Another poll another Study?
It appears California is the worst state to live in, and Iowa is the best. What do you think? Lets not get into our two party system. Yet lets get into why?
Much like NE KS compared to the rest of the state (esp western KS) California has distinct areas. I wouldn’t want to live in LA, Oakland, Compton etc… but northern California is very nice.
I kind of think it’s the cost of living issue. In Cali the cost of living is quite high. Yet in a mid western state like Iowa the cost of living is realistic.
I wouldn’t want to live in Iowa.
@DoubleDD Oh for sure, it’s a big part of why I never plan to move.
Ive been to Iowa several times around the Knoxville area, that area is similar to central Kansas IMO. I wouldn’t live in California unless I was a millionaire and even then I doubt I’d like it. I’m a small town guy, love the peace and quiet.
How come? Give me real reasons?
@DoubleDD Iowa State fans!
You know having lived in Iowa for awhile. It’s a crazy fan base. There are clones fans and Hawkeye fans. Yet they root for both as long as they don’t play each other. I’m not sure wildcats and Hawk fans carry the same love?
@DoubleDD why would I?
Well I understand as you live in the best state of all. The home of the Jayhawks.
Cost of living is weighted fairly heavily in these “best places to live” studies.
Cost of living in popular areas is always going to be very high. Land values in bigger cities like NY, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, LA, SF, etc. are going to far outpace property values in places like Kansas or Iowa.
While cost of living in Kansas is fairly low, and Iowa is fairly similar in that regard, the flip side of that is that higher paying professional jobs are more limited. College graduates in the midwest still tend to leave the midwest and move to other places because upward professional mobility just isn’t there if you are a young professional in the midwest because there aren’t a ton of professional jobs to get in this part of the country.
If you are a HS graduate, or someone with some college or a bachelor’s degree, the midwest is a great place to live. If you have a graduate degree, though, it gets tough to find suitable jobs. I’ve experienced this myself. The last time I looked for a job (several years ago) I only found three jobs that were open and looking for someone with my level of experience and education. And of course, each of those jobs was highly competitive during the interview process (though I did land one of those gigs). If you look at jobs in this part of the country looking for graduate level education, you may see a handful at a time. Go to California or Texas, or any of those higher cost big cities and you will see dozens upon dozens.
It’s a double edged sword. It’s cheaper to live here, and it’s a great place to live, raise a family, etc., but professional opportunities are much more limited.
Everywhere is a good place to live in USA; that’s what I learned over 40 years of grinding it out.
Any time they say a place is bad, you will find there are really great things about the place that keep the people living there that the researchers aren’t counting. Persons substitute A for B, when they live in a place. They never just do without A. They start doing B.
Put another way, the places ranking places to live are standardizing the places. It is nutty. Essentially, they are leaving out all of the really terrific uniquenesses of places that make them so wonderful to live in. Its sad that persons buy into these lists.
The only thing that makes it hard for me to enjoy living in a place is when the persons I have to associate with are so monoscopic in their views that no other place exists; this usually only occurs with folks that don’t travel and don’t move around.
As long as I can find some folks that have moved around some and travel some, we can get together and really appreciate the unique things about whatever place we are in.
And I’ve run into provincial, insular types every where I’ve gone–in big cities and small, all four coasts (the Great Lakes, East and West, and Gulf).
Seriously, I think these lists are for persons lacking an openness to life and the way its lived everywhere.
So many Americans have let themselves be place-shamed about liking this, or that place, and thinking that only this, or that place is cool.
Cool is any place that has a place for you to work and do what you like to do, and food and a roof you can afford. Once you get food and a roof set up, the finer things in life are greatly varied and engaged in in different ways everywhere you go in America.
I think it would really drain my batteries if I tried to raise my kids in a city. It is pointless to have this list by state I agree. But it might be a little more meaningful to do it by county.
I grew up in Kansas City, which was categorized a medium to 3/4 sized city, I reckon. I have lived in much bigger cities and much smaller towns. Everywhere I have lived, I and those I grew to know, all tended to break down the place that we lived into a community within a larger area, even in the smaller towns I have lived in. One lives in a very, very tiny corner of any city or town one lives in. One gets to know one or two schools. One tends to frequent one, or two shopping areas. At Christmas, one tends to broaden out where one shops for a month, then goes back to one’s old, much smaller world. Even the awesome recreational amenities that most places have, whether their stereotypes suggest they have them or not, grow over time to be used less and less, rather than more and more. Increasingly one hangs with ones family and friends. And then one’s family matures and departs and so you mix with a smaller number of your family. And your friends move away over time, or you grow less close than you once were, and then you find yourself with a fairly small ring of regular social contacts. And so what really matters in the long run is how much you like your crib and how much you like a few of your favorite things around you, and how well the weather agrees with you. Weather is often a surprising variable. You think you want to be by ocean, but then you get there and after 5-8 years you realize you don’t use it much and its kind of crowded to get to the beach and there aren’t as many days when the weather and swells are small enough to go out and really enjoy being on the water. Or you move to a desert climate to get out of the snow and you find that as you get older its harder to take the heat than the cold, or you start in the desert and move to a cold climate and decide you can’t take the cold. Its all very unique to the person what works and what doesn’t over time. The great thing about America has been that one could move around and try new things out and find what worked for one and not be treated as a leper for having done so. Oh, there are always those that never move and view those that do as aliens from another dimension, and that’s okay, too. There has been room in America for all kinds and that’s what has made it a country I have preferred to live in, despite having visited wonderful places off shore and not wanted to give up my citizenship. I just read (and looked at) a coffee table book by a painter named Charles Wysocki. He has a very distinct style I have always admired and yet he seemed to folksy for me for many years. But when I read him and heard in his own words how much he loved America and the parts of America that were wholesome and loving and free, well, I recognized a kindred spirit that had walked the talk of love and freedom in a land that at least once tried to balance enterprise and community. Its still there. Its out there everywhere. What we are really doing when we scope our world down to a small part of a city, or town, is making a place that has as much of that freedom and love as we can manage from the larger, impersonal, producer oligopoly culture endlessly infrastructured and increasingly experimented on by a Deep State with a secret mission statement that apparently includes trying to demoralize us in macro, so none of us get together in micro, and then in macro, to say, get the hell out of our country. We are a democracy practiced through a republic. We are not a mindless bunch of consumers, or a bunch of Pavlov’s dogs that need a steady diet of orchestrated terror bells rings, plus mood altering drugs from Big Pharma to get us through the difficulties of life.
Let me recommend a marvelous book to you. Unless you like to sail, no one else will ever recommend this book to you, same as no ever did to me (and I even like to sail!). “Sailing Alone Around the World” by Captain Joshua Slocum. Slocum was American by citizenship, but was a Nova Scotian by birth. The book was published in 1899/1900 and recounts Slocum retiring from a maritime career early on a commercial sailor and later as a sailing boat captain. Soon not knowing what to do with himself, he decided to sail a 36 feet 9 inch x 14 feet wide sailboat called “The Spray” around the world alone. He had been off the sea and missed it. From a far, and to a landlubber like me, the Spray would have looked at first like a ketch (two masts), but it was properly a sloop rig (one mast). It sailed part of the journey as a sloop, and then he added a tiny jigger mast footed at the very stern, for another part of the voyage. I reckon the jigger mast helped with steering and with not always having to run the big sheet on the main mast up and down so much, same as happens on ketches. In any case, when Slocum first saw the Spray it was on the hard and in ill-repair. He spent $553.62 in materials (hand chopping his own local Oak for new stem and keel ( and buying 1 1/2 inch thick Georgia pine for hull planks) and took 13 months to rehabilitate it. The point here is he did not reinvent the wheel, or the boat. He took something old, that an old Captain said had been a seaworthy boat, and adapted it. He did not make it better. He made it good again. The old boat served as more a three dimensional blue print than as a boat to be rehabbed. The finished “Spray” was almost a new vessel. To a captain of 3-masted schooners, The Spray seemed a small boat. I’m still in a league of thinking 28-32 feet is big. I could go on about this book and adventure of Slocum’s for a long time, but the part I want to share with you is this:
"To young men contemplating a voyage, I would say go. The tales of rough usage are for the most part exaggerations, as also are the stories of sea danger. I had a fair schooling in the so-called “hard ships” on the hard Western Ocean, and in the years there I do not remember having once been “called out of my name.” Such recollections have endeared the sea to me. I owe it further to the officers of all the ships I ever sailed in as a boy, and man to say that not one ever lifted so much as a finger to me. I did not live among angels, but among men who could be roused. My wish was, though, to please the officers of my ship wherever I was, and so I got on. Dangers there are, to be sure, on the sea as well as on land, but the intelligence and skill God gives a man reduce these to a minimum. And here comes in again the skillfully modeled ship worth to sail the seas.
“To face the elements is, to be sure, no light matter when the sea is in its grandest mood. You must then know the sea, and know that you know it, and not forget that it was made to be sailed over.”
Gather you experience and sail with it, always.
But never fear having to raise your children anywhere that you find offers the best for you and them.
Land and seas and cities were meant to be sailed over, to borrow the spirit of Slocum.
@jaybate-1-0 Thanks man. I will definitely check it out.
I’ve been going to Cape Cod since I was a kid, and when we go, the spirit of the place inhabits me. I love everything about Cape Cod; it’s maritime history, pirate and otherwise, it’s native american and puritan roots, and the hard but warm edge of the people that lived there before tourism made it a desired destination, which still lives on even as the old timers pass, it’s stubborn defiance to widen the 2 lane highway that runs through it, the most amazing amateur Summer baseball league in the country, a wonderful collection of museums and events focusing on the cape’s marine life, and walking miles of flats in the bay at low tide. I chase fish and pick up crabs in the shallows with my kids and feel timeless; it is what I have done since I was their age. It all amounts to a feeling of belonging, and being off the grid.
The Cape is changing. But it has changed with grace and a hidden power in my life that it has yet to relinquish.