We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
For 100 years, New Jersey was a promised land for middle class New Yorkers, fleeing New York taxes and pursuing the American dream of a little cottage with a yard.
What went wrong? Now it is a state with net outflow of population and business, decaying, dangerous cities, state and property taxes which crush the middle class, routine corruption, unions which seem to have more power than both the government and the voters, and Tony Soprano.
Malanga at City Journal gives the whole history. An excellent history of The Garden State, which typifies the "blue state blues".
An excellent synopsis of why my wife and I are always considering leaving NJ. It is a constant struggle to stay ahead of the rising tide of taxes and corruption. Our next neighbors just punched out for a job elsewhere for the same reasons.
It all really started going bad under Gov. Whitman. Her single criteria for selecting judges was Pro-Choice. The result was liberal judges who highjacked the school funding system to send all the funds to the cities. The result is higher income taxes and the highest property taxes in the country in the suburban and rural areas.
Someone once said that Democracy breaks down when the mob realizes they can vote themselves a raise. Whoever it was right.