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Future of Massachusetts?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bynxers. Show Bynxers's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    In colonial times,  you had two choice if residing in Mass.- take on a life of hard farming in rather unhospitable agricultural conditions, or enter into a life based on sea-faring (be it fishing, shipping and trade, whaling, boat building, etc.) The  very few educated and privileged had opportunities to be doctors, lawyers, etc. For this reason, it was regularly assumed that people in the South or in the Mid-Atlantic had it MUCH better with an amazing amount of raw materials to work with, great fertile soil, etc. etc.

    Today- its a tough call. The Mass economy is still going relatively strong compared to the rest of the nation. Areas that "surpassed" us in colonial times and even just a few years ago have been hit hard and we keep chugging along. At the same time- last time I checked, we still live in one of the most expensive areas of the country and are thus being hit with still just trying to afford to be here. Especially younger folks who have the added burden of heavy student loans. 

    I think that considering the current state of the economy, we should all be happy to be here compared to elsewhere. But at the same time,  I still see a very  disturbing view (where Boston and the immediate area are Ground Zero) of rapid gentrification and massive amounts of wealth displacing and  hurting  the other 90% of the population.  $400K for a mediocre condo in Southie or Medford? Who said we are in tough times? Apparently SOMEONE still has that cash laying around.

    Well-to-do urban centers like Manhattan,  San Fran, and Boston  seem to be pretty insulated  these days- I would argue that  our region is only going to go up and up as more wealth is generated or migrates here. It seems  that areas outside the Boston-Cambridge influence are going to be the ones getting hit....
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from working-for-change. Show working-for-change's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    I see no cause for optomism.  The costs of food, housing, energy (for basic transportation, heat and electricity), health care, insurance and TAXES as a percentage of income have been increasing for a long time and show no signs of abating.  This was true when the economy was supposedly healthy, and the state and local governments failed to keep up with or improve the services they ought to be providing.  Now,  with the economy getting worse, the government is falling farther behind, and rather than figuring out how to do less with less, is apparently content to do the same or less with more.  Citizens however, have no choice.  With incomes growing at less than the simple rate of inflation, and with food, housing, energy, health care, insurance, and TAXES being increased there is no hope of getting ahead...we have to do less with less.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from justintpryan. Show justintpryan's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    I love Boston and I love so many things, large and small, about where we live. But when Mario Cuomo and, later, John Edwards, both one time Democratic presidential contenders, talked of "Two Americas", nowhere is that more painfully the case than in the Bay State.

    Nowhere has one-sided, unaccountable politicians been more easily guilty of hypocrasy than here. John Keller, no right wing ideologue by a long shot, articulates this beautifully in his dying to be written book "The Bluest State."

    No one in middle income can possibly dream of buying in most sorrounding suburbs now.  And if any one wishes to have more than one kid, you can forget it. Ability to get low-cost alternatives for consumer goods? Paltry compared to other states. Better teachers for our poorer communities? Not if the still powerful unions have anything to say about it. This all impinges on basic economic needs of putting food on the table, affording unforeseen medical expenses and saving for retirement. Chronic and onerous regulation limits building and expanding houses and businesses. Why else did firms like Fidelity and Bank of America move to cheaper pastures in the South?

    And the weakest among us, the poor, the marginalized, the dependent are the ones who get hit the hardest.

    I love this area but it's become too much, too hard, and those in power, too lazy and arrogant to do anything about it.  

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from trottier. Show trottier's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

       I have lived in massachusetts for 65 years, I grew up in a mill town, lived in a time when no one wanted to live  in my town. I have seen many things, always felt the positive things in mass, outweighted the negative ones. I dont feel that way anymore, its too hard to live here, a one party state, run by politicans from hell. I have seen my family members, friends, move to other states, I hear  about many others, just waiting to escape living here, under the most tax happy politicans there are.Its a beautiful state, my town is beautiful, wonderful history here, but the future of massachusetts, is bleaker than 10 cent coffee. I can  see down the road, a massachusetts like arkansas, but  with a huge crippling tax system.
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from grizzledizzle. Show grizzledizzle's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    Living in this state has become prohibitive and is only loved by those who grew up here and have some odd connection with nasty weather, high taxes and corrupt politicians.  My wife and I, living on what many would consider good salaries, are leaving the state to enjoy sun, cheaper groceries and a generally better standard of living.

    Mass' future is not bright, but bleak.  Current policy is seeing corporations leave in record numbers, only surpassed by the amount of workers in their prime, aged 25-40, leave the state for a better life.  While the economy may be better than the national average, that simply says nothing about the quality of life here. 

    I hope the people that are in charge of running things here realize that whatever they're doing isn't working, and major changes are needed to right the ship. 

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bynxers. Show Bynxers's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    Yo Bynxers-2 get over it  If you ain't got the loot get out of town.


    Well my friend, that is a nice position to take. I am assuming you are in that lucky 10% or mom and dad paid for your condo downpayment and/or rent while you attend school. I don't plan on going anywhere- we are quite happy where we are at on the very edge of the urban/suburban border. It's my worries for everyone else that bothers me- the 90% who are fight to make ends meet and becoming disenfranchised. That 1-in-5 young people who will be headed off to North Carolina, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, or wherever.. you, me, everyone is going to miss them when they are gone.
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from chris119. Show chris119's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    Ahh, the demise of Mass.  I've been reading and hearing about this since I moved here about ten years ago.  "everyone is leaving!!", "companies are moving out", "all my friends and family moved to South Carolina!!".  Well ten years later, the state is still here.  All of the traffic and subway riders seem to indicate that most people haven't left, or have at least been supplanted my new arrivals.

    And just to straighten out a few previous comments. Bank of America did not move to the South.  Their HQ is in North Carolina.  They bought Fleet, which had HQ in Boston.  Natuarlly, the acquirer lays off some people of the acquiree.  However, they have actually moved some jobs from Charlotte TO Boston.  Please have all of your facts straight.  And Yes, Fidelity has moved jobs out of state.  Many large companies do.  Also, many move jobs into the state.  Google and Novartis for example.  As long as the net is positive, that's a good thing.

    As for the future of Mass, I feel that the future probably is bright.  Boston definitely seems to be a "global city" now and gets a lot of attention.  The job market here, while not great, is much better than other parts of the country.  Statistics made things look bad several years ago, because job creation was happening mostly in the sunbelt areas and not so much here.  We now know that most of that job "creation" was related to the real estate industry (agents, brokers, construction, etc), which then spawned jobs in retail, entertainment, etc.  That is all reversing now.  Since we didn't have that same level of job creation then, we're not suffering as much now.  Our job creation has tended to be in areas such finance, education, medical/biotech, etc.

    Certainly, there are things that need to be worked on for our future to remain bright.  More astute politicians would help.  Better transportation services, particularily the subways and trains.  Some of those can be worked on.  In the age of high fuel costs, our geographic location probably doesn't help, but there's not much we can do about that.

    As a previous poster noted, cities like Boston and San Fran seem, over the long term, to ride out the storms.  As long as our job market is dynamic, then people will feel that the future is bright.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from astra01. Show astra01's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    I'm an engineer who studied in Boston from 99-05. I've been working in the Boston area for  the past three years now and  I am starting to think that Boston is just too pricy for me. I think one's take on this issue is clearly dependent on one's lifestyle.

    After visiitng Plano, Pitsburgh and Orlando I've realised that you can find well paying jobs in those places and enjoy a much lower cost of living. As a young person who just joined the workforce, being in those places allows you to build up your wealth faster. Many people might  disagree with me with what I am going to say but after talking to friends and family  who live in other places, your higher salary that you probably get in Mass does not necesarily match the higher cost of living.

    Having said all this, I love Boston and I will be sad if in the end I decide to leave. It is easily possible to earn roughly the same elsewhere but with a greater ability to build wealth. However, there are not too many other places that can be as fun as Boston.

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from siamliv. Show siamliv's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    Do we really want population growth?  I think sustainability is a better target and to achieve this we probably don't want Massachusetts to grow population-wise.  Rather than grow, we should focus on the people already here.  Especially those who need some extra help - the poor, illiterate, etc.

    I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and that region is suffering from mega-population growth including drought, fires, traffic, crowded classrooms, and loss of nature due to over buidling.  I enjoy New England because of all the water, trees, infrastructure, historical preservation, cultural activities, top-notch hospitals, active volunteer community, public transportation, walkability, local family farms, strong sense of community, etc. 

    Honestly, I am okay if people leave the state because hopefully that will drive down real estate prices for when I am ready to buy.  It should also provide better job opportunities for those of us who are here..less competition, if you know what I mean.

    In terms of making it, if one can learn to leave within or below one's means then you can make it here.  I choose to rent on Beacon Hill and not own a car.  This allows me to save 25-35% of my paycheck and allocate most of it to investments.   Living in the city gives me a super short daily commute and frees up some of my time to volunteer and enjoy what Boston has to offer.  I think Chicago and DC may be the only other two US cities that can offer this type of lifestyle.  Everywhere else is either too expensive (Manhattan) or extremely dependent on cars.
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from lnmonster. Show lnmonster's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    Also, for the couple of posters that keep bringing up high taxes in MA.  Are you serious?  The most recent data puts MA in the bottom half of all 50 states in taxes.  Cost of living overall may be cheaper down south, but taxes are much higher. 

    jb81, thanks for pointing out the relatively LOW tax rate in Massachusetts.  Since 1999, Massachusetts has ranked 27th to 35th among the 50 states in state and local tax burden, in the lower half each year.  Can't blame the tax rates for ANY of Massachusetts' problems.

    Personal income in MA is among the highest in the nation, 27% above the national average.  Personal income is rising at the 8th fastest rate in the country.  There is job growth in MA while jobs are being lost nationwide.  Last quater's economic growth was 6 times the national average.  Average I.Q. in the state is the highest in the nation.

    The big problem in MA is the cost of living, particularly housing.  I have no solultions to offer, but if you could get a 2500 sf 4 BR 3.5 bath home with a small yard inside 128 for $350,000 it's clear that many more would be pouring into Massachusetts than leaving.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALFMAN1000. Show ALFMAN1000's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    Mass taxes are high. You are quoting a statistic based on percentage of income not actual tax burden.

    According to the Tax Foundation, "Massachusetts taxpayers had to work until April 28 in 2008 to pay their total tax bill, ranking the state 6th highest nationally. That's five days after National Tax Freedom Day (April 23)." In addition, Mass real estate taxes are the 7th highest in the nation per capital.

    The point is that Mass does not rank that high in any particular taxation area, other than real estate taxes, but if you add up all the various taxes, and Mass has about every tax and fee one could imagine, Mass is near the top in taxing its residents.

    Ranking 7th in real estate taxes and having some of the highest housing prices makes it very difficult for young Mass residents leaving the nest or out of state people  to afford to live here. 

    Please do not argue that Mass is not a high tax state.
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from sdsguitar310. Show sdsguitar310's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    I love Massachusetts and I'm proud to be a bay stater, but I am furious at our state government. I don't think people really truly realize that all the problems we face in this state (sky high college costs, property taxes, crippling infrastructure, unaffordable housing for recent grads and long time citizens) are the fault of our elected state officials. It's obvious that they are at fault, but when I really think about it it makes me furious. I refuse to lay down to these people and flee to New Hampshire and let them ruin the state forever. We need to re-build the entire state government from the ground up. The state government should only be comprised of essential services that need to be delivered at the state level such as money for our state colleges and universities, state police and correction facilities, highway maintenance, and public transportation. Everything else should be controlled at the local level and be the responsibility of cities and towns. They will have the resources to take on these responsibilities because the state government will a quarter the size it is, and even if you lowered the state income tax considerably, you would be able to increase local aid a lot.
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from athena02116. Show athena02116's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    And what of the Mass Pike Authority as well as the Excise tax???  Supposedly all to be abolished eons ago!  Hidden taxes galore... don't be fooled by those stats you read.  Taxachusetts ' is aptly named.
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from lnmonster. Show lnmonster's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    According to the Tax Foundation, "Massachusetts taxpayers had to work until April 28 in 2008 to pay their total tax bill, ranking the state 6th highest nationally ... Please do not argue that Mass is not a high tax state.

    You are misapplying the Tax Foundation's data, Alf.  It is true that the OVERALL tax burden of Massachusetts residents is high, but this is because the FEDERAL tax burden is very high, due to the very high per capita income in the state.  The STATE AND LOCAL tax burden, which the Tax Foundation calculates as the TOTAL collections by the state and municipalities from ALL taxes, fees, tolls, etc. (minus out-of-state receipts), is indeed below the US median for Massachusetts and has been every year for the last decade.

    Please look carefully at this link:

    I shall say it again, the state and local tax burden in Massachusetts is consistently below the national average.  This is NOT a high tax state, and if you move to another state, your taxes more than likely will go UP.  If you have a problem with the amount of FEDERAL taxes you pay, you'll have to move to another country or consider secession from the union, but you can't blame it on Massachusetts.
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from astra01. Show astra01's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    [Quote]I  have to laugh at some of the suggestions of other places to live.  Plano?  Give me a break.  Plano is not a town or city. Its a giant subdivision with malls and  commercial business parks. Yeah I am sure you can live  there cheaply, but why would anyone want to?  Same for Orlando.

    Put up or shut up.[/Quote]

    I said: "It depends on what your lifestyle is like." Read my post in perspective. Different people have different issues to deal with and based on that ... Mass may not be the ideal place for them.

    How about keeping the conversation civil?
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from beautmind64. Show beautmind64's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    [Quote]Mass is a dying state and that is all there is too that!!!! one in five young adults planning or hoping to escape within the next five years???? that is nothing short of a castrophe !!  the fallout will be very very serious to the Mass economy but the state deserves it for doing nothing and for their arrogance !!!!   [/Quote]

    I agree, lived here all of my life and even when times were better MA was still a craphole! As soon as I can spell able I'm out of here!
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Giordana. Show Giordana's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    The point is that Mass does not rank that high in any particular taxation area, other than real estate taxes, but if you add up all the various taxes, and Mass has about every tax and fee one could imagine, Mass is near the top in taxing its residents.

    People think the taxes are high here because we're just south of "tax-free" New Hampshire (I guess the 9% meals tax, 12% hotel tax, and sky-high property taxes don't count). The taxes here aren't bad.

    I have family in New York, Ohio, and Atlanta, and all have higher tax rates than here. Many states allow counties and cities to charge their own sales and income taxes, leading to sales taxes that can top 10%. A lot of southern states charge sales tax on groceries, clothing, and even rent. Only 5 states don't have an excise tax, though they often call it by a different name (it's a car tax in Georgia and a personal property tax in North Carolina).  

    The high cost of housing is the biggest problem I can see for young people who want to settle down here. If you don't earn 6 figures, your parents can't help with a down payment, and you don't want to commute 50 miles each way, live in the ghetto, or buy a 1-bedroom condo, you can pretty much forget about buying anything inside 495.

    I'm staying in MA for family reasons, but I'm trying to get a job outside of Boston, Otherwse, I'll be renting until I turn 55. I refuse to pay $350,000 for a 2-bedroom, 1 bath house from 1935 that needs a new roof and furnace.

    Families are leaving because they're being told they're not welcome. Towns and cities fight any development tooth and nail. The only housing that gets built is 1 or 2 bedroom "luxury" condos and 1-bedroom senior condos. In 20 years, Massachusetts will be a state for the rich, the poor, and the elderly.
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bynxers. Show Bynxers's posts

    Future of Massachusetts?

    "In 20 years, Massachusetts will be a state for the rich, the poor, and the elderly."

    Indeed, while getting blasted for saying that on a regular basis- I have to agree whole heartedly, that it is the middle class that truly suffers in this state, yet we are the workhorse of the entire community.

    Yes, this is a problem nation-wide, but it is of particular issue here where new development generally consists of "luxury units". I think other posters before have said it best: if you want to give your family a nice house/yard and a goos school district and still be able to commute decently, its really really hard to pull it off here.

    I honestly think this economic downturn could help, by putting certain blocks of real estate/ communities into perspective for sellers and real estate agents alike.