Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The West is Best!!

A new book was recently published entitled, Cities Ranked and Rated, which provides a ranking of the best cities in the USA to live in. The Top 10 cities included:

1. Gainsville, Florida
2. Belligham, Washington
3. Portland, Oregon-Vancouver, Washington-Beaverton, Oregon
4. Colorado Springs, Colorado
5. Ann Arbor, Michigan
6. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah
7. Asheville, North Carolina
8. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado (interesting that "Greeley" was not mentioned here since these cities have all grown into one metro area)
9. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, California
10. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho

As readers can see here 8 out of these 10 cities are located West of the Mississippi River while the other 2 -- Florida and North Carolina are in the South so based on these results the Eastern Seaboard/New England is a good place to sell your home and "go West young man............"

On a personal note I noticed that my home area -- the "Twin Cities" of Minneapolis/St. Paul dropped SUBSTANTIALLY in these rankings going from #24 in 2004 to #262 in this new edition of the rating guide. This is a fall of 238 places which was primarily driven by the "three C's" according to the ratings guide -- Cost, Commute, and Crime.

Such a dramatic change should shock our political, business, media, and civil society leadership from their slumber to ask -- "what the hell went wrong here??" So the Twin Cities is not only an expensive place to live but you get to sit in traffic jams while you fear becoming a victim of crime -- now that is a formula that will help drive economic development!!! :-)

So how does our state legislature rise to such challenges? Our House of Representatives approved a new personal income tax rate of 9% while our state Senate approved a new 9.7% rate to "improve our quality of life apparently but fortunately Governor Pawlenty stated consistently such measures will get vetoed.

Minnesota's leaders should take the time to review these ratings and explore why the "West is Best". I have several public policy solutions to offer our state leaders before I opt to sell everything for a move to South Dakota since they do not have a personal income tax -- the tax savings I would gain would allow me to buy a vacation cabin on a nice pond somewhere so I can forgot about the problems Minnesota's tax and spend legislators have created.

Hitch up the wagon,


1 comment:

Heather said...

nothing but the best comes from nampa ;)