Keller @ Large: Is Massachusetts The Best State?
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BOSTON (CBS) – The online magazine Slate has an article out with a provocative headline: “Why Massachusetts is the Best State in the Union.”
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
The author claims to be a native, although he now lives in New York, and his analysis, framed as a rebuke to Mitt Romney’s candidacy, shows signs of being written by someone who no longer lives here.
More on that in a moment.
But first, the good news – I don’t know if we live in the “best” state in the nation, but we certainly do live in a great state.
Aside from family and other roots and being something of a homeboy, I could choose to live somewhere else, but wouldn’t think of it (at least for now).
Massachusetts has great scenery, great tradition, great culture and food, great sports fans, and when the weather is like this, why would anyone prefer to be anywhere else?
That said, I find it hard to swallow the author’s assertion that Massachusetts is “an exceptionally successful state.”
We do not suffer from the widespread poverty and social dysfunction that afflicts some other, less affluent places.
But check out the slums and abandoned downtowns of some of our downtrodden old mill cities and tell me we don’t have lots of work to do.
Life is good here for the well-paid professionals who thrive in our universities, hospitals and research centers.
But for blue-collar people and much of the middle class, sky-high cost of living, including unaffordable housing and worst in the nation water-and-sewer rates, makes it tough to enjoy this Garden of Eden.
I’m sure this Slate writer meant well, but his piece goes down as yet another clueless ivory-tower ode to a state that in reality, drives away so many with excessive costs, political correctness and corruption, and the ruling-class attitude that we should be saying thank you for it all.
Hey, maybe Massachusetts is “the best.”
But I shudder to think what that says about the rest.
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