live any other way might find San Francisco interesting and even stimulating... but will be back to Mississippi fast. Likewise, some states have their own regional differences, and nobody would confuse California's Central Valley with either Greater Los Angeles or the Mojave Desert. You might leave your heart in San Francisco, but probably not Stockton or Bakersfield.


Quote:I tend to find these best/worst place lists to be among the worst forms of pseudo-intellectual drivel. As near as I am able to tell they are periodically sprayed across various media sources and snapped up by political simpletons with an axe to grind against the hated rivals. Most times the people dumping these turds on forums have travelled as much of the countryside as had Samwise had before he followed Frodo out of town.


I brought up the original article -- and I looked for a measure that objectively adjusted income for living cost. I found credit scores as an alternative to the original article and found that they dovetailed closely with HDI. Although there were differences between the measures, they were close enough in rankings that one could replace one with the other and find them good proxies for each other. It is significant that the "red" states lump toward the bottom and the "blue" states lump near the top even if there are blatant outliers. A state like Utah or Nebraska may get 'blue' results with 'red' government, which merits praise.

Although personal low credit scores may reflect character faults (such as living beyond one's means, unwise use of resources), low credit scores statewide don't indicate that people in Wisconsin have better character than people in Louisiana. They more likely indicate more economic distress. One can connect such to low educational achievement, incompetent or insensitive government, the absence of a strong safety net, and political commitment to low-wage businesses. I note that those states at the bottom of the list have gone very far to the political Right... and that the Right has solved little except to attract low-wage jobs that keep people in economic distress.

I can assure you -- people threatening to leave California or New York for lower income taxes are bluffing. They aren't going to like Oklahoma. They might try to move business there due to the lax regulatory climate, a tax climate that favors high income and cheap labor.

School completion is a valid concern. The percentage of people with college degrees and post-grad degrees is valid. GDP per capita is valid. Life expectancy at birth indicates some difference in the ways of life, even if it is only that people are excessively sedentary or obese or drink pathologically and smoke. All in all I would rather invest where people have good habits (activity, healthy weight, not smoking, not drinking to excess) and have flexibility on the job because they are well educated. Cheap labor that smokes, eats badly, drinks pathologically, and can't think of anything better to do at night than watch TV might cost you in medical expenses.

Eric the Green;473771 Wrote:It is a human development index. It means you are more "developed," on that scale. Results differ on different scales, but the overall trend is more than clear. Blue states are better places to live than red states. And that's no accident. It's a choice.

Indeed Copperfield seems to be applying a fallacy of composition. Somebody living in Connecticut could be destitute; someone living in Mississippi might be part of a farm family -- the farm family being a plantation with a huge acreage of cotton and lumber with some cattle tossed in -- and the family is rich by practically any standard. But we need to remember -- many of the choices that contribute to good health and prosperity apply anywhere. Does one want a long and healthy life? Don't smoke, keep physically active, don't participate in sexual recklessness, control your weight, get good dental care, and drink in moderation if at all. If Kentucky has a lowered life expectancy because a disproportionate number of Kentucky residents smoke like chimneys, then one can do better than fellow Kentuckians by not smoking; likewise, chain smoking poses the same deleterious effect whether one is in Kentucky or Utah. As for education -- parents can help their kids by turning off the electronic entertainments, separating them from mass low culture as much as possible, and by putting a value on education. One can be a schmuck in Minnesota or a schmuck in Louisiana -- and the consequences are much the same. Money? People who waste it end up in trouble.

OK, how well one does in life is not entirely location. But escaping poverty is obviously more difficult in Arkansas than in New Jersey, and consequences of poverty are likely more severe in Arkansas than in New Jersey.

Quote:If they want to be developed, yes. More than likely they should reconsider their behavior in a voting booth (or their failure to enter one, and then behave correctly); if they would like to be more developed, or would like their state to be so.

The irony is that the bottom states in the bottom of the HDI and credit score scales have not always had right-wing government so obedient toward economic elites and so neglectful of all others. Note that 40 years ago most of them (Oklahoma excepted) were more Democratic than the US as a whole. Those ten now have only two Democratic Senators and two Democratic Governors. Their House delegations have gone from largely Democratic to overwhelmingly Republican. To be sure the Democrats in the South were often pieces of work, but Southern white people have been going Republican as the Republican Party has gone far to the Right. Current Republicans do not resemble Gerald Ford, Bob Packwood, Jacob Javits, Ed Brooke, Hugh Scott, or Charles Percy.

Quote:True. But these measurements ... are no more "actual" than those in the survey. Your ideology gets in the way, as usual. This survey is not about personal preferences or recommendations about where to live, but about general trends among the states.

Of course location isn't everything. Note well that two states fairly low on the list (Michigan and Ohio) have been faring badly despite going for Democratic nominees for President in four or six of the most recent Presidential elections. Those two used to fare better, but they have gone through some hard economic times. Maybe they failed to hedge against the weakening of the auto industry. Detroit has good revenue sources and ought to do well in providing basic human services such as education and public health -- yet corruption is rampant, and it wastes human potential. Sure, sanitation, public health, and elementary education are unglamorous -- but those are the basics. Do badly at those and you fail as a community.

The current Michigan government seems to have Oklahoma as a model for low taxes, low wages, enhanced power for corporate elites, entrenched right-wing politics, and reduced services. That is an inapt model, and the only good thing that one can say about Oklahoma as a model is that Oklahoma isn't Mississippi.


Quote:I would probably like CT, if you (Copperfield) don't. Who knows? But your statement seems to me to imply that your state placed low on the list. I would say that's probably because there are too many people there who think government is a problem. IOW, a red state. But if you are happy there, then I am happy for you too.

I would not stay in Michigan if I had a meaningful choice. Indiana is not a meaningful choice, and neither is Ohio -- let alone just about any Southern state. Michigan may solve its problems, but likely not before I am far too old to care.

Eric the Green;473753 Wrote:(to Copperfield) Personal income, degrees earned, life expectancy are quite cut and dried, tangible measurements. And yet you claim personal experience is no basis for truth, but you claim I have to visit a place personally in order to somehow "know it," whatever that means in your scientific worldview. I don't know what it would mean.


Why, because you like it?

What mathematical measurement is that "reasonable certainty" based on?

Personal experience can always be contradicted. I have some fond memories of a 1982 Chrysler LeBaron convertible, but I once saw a review of old convertibles that ripped the car. Basically it was loud and slow; it's only virtue was that it got good gas mileage and was a convertible. OK. I understand. It was loud enough (due to road noise) that I couldn't hear the radio unless I turned (the radio volume) way up, and it was slow enough that I couldn't keep up with someone with better acceleration.

Do I need to travel to North Korea or Syria to recognize what miserable places they are? The South Korean government can turn a North Korean infiltrator in two days. The second day involves a trip to a South Korean supermarket, an institution considered banal in the advanced industrial world but remarkable in much of the rest.

On a personal scale one can live to age 100 in Mississippi if everything goes right, and one can die in Connecticut at a very young age because of some pediatric cancer. Luck may matter more in many aspects of life than skill and the difference between good choices and bad ones. For most people, luck evens out.

On a larger scale -- in contrast to Connecticut, Mississippi is objectively awful. Mississippi is a perfectly good place to live if one is part of its economic elite but otherwise at best a compromise and at worst dreadful. Poverty is severe and widespread. HDI may say much about the effectiveness of state and local governments (the states all have the same Federal government) at meeting basic needs. States toward the bottom are most likely underperforming in public health, sanitation, and elementary education. They might have politics consistent with the idea that so long as the economic elites get what they want all else either takes care of itself or does not matter in the grand scheme of things. I look at HDI and I conclude that it is far harder to get out of poverty in some states than in others.

Maybe poor education and severe inequality foster bad habits -- like educational underperformance while in school, dropping out of school, reliance upon mass low culture for experiences, patronage of payday lenders, reckless sexuality, smoking, obesity, and pathological drinking. Maybe bad politics as well.

Eric the Green;473975 Wrote:I think they are appropriate tools; they used important measures of valid considerations in comparing states as places to live. However, where to live also involves many personal factors too, and other measurements and situations besides those measured on that scale, and it is certainly a personal decision, and depends on your values and circumstances as well. It is clear though that by almost any similar such measure, blue states outperform red states. That is because, unlike libertarians, they recognize that government is not necessarily "the problem," but can also be a solution.

Everyone has his values. What matters greatly to one person might not matter greatly to another. Some people find cold weather exhilarating; some find it exasperating. Some love wide-open spaces, and some need a crowd. Some love to be near a well-stocked public library, and some love to pump coins into slot machines.

The measures used in HDI are objective in one sense; there can be no compensation for ill health, undereducation, or economic distress. If life expectancy at birth is higher in Connecticut than in Mississippi by a full 5.8 years, then something is wrong in Mississippi. A state with a high percentage of school dropouts is likely to have a high crime rate with consequent suffering. A state with a small percentage of its people having college degrees probably has difficulties even in grade school. A state with a low percentage of people with post-graduate degrees might be the sort that has few attractions for such people.

I was not convinced of the validity of per capita income for the simple reason that $40K a year goes much further in Mississippi than in Connecticut... but if few people are making a good living on the job, then the tax base can't be so great. I found the statewide credit scores a good proxy for wealth and poverty -- or for economic contentment and economic deprivation. To be sure, people can have low credit scores because of their financial recklessness, but in a state with low credit scores, the problem may be that people are having trouble meeting utility costs and medical bills. Credit scores do not measure income.

Quote: But it is interesting that libertarians insist on personal, individual "freedom" (so called) in all ... explanations and political positions, but many ... also embrace the objective, materialist standpoint that totally denies this.

Libertarianism has yet to have the time in which to work out the contradictions -- most notably conflicts of freedom.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#2
to a critic of this study and my conclusions:

First, personal experience can be wrong. "I heard someone say" is about as weak intellectual authority and factual basis as one can find. Who said it? A drunk? An addict? A crook? A lunatic? A paid propagandist? Word-of-mouth can be valid for esthetic judgments, so if about everyone who has seen Gigli says that it is a piece of cinematic bilge, it probably is. But it remains impossible to quantify esthetic judgments. Can one give a quantitative explanation that Johann Sebastian Bach's Suites for Solo Cello are somehow superior to run-of-the-mill rap 'music' or that Canaletto is somehow better than chromos of dogs playing poker?

Second, most knowledge that we have is second-hand. I have no first-hand knowledge that Seattle exists. I have never been there. I know people who have been there, and I have good cause to believe that those who tell me that the city exists aren't pulling a fast one on me. Without second-hand knowledge we have only our personal experiences and neither the wisdom of the ages, the historical record, credible maps and photographs, economic rationality, nor even any ethical basis other than what one feels like at the time.

Can objective reality be distorted by people who have an agenda? Sure. One must be vigilant to reject such nonsense as ancient astronauts, Holocaust denial, and gutter racism. One must be alert to propaganda (which explains why I distrust FoX "News" Channel and consider advertising suspect). I find (statistics) more reliable than any gut feeling, and for good reason I don't fully trust my instincts and impulses. Sure, there are people who win big jackpots at casinos; someone invariably ends up winning the Super-Duper Megabucks lottery. But on the whole people are wasting their money if they patronize casinos or buy lottery tickets. On the whole they are better off saving (compound interest) and investing (if you can't beat the plutocratic pigs, join them). Gambling is a zero-sum proposition at the best.

...HDI suggests that in accordance with life expectancy at birth and educational attainment, that people not born with inherited advantages connected with a place will fare better in Minnesota on the whole than in Mississippi. Statewide credit scores suggest that economic distress is more commonplace in Mississippi than in Minnesota. So if one has the choice of starting a retail business in Minnesota or in Mississippi, which would be wiser?

Credit scores suggest that in Minnesota, where people are more likely to have paid for their heating bills and their multiples sets of clothing and have something left over than in Mississippi, where more people are likely to be maxed out on credit and have trouble meeting the rent. If you have a choice between teaching in Minnesota or Mississippi? Probably Minnesota, because school districts likely have stronger tax bases, and it is more encouraging to see kids do better in school. In Mississippi one probably needs to be connected to the Right People to fare well in life. In Minnesota one doesn't.

OK -- but you hate shoveling snow. Tough! Live with it! It is good exercise, and that may be one reason for life expectancy at birth being 81 in Minnesota and 75 in Mississippi. Is it worse than a toothache? Poor people have more dental problems. Is it worse than being short on cash and being tempted by payday lenders who solve one financial problem only to saddle you with a bigger one? I'm not saying that retiring in Minnesota from somewhere in the South will suddenly give you good health and give you a solid retirement fund.

JordanGoodspeed;474129 Wrote:So, Democratic adventures = Good. Republican adventures = bad?

No. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are better Presidents than Dubya. Both Clinton and Obama are more cautious and contemplative. Whacking Osama bin Laden may look much like an underworld hit, but at that the current President figured what the likely reactions would be. After the attempt on the life of his predecessor for a justified military 'adventure' to deliver Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, Bill Clinton ordered a missile strike on the Iraqi ministry that launched the plot. Neither the Chinese nor the Russians protested, as they too had approved of the liberation of Kuwait.

Operation Iraqi Liberation offended the sensibilities of countries that usually take the side of the United States. Dubya saw only the oil revenue.

Republican "adventures" are acceptable if they protect American lives (Grenada, Panama) or liberate a victim of aggression (Kuwait). We liberals largely went silent on those.

Quote:(to)
Quote: You libertarians support tyranny by enabling and enforcing the right of big business bullies to enslave and ruin our world and peoples' lives. We progressives advocate the end of this tyranny. Any questions?

You have any basis for that assertion, or is it just another article of faith? You know, like how Dodd-Frank was passed and protected us from future financial crises?

Some things must be regulated. Ruinous, exploitative practices tempt people with the prospect of extraordinary profits and in the end bring ruin. Some politicians have the wisdom to insist upon probity in financial dealings. Some enable well-connected scammers. Of course it is possible to get good economic results with thrift, enterprise, toil, and the stewardship of scarce resources -- an old conservative economic argument that has normally gotten desirable results for all concerned. Dubya enabled the quick-buck operators, and paradoxically it may be Barack Obama who presides over the return to the old way of getting economic success.

Face it -- Dubya was a failure on foreign policy and on economics not so much because he was stupid (he isn't) but instead because he has been a sucker for recklessness in foreign policy and economics. Crony capitalism is good at the most for enriching a few well-connected people. That is not libertarianism; it depends upon dividing the market into sectors of control. The acquisitive motive remains, but few people can derive benefit from it. When enough people are ruined it fails. But such is not libertarian economics.

The fault that most liberals see in libertarianism is the potential conflicts between freedom. Libertarians have no defense against monopolistic profiteering, peonage contracts, loan-sharking, drug-trafficking, child labor, Ponzi schemes, and pathological drinking without compromising libertarian ideology. Gross inequality of freedom is hardly incompatible with libertarian purism.

Quote:Getting back on topic:
You know, it's funny that the [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_New_Hampshire"]most libertarian state[/URL] in the Union happens to be in the top five, despite a much lower tax base. Can't believe that slipped through pbrower's "objective" grading. Maybe you boys should go back to the drawing board on that one: people might start to get the wrong idea.

EDITED to Add, because DC is not a state.

1. New Hampshire has voted for the Republican nominee for President only once after 1988. It is a "blue" state.

2. If New Hampshire does as well as other states in these objective measures despite low taxes, then maybe there is something unusually efficient about public services. Maybe it is no-frills government and people make their adjustments. Bad roads? That is good for selling shock absorbers and tires.

3. What I said about Minnesota may apply, if not to as ferocious an extent. Severe winters compel people to adjust -- to budget for winter clothes and heating fuel, to put in insulation, prepare vehicles for winter... Life may not be easy, but some hardships strengthen people. Raking leaves and shoveling snow are both good exercise. Need to live in a cold state? You had better earn a good living -- get enough schooling and make sure to join a union if you do blue-collar work so that you can get god pay. Hardships in Mississippi look like plain, "simple" poverty. "Simple" poverty may simply take away choices or force Satanic choices. Just look at the statewide credit scores. Such may have causes other than gross inequality -- poor educational achievement?

4. New Hampshire has no state sales or income tax -- but it has high property and "sin" taxes. One pays one way or another, even if a landlord is an effective conduit of taxes. Good public services, including schools and police -- require money.

5. The states at the bottom share cultural similarities. Note that I had good things to say about Nebraska and Utah, states that do well with limited government.

Much of the difference in life expectancy relates to cancerweed use, which likely correlates to other pathologies.

http://www.tobaccofreedelawarecounty.org...te2006.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 2006

Kentucky is #1; Utah is #51. Being #1 probably makes Kentucky a great place to live -- for a respiratory therapist. Otherwise one pays for some the bad habits of others.

Kentucky adults had an adult smoking rate of 28.5, in contrast to a national rate of 20.1 in 2006.

States in order of rank among adult smokers:

1. Kentucky
2. West Virginia
T3 - Mississippi, Oklahoma
5. Indiana
6. Alaska
7. Arkansas
8. Louisiana
T9 - Alabama, Missouri
11. Tennessee
T12 - Michigan, Ohio
14. South Carolina
15. Nevada
16. North Carolina
17. Delaware
18. Wyoming
19. Pennsylvania
20. Iowa
21. Florida
22. Maine
23. Wisconsin
24. Illinois
25. South Dakota
26. New Mexico (at the US average!)
27. Kansas
28. Georgia
29. North Dakota
30. Virginia
31. Rhode Island
32. Montana
T-33 Nebraska, New Hampshire
35. Oregon
36. Minnesota
T- 37 Arizona, New York
T- 39 New Jersey, Vermont
T- 41 Colorado, District of Columbia, Texas
44. Massachusetts
45. Maryland
46. Hawaii
47. Washington
48. Connecticut
49. Idaho
50. California
51. Utah

No other state comes close to the low adult smoking rate in Utah, at 9.8. California, second-lowest, is at 14.9 The cultural connection between low cancerweed use and Utah should be obvious. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). Such likely explains why Utah does so well on measures of health while not doing so well on other things. Smoking is an expensive habit, and the public treatment of people with smoking-related diseases surely costs state and local governments money that might otherwise be spent on education, public works, or welfare -- or lead to tax cuts. Smoking also costs revenues because smokers become disabled and retire earlier, and don't contribute as much to state sales or income taxes.

I was about to ask the question "Why does Oklahoma do so much worse than Kansas?", states with similar topography and political history. Oklahoma, unlike neighboring Arkansas or near-neighboring Louisiana, has no strong heritage of Jim Crow... but by now the effects of pre-1965 Jim Crow practice has largely been mitigated where it happened. Virginia, which had it, acts much like a Northern state on the whole.

Rank State Adult tobacco use
T3 Oklahoma 25.1
27 Kansas 20.0

Enough said. If we Americans could only "smoke like Mormons" -- which means, not at all -- we would solve many of our fiscal problems. Another contrast between neighboring states:


Rank State Adult tobacco use
15 Nevada 22.2
51 Utah 9.8

One can have a pair of 'Mormon lungs' without being a Mormon. That is, tobacco-free.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#3
1995 Millennial Wrote:   I am proud to be a Southerner and would never want to live in the north or anywhere else in the country or world.

   I don't need no stupid report telling where the best place to live is.


   1. You are likely part of the Southern culture. Trying to adapt to the culture of some other parts of the country could be as difficult as a religious conversion. You might enjoy the Art Institute, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum of Natural History, and a concert of the Chicago Symphony. But you might never feel at home in Chicago.

   That's not your fault. I would have a tough time adjusting to any part of the South. I might enjoy a day or two in New Orleans, too, but it might be a one-time excursion.

   2. Your kinship ties and your hearth and home are there. You know the institutions and have made your adaptations which might not fit so well in Yankee country. If you are religious, then you might not be comfortable with the way in which people sing the church hymns elsewhere. I would have a difficult time adjusting to the South except for very urban areas.

   3. Much of the South has an 'honor' culture. Personal scores are to be settled lest one's masculinity is in question. If someone in a bar tells you that your mother is a whore and you slug him for that in the South you may get a slap on the wrist. Where I live you walk away or face a lengthy prison term for felonious assault. (The only bar that I frequent offers good, inexpensive take-out fish. Note that I said "take-out"). The supposed solution in Michigan is to sue someone who says that your mother is a whore is to initiate a lawsuit.

   4. If you can avoid the bad habits -- smoking, obesity, and indifference toward education -- you can live well in the South. Take such bad habits to New England and you have solved nothing. People can fail economically in the supposed 'best states'.

   5. Most of the North has a fire-and-ice climate. Here in southern Michigan our summers are at times as stifling as those of the Gulf Coast. We need air-conditioning, too. We also have lake-effect snowfall, and we get some of the heaviest snow in a mid-latitude area without mountains. Our houses cost more to build because they must be air-tight to prevent the hemorrhaging of heat (and money through payments for fuel oil). We have leaves to rake and snow to shovel (really I know how to make shoveling snow easier: use the shovel as a plow). We need more space in our dwellings to hold three seasonal wardrobes.

   6. If you have a good family that is not destitute, you can live well in the South. Mercifully the worst effects of racism are gone forever. If your family owns substantial property or a successful business you can live well. That is true anywhere unless the Commies are about to take over. If you are connected to a political machine you can live well in the South. That's not to say that I would want to be a landless farm worker or a sweatshop employee in the South.

   7. Happiness comes from finding meaning and purpose in life. All else is fluff. If you have found meaning and purpose in your life, then that is all that counts.

   Last edited by pbrower2a; 12-29-2014 at 04:51 PM.

Eric the Green;476615 Wrote:Well being index follows a similar pattern: blue states better than red states, with the exception of the plains and mountain states.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/160730/fourth...-last.aspx

highest scores: 5 blue states, 3 red states, 2 swing states.
lowest scores: 9 red states, 1 swing state.


Western and Midwestern states earned seven of the 10 highest overall wellbeing scores, while New England states held the other three spots. Southern states had the six lowest wellbeing scores, and eight southern states were within the 10 lowest wellbeing scores. This regional pattern in wellbeing has remained consistent over the past five years.

Poverty rates by state:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S...verty_rate

top 20 best poverty rates, I count 12 blue states and 6 red states. top 10: 7 blue states and 2 red states. CT is ranked #9.
bottom 20 worst poverty rates, I count 5 blue states and 15 red states. bottom 10: 2 blue states and 8 red states.

[Image: 350px-US_states_by_poverty_rate.svg.png]

darker color = more poverty

Older Adults in South Have Fewer Healthy Years Left
By Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer | July 18, 2013 12:00pm ET

Older adults living in the southern United States have fewer healthy years of life ahead of them than those living in other parts of the U.S., according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Researchers measured "healthy life expectancy," or how many years a person can be expected to live in good health. (Healthy life expectancy is thus a certain percentage of a person's total life expectancy.)

The lowest-ranking state was Mississippi, where 65-year-olds can expect to spend 61.5 percent of their remaining life in good health. They have an average of 10.8 healthy years ahead of them, out of an average of 17.5 years total of expected life ahead of them.

The highest-ranking state was Vermont, where 65-year-olds will spend 78.2 percent of their remaining years in good health, with 17.5 healthy years ahead of them, out of 19.4 total remaining years.

At age 65, people living in the South had an average of about 13 healthy years ahead of them. The exception was Florida, where older adults had about 15 healthy years ahead of them.

Total life expectancy was highest in Hawaii, where adults live an average of 21.3 more years after they turn 65 (and 16.2 of those years expected to be healthy).

More here:

http://www.livescience.com/38264-hea...ncy-south.html

Eric the Green;478308 Wrote:[Image: statecomparison_o.png]

% of 25 to 34 year olds who have completed an associate's degree or higher.

http://dashboard.ed.gov/statecomparison.aspx?i=o&id=0&wt=40

% of students graduating college with a bachelor's degree within 6 years of full time, first-time entry

[Image: statecomparison_k.png]

That one looks amazingly red-blue. Not all of the maps and lists for pre-school and K-12 show such a clear-cut pattern. Many times, this is because of the small samples involved (like how black students do in Vermont, or hispanics in Montana).

JDFP;478397 Wrote:Hey pbrower:

I lit up my non-filtered cigarette

I don't smoke.

Quote:and took a big gulp of my Budweiser tonight and raised my first gulp to you for your erudition here.

I love Budweiser's ads but found their beer insipid, generic stuff. When I did drink (I can't now -- gout!) I preferred wines and beers with strong flavor.

Quote:I waited until after the NASCAR game to do it, of course,

NASCAR is everywhere, but it is boring. As a visual spectacle, golf is far better. Nobody would race cars at Pebble Beach.

Quote:as I didn't want to take my peripheral vision from the sportsmanship (it just ain't the same without Sterling Marlin though).

I figure that auto racers of any kind must show good sportsmanship because of the dangers inherent in NASCAR, Indy, and Grand Prix speeds with little but sheet metal as protection.  
 
Quote:Do not worry, good sir, for I certainly shall put on a Hank Williams Jr. song for you as well as I go through my six pack of beer contemplating your careful epiphany of we Southerners.

As I listen to a thoroughly un-American string quartet by Franz-Josef Haydn and get stuck with a Diet Pepsi instead of a nice, subtle German wine or a dark beer.  

Quote:I have to prepare my carefully prepared care package (including RC Cola and moon pies, naturally) for the heroes in Afghanistan defending our nation tonight I'm sending in the morning - but after that I'll drown my sorrows with some Porter Waggoner and contemplate Rand Paul's victory in 2016.

My idea of a care package includes classical music. Like this:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IcUYDAItvY  



And, yes, books by my distant relative Bertrand Russell.

Quote:I'll make sure to hug my .357, "Lucy" as I call her, she sits company beside my Gideon New Testament,

Sometimes I think I should have been brought up on Hillel.

Quote:tonight before laying her by my side before drifting off into sleep tonight.

I'd rather sleep with a cocker spaniel even with fleas.

Quote: And in the morning I'll kiss my Reagan portrait, after eating my fattening breakfast at Waffle House with a big bowl of Bert's chili with some Tobasco sauce, before heading into work.

j.p.

Oh, please!

Annie Lowrey writes in the Times Magazine this week about the troubles of Clay County, Ky., which by several measures is the hardest place in America to live.

The Upshot came to this conclusion by looking at six data points for each county in the United States: education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity. We then averaged each county’s relative rank in these categories to create an overall ranking.

(We tried to include other factors, including income mobility and measures of environmental quality, but we were not able to find data sets covering all counties in the United States.)


    It’s the Economy: What’s the Matter With Eastern Kentucky?JUNE 26, 2014

The 10 lowest counties in the country, by this ranking, include a cluster of six in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky (Breathitt, Clay, Jackson, Lee, Leslie and Magoffin), along with four others in various parts of the rural South: Humphreys County, Miss.; East Carroll Parish, La.; Jefferson County, Ga.; and Lee County, Ark.

We used disability — the percentage of the population collecting federal disability benefits but not also collecting Social Security retirement benefits — as a proxy for the number of working-age people who don’t have jobs but are not counted as unemployed. Appalachian Kentucky scores especially badly on this count; in four counties in the region, more than 10 percent of the total population is on disability, a phenomenon seen nowhere else except nearby McDowell County, W.Va.

Remove disability from the equation, though, and eastern Kentucky would still fare badly in the overall rankings. The same is true for most of the other six factors.

The exception is education. If you exclude educational attainment, or lack of it, in measuring disadvantage, five counties in Mississippi and one in Louisiana rank lower than anywhere in Kentucky. This suggests that while more people in the lower Mississippi River basin have a college degree than do their counterparts in Appalachian Kentucky, that education hasn’t improved other aspects of their well-being.

As Ms. Lowrey writes, this combination of problems is an overwhelmingly rural phenomenon. Not a single major urban county ranks in the bottom 20 percent or so on this scale, and when you do get to one — Wayne County, Mich., which includes Detroit — there are some significant differences. While Wayne County’s unemployment rate (11.7 percent) is almost as high as Clay County’s, and its life expectancy (75.1 years) and obesity rate (41.3 percent) are also similar, almost three times as many residents (20.8 percent) have at least a bachelor’s degree, and median household income ($41,504) is almost twice as high.

We used disability — the percentage of the population collecting federal disability benefits but not also collecting Social Security retirement benefits — as a proxy for the number of working-age people who don’t have jobs but are not counted as unemployed. Appalachian Kentucky scores especially badly on this count; in four counties in the region, more than 10 percent of the total population is on disability, a phenomenon seen nowhere else except nearby McDowell County, W.Va.

Remove disability from the equation, though, and eastern Kentucky would still fare badly in the overall rankings. The same is true for most of the other six factors.

The exception is education. If you exclude educational attainment, or lack of it, in measuring disadvantage, five counties in Mississippi and one in Louisiana rank lower than anywhere in Kentucky. This suggests that while more people in the lower Mississippi River basin have a college degree than do their counterparts in Appalachian Kentucky, that education hasn’t improved other aspects of their well-being.

Wayne County may not make for the best comparison — in addition to Detroit, it includes the Grosse Pointes and some other wealthy suburbs that could be pulling its rankings up. But St. Louis, another struggling city, stands alone as a jurisdiction for statistical purposes and ranks even higher over all, slightly, with better education and lower unemployment making up for a median household income ($34,384) that is lower than Wayne County’s but still quite a bit higher than Clay County’s $22,296.

As Ms. Lowrey writes, this combination of problems is an overwhelmingly rural phenomenon. Not a single major urban county ranks in the bottom 20 percent or so on this scale, and when you do get to one — Wayne County, Mich., which includes Detroit — there are some significant differences. While Wayne County’s unemployment rate (11.7 percent) is almost as high as Clay County’s, and its life expectancy (75.1 years) and obesity rate (41.3 percent) are also similar, almost three times as many residents (20.8 percent) have at least a bachelor’s degree, and median household income ($41,504) is almost twice as high.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/upshot/where-are-the-hardest-places-to-live-in-the-us.html?action=click&contentCollection=Magazine&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article&_r=0#

If you want to set your own criteria for the best state to live in, you can take this test:
(climate is a big factor on this test)

http://www.selectsmart.com/states/

Guess what? On this survey, for me, Massachusetts and Washington tie for the best state to live in!  Now which way do I head on Interstate 90 (Indiana Toll Road)?

1. MA 100%
2. WA 100%
3. CT 96
4. HI 95
5. OR 93
6. PA 93
7. CO 93
8. VA 92
9. VT 89
10 CA 89

My lowest 13:

39. NV 58%
40. NM 57
41. OK 57
42. KS 56
43. LA 53
44. MO 53
45. SC 52
46. AL 51
47. WV 48
48. MS 46
49. KY 43
50. TN 37
51. AR 34

Pennsylvania is something of a surprise.

I put a high negative on high-school dropouts and violent crime (which seem to go together), and I don't like smoking (I don't like paying for others' bad habits) It's probably easier to keep in shape if one is around fit people instead of getting to speak of bear-sized Wal*Mart customers on carts "At least I am not that bad!"

My own state. "Michigrim" is 33. Nice lakes and far from the worst politics -- but Southern-style demographics.

Taxes and high real-estate prices? You get what you pay for. I wouldn't want to be a renter in Arkansas, no matter how low the rent,  because if you miss one day on rent you can go to jail after ten days.

Eric the Green;508474 Wrote:Certainly the infrastructure, and protection from crime. It's a different mindset. People in rural areas like to be self-reliant and have lots of land under their personal control without government interference. Some may be living in part off the land, and they want to drive their own vehicles and have guns. People in urban areas are not so concerned about that. They want walkable cities and amenities like museums and concert halls and transit systems, and they need city services. They also are less disturbed by diversity and by people who get social services, and often are more conscious of the environment, green energy and climate change (even though they don't live in the country). These two environments attract people with different values.

Once past childhood, people in rural areas must be more self-reliant just to dodge boredom. They must tolerate lowered expectations in personal choices, including opportunities. Public transportation hardly exists in rural areas, and it is basically for connecting people in the "Golden Years Paradise" to the shops downtown and the local Wally World.

If one has a job as a teacher, one has few alternatives. That helps depress wages for teaches, because all that someone with a teaching credential could do is to work in a sweat-shop factory, sling hash, work in a store, be a teller, or do farm work. Contrast the alternatives for a teacher in a giant city: the skill set for a K-12 teacher (the really good ones are salespeople above all else) is ideal for many other careers. Big-city teachers are either very dedicated to what they do or they are marginal at best. They also have to be paid enough to live where they teach.  A cop? there just might not be the opportunities for corruption for a small-town cop. But in the big cities, cops must be paid well enough that they find bribes from local career criminals a temptation that makes the badge a cover for a career of dubious service to those that the cop is expected to protect.

Highway construction is inexpensive in rural areas. A two-lane blacktop is adequate in Suburbia only in funneling suburban commuters onto bigger roads that really take them to work. In rural America that is all that one needs to connect two towns in the same high-school football conference. If there is a freeway it connects places outside the region to places outside it. In the Dakotas, I-29, I-90, and I-94 connect people from Seattle to Minneapolis, Winnipeg to Omaha, etc. -- and they are divided highways with only two lanes in each direction. They were built cheaply because land is cheap, comparatively few dislocations of utilities are necessary, and few houses need to be demolished or moved. To add a lane on each side of a ten-lane expressway in northeastern New Jersey requires extensive and costly condemnations of property and relocation of utilities -- and the ten-lane expressway may be inadequate for traffic counts.

Government services in big cities are more extensive -- and more necessary. A semi-literate fellow in rural areas might be able to get a job as a logger, ranch hand, or farm laborer. A semi-literate fellow in urban America might be unable to find a job adequate for supporting himself due to the higher cost of living.    

Quote:States have also been diverging between red and blue, as have counties. How far it will go, and whether the division will melt away as progressive values take hold again, or as conservative values remain strong, we don't know yet. Although there are red/rural and blue/urban areas in most states, there's a strong difference in degree, and some states are more urban and others more rural. The further north and coastal you get, generally speaking, the more blue you get.

'Conservative values' used to mean 'having a stake in the status quo'.  But having a stake in the status quo means enjoying a good life and being able to pass on the chance for that to one's children. That means adequate schools, roads that don't get gridlocked, public health services that can deal with dangerous diseases quickly, and cops paid well enough that they aren't on the informal payroll of mobsters.

It's worth remembering that the states that voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 went with one exception for Eisenhower in both 1952 and 1956. Of course Barack Obama could win only one state that Nixon did not win in 1972 (Massachusetts) or that Reagan did not win in 1984 (Minnesota). Those two states were the best two for McGovern in 1972 and Mondale in 1984.

Eisenhower won both Massachusetts and Minnesota -- twice -- which is remarkable for a Republican, as no Republican had won both states together for a very long time and has not won the two together since.  Ike also won Rhode Island, one of the two non-Southern states that Hoover had lost in a near-sweep of all states that in 1928 still had living people with memories of the Confederacy. On the other side, Obama won Indiana (which had been won by a Democrat only once since 1936, in the LBJ blowout) in 2008 and won Virginia, a state reliably R in Presidential elections since 1948.

Suburbia has become legitimately urban. The infrastructure built to last the lifetime of original owners  who settled Suburbia soon after WWII has begun to deteriorate as the lifetimes of the original purchasers end around age 90. Shopping malls built to attract GIs to the 'anchor' stores (JC Penney, Sears, Montgomery-Ward, Dillard's) and Boomers to the specialty shops have often become irrelevant -- and 'died'. The rural qualities of Suburbia have vanished except where the suburbs are really new (note well: John McCain did well in suburbs of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Atlanta, and broke even in Orange County, California).

Barack Obama won with the urban vote (no surprise) and much more of the suburban vote than Democrats usually get.  Democrats are learning from that. He may have set a pattern difficult to dislodge with the Parties set in their ways in ideology.

(Deleted due to failure of the link).

In case you wonder why I refer to the Wolverine State as "Michigrim":

Michigan: A Decade of Decline

Why is Michigan the only U.S. state whose 2010 score is lower than its 2000 score? While the full answer requires analysis of demographic shifts, global economic conditions, state and local policies, and more, a look at how Michigan responded to profound structural changes in the labor market provides useful insights. In 2000 Michigan ranked a respectable nineteenth on the HD Index for states and fifteenth in terms of the earnings of the typical resident.
Nearly one in five jobs was in manufacturing, and workers with only a high school degree could earn decent wages in unionized manufacturing jobs.

But rapid technological change and other shifts in the car industry and consumer preferences resulted in the disappearance of hundreds of thousands
of the state’s manufacturing jobs by 2010. Health and education outcomes continued to improve over the decade—a legacy of collective investments in rosier times—though more slowly than in many other states. But typical earnings in Michigan declined by $7,000 per person—the largest drop, by far,
of any state. Continued dependence on high-wage jobs for workers with only a high school education was no longer prudent. But while other states ramped up their investments in education, Michigan lagged. North Carolina, with the same size population and even more drastic losses in the proportion of
jobs in manufacturing over the decade, spend three times more per person on higher education than Michigan in 2010.

Further, heeding the warning signs about manufacturing’s decline, North Carolina’s state institutions went into overdrive to help residents seize opportunities in the new economy. On the Milken Institute’s 2010 Technology and Science Index, which measures tech talent and research and development investments, North Carolina ranked thirteenth, as compared to twenty-sixth-place Michigan.

North Carolina’s public and private investment in building a workforce with the skills for new jobs in the life sciences, telecommunications, and software development helps sustain a competitive economy and a decent standard of living.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#4
http://ssrc-static.s3.amazonaws.com/...-4.22.2015.pdf

(This time it is on Congressional districts. A hint: California has one of the best districts in which to live and one of the worst, so it isn't only the state that matters.

GEOGRAPHIES OF OPPORTUNITY:

Ranking Well-Being by Congressional District

Geographies of opportunity is an in-depth look at how residents of America’s 436 congressional districts are faring in three fundamental areas of life: health, access to knowledge, and living standards. While metrics in these three areas do not measure America’s natural bounty, the rich diversity of its population, or the vibrant web of organizations and individuals engaged in making it a better place, they capture outcomes that are essential to well-being and opportunity. This report makes the case that geography- and population-based approaches offer a way to address the multiple and often interlocking disadvantages faced by families who are falling behind. Only by building the capabilities of all residents to seize opportunities and live to their full potential will the United States thrive.

The hallmark of this work is the American Human Development Index, a supplement to Gross Domestic Product and other money metrics that tells the story of how ordinary Americans are faring. The American Human Development Index brings together official government data on health, education, and earnings and allows for well-being rankings not just of congressional districts but also of states, counties, census tracts, women and men, and racial and ethnic groups. The Index can empower communities and organizations with a tool to identify priorities and track progress over time.

ii
GEOGRAPHIES OF OPPORTUNITY
Ranking Well-Being by Congressional District


• The top ten congressional districts in terms of human development are all in the greater metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. These global cities attract skilled workers, world-class employers, diverse immigrants, and substantial investment of private and public resources.

• The bottom ten districts disproportionately comprise struggling rural and urban areas in the South. These lagging areas face interlocking challenges in terms of residential segregation by income and race, poor
health, under-resourced educational infrastructure, and limited job prospects.

• Gaps in human development within states tend to be bigger than the gaps between states. While state
population differences make comparisons difficult, among large states, California is the most unequal; among medium-sized states, Missouri has the largest gap between its highest- and lowest-scoring districts; and for small states, New Mexico contains the biggest disparities.

• In the 22 congressional districts where almost all residents (98 percent or more) are native-born, American Human Development Index scores are all below the national average.

ii
GEOGRAPHIES OF OPPORTUNITY
| Ranking Well-Being by Congressional District

The top ten congressional districts in terms of human development are all in the greater metropolitan areas
of Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. These global cities attract skilled workers,
world-class employers, diverse immigrants, and substantial investment of private and public resources.

The bottom ten districts disproportionately comprise struggling rural and urban areas in the South. These
lagging areas face interlocking challenges in terms of residential segregation by income and race, poor
health, under-resourced educational infrastructure, and limited job prospects.

Gaps in human development within states tend to be bigger than the gaps between states. While state
population differences make comparisons difficult, among large states, California is the most unequal; among
medium-sized states, Missouri has the largest gap between its highest- and lowest-scoring districts; and for
small states, New Mexico contains the biggest disparities.

In the 22 congressional districts where almost all residents (98 percent or more) are native-born, American
Human Development Index scores are all below the national average.



• Life expectancy, the primary indicator of health and survival, ranges from just under 84 years in California District 19 (San Jose and part of Santa Clara County) to just under 73 years in Kentucky District 5 (rural southeastern Kentucky). Put another way, residents of the San Jose area can expect to live longer than the people of the longest-lived country, Japan (83.1 years)—while residents of southeastern Kentucky can expect to live about as long as residents of Gaza and the West Bank (73.0 years). Long-lived districts tend to be clustered in cities; districts with low life expectancies are mainly in the South.

• In the 22 congressional districts where almost all residents (98 percent or more) are native-born, American
Human Development Index scores are all below the national average.

....Comment: maybe those places are just too lacking in opportunity to attract people not from there.

Is there anything good to say about gun-related violence?

[Image: gunviolencemap.jpg]

OK, venison dinner if you are into that.

(to)
Danilynn Wrote:http://connecticut.news12.com/news/r...-1.10670658?89

"A new report released today shows residents are leaving Connecticut faster than nearly any other state in the country.
Bloomberg News looked at the top 100 most populous cities in the U.S. and found that people are leaving Connecticut at a surprising pace.
Between 2013 and 2014, only two cities lost a higher percentage of their population than the New Haven-Milford metropolitan "

Did anyone say that Connecticut is an easy state in which to live? The only people who say that the fire-and-ice Dfa climate is wonderful are the sorts of people who make a living by wring copy that elevates the lowly and banal hamburger to a gourmet experience. Connecticut is infamous for traffic jams. Hartford and New Haven are dumps, and the demographics reflect a large proportion of people as high-income commuters who earn their high incomes in Greater New York City. To earn such high incomes one must already be highly-educated and have specialized skills. The cost of living, naturally, is sky-high where those NYC commuters live.


One need not have such a high level of education to do farm labor, work in retail or food service, or work in a foundry. If anything, the lower one's learning the more one can tolerate such work. Such is so where I live... where demographics look like an outlier of Appalachia. But there are no traffic jams and there is plenty of free parking, which indicates a paucity of attractions where I am for now.


Much of life is a contest between difficulties and rewards. Arnold Toynbee applies such to climate: New England never was an easy place in which to make a living. The poor, stony soils ensured that only small family farms could ever be formed there -- no gigantic slave-worked plantations as in Maryland and further south. There were no valuable minerals other than just enough iron ore for a little metalworking suitable for late-agricultural-era farm implements and housewares. The only reliable building material was wood -- and it takes more work to extract than any other building material. (Granite was a late discovery). There wasn't even much coal. People turned to fishing and eventually whaling to supplement what would have otherwise been meager diets. But for Toynbee, southern New England was the optimum of challenge. Even so, New England became a hotbed of intellectual life and entrepreneurial activity. New Englanders founded such cities as Cleveland, Chicago, Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Seattle -- and turned San Francisco from an isolated mission-and-garrison town into a world-class city in a very short time.

It's a long argument, but very convincing, in Toynbee's A Study of History.

Last edited by pbrower2a; 04-20-2016 at 05:18 PM.

Speaking of obesity,
[Image: 2013-state-obesity-prevalence-map.png]

Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for many diseases and health chronic conditions, including the following:

Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
Type 2 diabetes
Heart disease
Stroke
Gallbladder disease
Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
Some cancers (pancreas, kidney, prostate, endometrial, breast, and colon)

http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/...ed-states.aspx

The states and their percentages of self-reported obesity in 2012, with color indicating how the states voted in elections from 2000 to 2012:

 
State % State %

Colorado 20.5
District of Columbia 21.9
Massachusetts 22.9
Hawaii 23.6
Vermont 23.7
New York 23.6

Montana 24.3
Utah 24.3

New Jersey 24.6
Wyoming 24.6
Florida 25.2
California 25.0
Connecticut 25.6

Alaska 25.7
Rhode Island 25.7
Minnesota 25.7

Arizona 26.0
Nevada 26.2
Idaho 26.8
Delaware 26.9
Washington 26.8

New Mexico 27.1
New Hampshire 27.3

Oregon 27.3
Virginia 27.4
Maryland 27.6
Illinois 28.1

South Dakota 28.1
Maine 28.4
Nebraska 28.6*
Georgia 29.1

Pennsylvania 29.1
Texas 29.2
Missouri 29.6

North Carolina 29.6
North Dakota 29.7
Wisconsin 29.7
Kansas 29.9
Ohio 30.1
Iowa 30.4
Michigan 31.1
Tennessee 31.1
Kentucky 31.3

Indiana 31.4
South Carolina 31.6
Oklahoma 32.2
Alabama 33.0
West Virginia 33.8
Arkansas 34.5
Mississippi 34.6
Louisiana 34.7



all times D
three times D, once R
twice D, twice R
once D, three times R (*The second Congressional district of Nebraska voted for Obama in 2008, but otherwise went R)
all times R

Quote:Could it be ethnic? Hawaii has a huge proportion of lactose-intolerant Asian-Americans; dairy products are fattening. Alaska -- much the same among the large proportion of First Peoples.

Black vs. white? Mississippi is near the bottom in most social measures (including public health)... but DC is even 'blacker' than Mississippi, and it doesn't have quite the problem with obesity.

Vermont (one of the least-obese states) and West Virginia (one of the most-obese states) are mountainous states with nearly lily-white populations... must be the sorts of white people who live in both states.
Quote:Last edited by pbrower2a; 08-16-2015 at 08:58 PM.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#5
as I have said before, you can keep CT, I'll stay in Mississippi. It's nice here, it's home and I don't want to live anywhere else. And for the record I have lived in Japan, California, Washington State, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Tennessee. So I do have a basis of comparison to draw from. Mississippi beats them all for me.
Reply
#6
(05-10-2016, 04:11 PM)Danilynn Wrote: as I have said before, you can keep CT, I'll stay in Mississippi. It's nice here, it's home and I don't want to live anywhere else. And for the record I have lived in Japan, California, Washington State, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Tennessee. So I do have a basis of comparison to draw from. Mississippi beats them all for me.


As I have said, this topic is about statistical matters. Mississippi may simply be right for you.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#7
How North Dakota isn't #1 with a bullet is beyond me: Lowest crime rate, highest school test scores, lowest cost of living, lowest unemployment rate - or very close to it, on all counts.

Maybe I'm guilty of using Civic rather than Idealist yardsticks?
Reply
#8
(05-16-2016, 10:09 AM)Anthony Wrote: How North Dakota isn't #1 with a bullet is beyond me: Lowest crime rate, highest school test scores, lowest cost of living, lowest unemployment rate - or very close to it, on all counts.

Maybe I'm guilty of using Civic rather than Idealist yardsticks?

Get the book How Fargo of You, I think you would love it, Tony. It's written by a guy who moved to here from Scotsdale, Arizona who writes with astonishment how nice, crime-free, helpful, friendly, etc. people here are. Lots of funny anecdotes.

His opening chapter is about him before moving here coming here to visit a friend and he is shocked when he stops by one of the biggest gas stations in town (the PetroServe USA on 45th St.) and learns that you pump before you pay! Big Grin
Reply
#9
http://www.courant.com/data-desk/hc-conn...story.html

from the article:

"recent national survey found that nearly 18 percent of Connecticut 12- to 17-year-olds used alcohol in the previous month, the highest rate in the country.

Youth alcohol use is more common in the northeast than anywhere else in the country: New Jersey, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts follow Connecticut at the top of the list.

The survey also showed that Connecticut ranked No. 4 among all states for the percentage of its 18 and older population who reported drinking in the last month."
Reply
#10
Ah jeez, not this thread again.  Once again, I take Danilynn's general side on this.
Reply
#11
Again, it's on statistics -- bulk statistics.

Do I see flaws? Sure. Hartford and New Haven are dumps, which may be even more relevant than the large number of people who live in Connecticut and commute to NYC. Mississippi is a great state to live if one is in a family that owns a big family farm (does that not apply anywhere?), and Connecticut is a horrible place to live if one is undereducated and has bad habits (smoking, obesity, pathological drinking).

This study can offer conclusions and debunk the significance of some decisions that people make based upon perceptions. So if one has a teaching credential earned at Southern Illinois University, and one has the choice between teaching in Winona, Minnesota and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, then should the brutal Minnesota winters make the choice? Certainly not. If I go on the average credit rating of people in the states, I would recognize that Minnesota voters are much more likely to vote positively on millages to support schools and are more likely to have the means of paying taxes (including those that go through the conduit known as landlords).
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#12
(05-19-2016, 10:51 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: Again, it's on statistics -- bulk statistics.

Do I see flaws? Sure. Hartford and New Haven are dumps, which may be even more relevant than the large number of people who live in Connecticut and commute to NYC. Mississippi is a great state to live if one is in a family that owns a big family farm (does that not apply anywhere?), and Connecticut is a horrible place to live if one is undereducated and has bad habits (smoking, obesity, pathological drinking).

This study can offer conclusions and debunk the significance of some decisions that people make based upon perceptions. So if one has a teaching credential earned at Southern Illinois University, and one has the choice between teaching in Winona, Minnesota and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, then should the brutal Minnesota winters make the choice? Certainly not. If I go on the average credit rating of people in the states, I would recognize that Minnesota voters are much more likely to vote positively on millages to support schools and are more likely to have the means of paying taxes (including those that go through the conduit known as landlords).

What you're doing is OK.  I just remember this thread on T4T degenerating multiple times into shaming the states aimed at particular people on the board.  I know I felt it at times, and I'm sure Danilynn would agree.  Hopefully this thread doesn't take that downward path again over here.
Reply
#13
Back to smoking. High rates of smoking imply greater use of public funds on the treatment of tobacco-related diseases. Kentucky is at the top, so if you live there you end up subsidizing the bad decision particularly commonplace in Kentucky -- smoking. Kentucky has the highest rate of adult smoking of all the states. Utah is at the bottom -- and as I recall, far below the second-;lowest state in tobacco use (California).

So if you don't like paying for the smoking habit, you might prefer Utah to Kentucky. Utah either gets to charge lower taxes or provide better and higher-quality services. Thus if I have "Mormon lungs" without being a Mormon, I might prefer Utah over Kentucky.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#14
Low tobacco taxes may reflect the power of tobacco interests in some states. It's easy to see that some states really don't want their residents to smoke. Figuring that merchants simply pass the tax onto customers, a pack of smokes (at the time that I posted this topic in a different thread) set a smoker back $4.18 more a pack in New York State than in Missouri.


[table][tr][td]Excise Tax Per Pack (USD) State/Territory
0.17 Missouri
0.30 Virginia
0.36 Louisiana
0.37 Georgia
0.425 Alabama
0.44 North Dakota
0.45 North Carolina
0.55 West Virginia
0.57 Idaho
0.57 South Carolina
0.60 Kentucky
0.60 Wyoming
0.62 Tennessee
0.64 Nebraska
0.68 Mississippi
0.79 Kansas
0.80 Nevada
0.84 Colorado
0.87 California
0.995 Indiana
1.03 Oklahoma
1.15 Arkansas
1.18 Oregon
1.25 Ohio
1.339 Florida
1.36 Iowa
1.41 Texas
1.53 South Dakota
1.60 Delaware
1.60 Pennsylvania
1.66 New Mexico
1.68 New Hampshire
1.70 Montana
1.70 Utah
1.98 Illinois
2.00 Alaska
2.00 Arizona
2.00 Maine
2.00 Maryland
2.00 Michigan
2.50 District of California
2.52 Wisconsin
2.60 Minnesota
2.62 Vermont
2.70 New Jersey
3.025 Washington
3.20 Hawaii
3.40 Connecticut
3.50 Rhode Island
3.51 Massachusetts
4.35 New York[/table]

The federal excise tax on cigarettes is $1.01, which is not included in the rates shown above.
Several municipalities, such as New York City, Chicago, and Anchorage also have a cigarette tax, which is not included in any of the rates shown above.
Most states charge a sales tax on top of the retail price and the excise taxes. A few municipalities levy a local sales tax in addition to the state tax. None of the rates shown above take sales taxes into account.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigarette_...ted_States

[Image: genusmap.php?year=1968&ev_c=1&pv_p=1&ev_...&NE3=4;1;8]

90% saturation -- under 30¢ per pack (Missouri 17¢)
80% saturation -- 30¢ to 68¢ per pack
70% saturation -- 79¢ to $1.25 per pack
60% saturation -- $1.339 to $1.70 per pack
50% saturation -- $1.98 to $2.00 per pack
40% saturation -- $2.50 to $2.70 per pack
30% saturation -- $3.025 to $3.20 per pack
20% saturation -- $3.40 to $3.51 per pack
10% saturation -- $4.35 per pack (New York)
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#15
http://ssrc-static.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-c...2.2015.pdf

GeoGraphies of opportunity
:
ranking Well-Being by Congressional
District


ranks the country’s 435 congressional districts and Washington, DC, using the American Human Development Index. While Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other money metrics tell us how the economy is doing, the American Human Development Index measures how people are doing, taking into account health, education, and earnings.

To understand why this Index is an important supplement to GDP as a measure of America, consider Connecticut and Wyoming, states with similar GDPs per capita, in the $65,000 to $68,000 range. Does this mean that the people living in these two states enjoy similar levels of health, education, and living standards? It does not: Connecticut residents, on average, can expect to outlive their western compatriots by nearly two and a half years, are 40 percent more likely to have bachelor’s degrees, and typically earn $6,000 more per year.
1
GDP tells us many important things about economic development, but the American Human Development Index and GeoGraphies of opportunity provide policymakers, advocates, and the public a unique window into human development, revealing challenges and opportunities on which to act. What does it mean to live in a congressional district ranked near the top of the Index? Compared to living in one of the country’s lowest-ranking districts, living in one of the highest-ranking districts can mean eleven more years of life expectancy, being about eight times as likely to have a bachelor’s degree , and for the typical worker, earning three times as much.

Vast differences in fundamental aspects of human life are found not just across the country but also within states. In fact, our nation’s
greatest extremes are found in a single state.

The top-ranked district on the American Human Development Index is California’s 18th District, the epicenter of Silicon Valley; the bottom-
ranked district is California’s 21st District, which includes part of Bakersfield and the Central Valley—a leading agricultural producer that
feeds the country, but where many can barely afford to feed their families. These stark gaps tell us a lot more about progress and quality of life in America than do quarterly GDP reports and the minute-by-minute stock ticker.

(California has 53 congressional districts).

Well-Being in the Top Three Congressional districts

Topping the chart with a score of 8.18 out of 10 is California District 18, which includes the Silicon Valley cities of San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Los Gatos. Residents in these communities have an average life expectancy of 83.7 years, about four and a half years longer than the average American. Three of ten residents hold graduate or professional degrees (nearly triple the national average), and median personal earnings in this high-tech stronghold are $55,215. Close on its heels is New York District 12 (8.05), comprising much of New York City’s East Side as well as several neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn. Interestingly, compared to the top-ranked Silicon Valley district, this district performs significantly better in terms of earnings, $60,953. In addition, a slightly higher share of the New York district’s adults have bachelor’s degrees. However, life expectancy and the school enrollment rate are both lower. The third-place finisher is California District 33 (7.82), which encompasses the Los Angeles metro area’s Beach Cities, the Westside, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. California District 33 has the highest rate of children and young adults ages 3 to 24 enrolled in school among
the 436 districts.

The district with the lowest well-being score is, like the district with the highest score, in California. California District 21 comprises Kings County and parts of Fresno, Kern, and Tulare Counties. Though this agricultural powerhouse in California’s Central Valley soars when
it comes to dairy and crop production, it lags badly in terms of human development, scoring just 3.04 on the 10-point scale. Putting this score in historical perspective is sobering; 3.04 is roughly the score of the United States as a whole more than thirty years ago.

In this Central Valley district, four in ten adults did not graduate high school, and median personal earnings barely top $20,000, roughly the
poverty line for a family of three. Kentucky District 5 is next-to-last. This rural Appalachia district has the lowest life expectancy, 72.9 years, of any district in the country. Again, the historical perspective is telling; 72.9 is the life expectancy that prevailed in the United States in the mid-1970s. Texas District 33, comprising parts of Dallas and Tarrant Counties, is third from the bottom, with a score of 3.20. A Washington Post study identified this district as one of the country’s ten most gerrymandered districts, drawn such that it joins two noncontiguous, highly disadvantaged areas. The district’s population is over 80 percent African-American and Latino combined.

...Before someone takes swipes at immigrants:

Interestingly, in the 22 congressional districts where almost all residents (98 percent or more) are native-born, Human Development Index scores are all below the national average; scores range from 3.11 to 4.77. Many reasons can help explain this outcome. As discussed above, immigrants tend to have better health than native-born Americans, so the near-total absence of immigrants may be pulling down the life expectancy in this  group of districts. Another possible explanation is that areas with higher levels of well-being are more attractive places for immigrants to settle than areas with lower levels of well-being; new arrivals may be less likely to move to places where low levels of income and education indicate faltering economic opportunity.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#16
(05-10-2016, 12:11 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
1995 Millennial Wrote:   I am proud to be a Southerner and would never want to live in the north or anywhere else in the country or world.

   I don't need no stupid report telling where the best place to live is.



<snip>

If you want to set your own criteria for the best state to live in, you can take this test:
(climate is a big factor on this test)

<snip>
1. MA 100%
2. WA 100%
3. CT 96
4. HI 95
5. OR 93
6. PA 93
7. CO 93
8. VA 92
9. VT 89
10 CA 89

My lowest 13:

39. NV 58%
40. NM 57
41. OK 57
42. KS 56
43. LA 53
44. MO 53
45. SC 52
46. AL 51
47. WV 48
48. MS 46
49. KY 43
50. TN 37
51. AR 34

<snip>
Top 10

1.
Oregon (100%)
 Makes sense. Legal weed and wild climate east of the Cascades.
More Info
2.
Maine (89%)
 Snow!
More Info

3.
New Hampshire (87%)
More Info
More Snow!
4.
Washington (84%)
More Info
5.
Virginia (83%)
More Info
6.
Alaska (80%)
More Info

7.
Nevada (79%)
More Info
8.
Wisconsin (79%)
More Info

9.
Vermont (78%)
More Info
10.
Oklahoma (78%) 
More Info
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bottom 10

42.
Idaho (56%)
 dunno??? I think there's snow there and not too many ppl. Property taxes?
More Info
43.
Kansas (54%)
dunno????
More Info
44.
Texas (54%) 
Killer property taxes
More Info
45.
South Carolina (54%)
 probably boring climate.
More Info
46.
Louisiana (53%)
 boring climate
More Info
47.
District of Columbia (52%)
 too many people
More Info
48.
Georgia (51%)
 boring climate
More Info
49.
Alabama (50%)
 boring climate
More Info
50.
Mississippi (50%)
 boring climate
More Info
51.
Florida (48%)
More Info
boring climate

I picked criteria like high personal freedom, climate variety, cheap living, and low crime rate.  I'm easy to please. Cool Oklahoma's taxes are dead center at #25. Wisconsin , New Hampshire, Vermont, and Alaska get points for having snow.  Oregon get points for weed decriminalization and wild climate east of the Cascades. Too bad JDFP ain't here, I'll be glad to instruct him in making his own ciggies so there's no taxes. Oklahoma can do whatever it wants, because I don't case since I have some really nice tobaccy growing right now and even have dip left over from last year's harvest.

Tobbacy - Oklahoma's new cash crop..
---Value Added Cool
Reply
#17
As I recall I put much value on high levels of educational achievement (better conversation) and a low rate of violent crime (I can see no positive in being in danger, or having loved ones in danger, of violent crime). Those two dovetail well. Climate? I have found that I do better in the absence of a high heat index; I might cope with a dry heat by drinking huge amounts of water, but there is nothing that one can do about high heat and humidity except to retreat to air conditioning.

I had little concern for taxes (you generally get what you pay for), so bad schools are a poor compensation for low property, sales, or income taxes.

Massachusetts and Washington are at the top. So do I go to Boston or Seattle? I would probably find Connecticut and Massachusetts similar except that Massachusetts has Boston (a delight!) and Connecticut has Hartford and New Haven (dumps). Hawaii? Maybe I fit some Asian-American cultural pattern very well, and didn't know it. Oregon is likely very similar to Washington.

Pennsylvania is a surprise. Southeastern Pennsylvania is hot and humid in the summer. But winters are mild in contrast to those of the Midwest. Colorado... Denver or Boulder, I guess. Virginia? Must be becoming more like New England and less like the South. Vermont? Sure, it's cold and rural, and not very prosperous. But it seems to do much well. #10 is California. Maybe I did leave my heart in San Francisco... but much of California is awful, especially the Central Valley.

...OK. The bottom.

The bottom nine states are Mountain or Deep South. Low educational achievement, high crime rates, and high summer heat and humidity make them poor matches for me. #42 is Kansas. Nasty politics? High summer heat and humidity? New Mexico would be OK except for its poverty, Nevada? Any place that relies heavily upon gambling for economic survival must have too little to offer.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Reply
#18
Quote:Idaho (56%)

 dunno??? I think there's snow there and not too many ppl. Property taxes?

Snow does happen, but it's getting rarer thanks to global warming.  It's certainly nowhere near as bad as New England or the Great Lakes area on a really stormy week.  Most cities are pretty isolated, though: it's about six hours each way to Seattle, Portland, Spokane, SLC, and Reno (probably longer for Reno).  I'm not aware of property taxes being really bad here.
Reply
#19
Fun test; I like tests and questionnaires.

My results on the one posted above:

10 best for me:

1. Hawaii (100%)
2. Connecticut (99%)
3. Massachusetts (93%)
4. Oregon (90%)
5. Washington (89%)
6. New Jersey (89%)
7. Maryland (88%)
8. Vermont (85%)
9. California (84%)
10. New York (82%

10 worst:
42. Alabama (42%)
43. Mississippi (42%)
44. Alaska (42%)
45. North Carolina (41%)
46. South Carolina (39%)
47. West Virginia (39%)
48. Kentucky (36%)
49. Missouri (32%)
50. Tennessee (29%)
51. Arkansas (23%)

Aloha!
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#20
(05-19-2016, 10:01 PM)Bronco80 Wrote: What you're doing is OK.  I just remember this thread on T4T degenerating multiple times into shaming the states aimed at particular people on the board.  I know I felt it at times, and I'm sure Danilynn would agree.  Hopefully this thread doesn't take that downward path again over here.

that was all it seemed to do on the other board. I am not now, nor have I ever been ashamed of where I live, I like it here. The climate is fine, no snow! I hate snow. worst stuff ever. Bleh.

and honestly if you haven't been here, it's actually rather condescending to assume something about an entire state and all the people in it without even visiting it once.
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