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When I think of the western pioneers of the 1800s, I am filled with a bouquet of admiration, envy, sadness for what was and hope for what could be again. Men were men (because it was still okay to be masculine) and women were ladies (because you could fight for the privilege to vote without turning into a bitter shrew). Entitlements didn’t exist (or at least not anywhere near what they are today). When a man wanted to make a life for himself, he need do nothing more than load up the family and head west in search of the vast open land that was up for grabs. The land you had to work, protect and defend and make into a home for your family. We bred a tougher breed of American back then, that’s for sure.
And so it went for a time. People headed west in droves and gave rise to one of the greatest times in American history (in my humble opinion); The Great Westward Migration!
But eventually, there was no more land to grab (supposedly). Our country made deals with the local Native American tribes, only to break them time and time again. Overgrazing of land combined with the harsh 1886-87 winter led to federal intervention, and the ‘open range’ was all but over. Now relegated to fanciful stories of people like Bill Hickok and Wyatt Earp, America made its eventual move into the 1900’s and forgot about the west and the once abundant freedom it offered. Americans lost their pioneer spirit and focused on industry as the western and mid-western states focused on building the agriculture industry (which has morphed into a perversion of it’s once humble and glorious past).
But that perversion (and many others) may be creating a second migration. One where people now seek freedom from the hustle-bustle of the East coast. Freedom from high taxes and property values. Freedom from an increasingly eastern-leftist mentality that you are now a ‘toxic male’ simply because you prefer a pair of boots and Levi’s over skinny jeans and skater sneakers that look three sizes too big.
To be clear, I probably should have named this article ‘The Second Great Westward/Southern Migration,’ since I know just as many east coasters that moved down south as I do that moved out west. (But it didn’t look as good in my head). But the point still remains, overtaxing young productive people doesn’t create a stable economy built on the backs of strong producers – it creates a weak one dependent on whatever trickle of revenue one can get (in this case, squeezing those same producers like an orange) now have to subsidize a local populous that gets older and older. (The average age here in Vermont is 40-45. In Colorado it is 36 and in Utah, it’s around 30 years old.)
So why is it so expensive to live in the northeast? Is it the dreaded “tax and spend” modern American left? Well… yes and no. Vermont currently has a “Republican” governor, but one who just signed legislation limiting what law abiding citizens can own (magazine capacity, the dreaded “bump stock” and some other useless shit that I can’t remember at the moment) in the state with the least amount of restrictions to owning one. Kind of puts up one more example of how the GOP really isn’t a “conservative” party. Anyway, despite that blunder, he has tried to be a fiscal conservative (sort of), but a three-way (ha ha) assembly in the Vermont State House doesn’t bode well for fiscal responsibility when two out of three parties are “left” and “very left.”
The reality is that it is a combination of fiscal irresponsibility and a lack of economic development (in other words, the northeast only seems to want to invest in tourism, which is not a great market to base an economy on… especially when you have four seasons). The outrageous spending (the result of local Democrats and GOP alike) has given rise to an atrocious welfare state that has not lifted the rural poor out of poverty and infrastructure that adds no actual infrastructure (our roads look like shit). And as the taxes rise to pay for all this, so taxes rise. Of course, the rich New York Wall Street tycoons and Boston bankers that have set home second and retirement homes here couldn’t give a fiddlers fuck… high property taxes are something they love. They know it drives out the working class “rednecks” (we actually use the word ‘hick’), making way for even more of their friends. In essence, there is a reason the northeast continues to become more and more leftist… and it is most certainly not by mistake.
So what can we do? Well, if you are a young person and you feel you must stay (you shouldn’t) then please start electing people that want to lower taxes and implement policies that are friendly to business and industry (because that is where the best money is for working class people). At the risk of cementing myself as a ‘fanboy’, this is why New Yorkers should vote for Larry Sharpe. (New York is consistently a top tax state.)
But let me clarify, I still say (for now) the best option for young people is to leave the northeast for the great big open west. Where a man can get a piece of desert property in beautiful Colorado and slap a fully finished tiny cabin (which are all the rave these days) down on said property for less than $50,000 (but that is with a composting toilet and no running water…otherwise you will probably spend more).
One thing is for sure, until the northeast changes, more and more young producers will leave for greener pastures… just like their ancestors before them (which at this point, includes this writer).