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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, August 17. 2013
What's the Matter with Connecticut?
I love this state, or parts of it anyway. However, it is one of those states, like California, which once were independent-minded and traditionalist Yankee Red, but gradually turned Blue and then finally Dark Blue. They took their prosperity for granted. Farms, inventors, entrepreneurs, booming factories, great private schools, and great universities and colleges; the summer homes of the prosperous of NYC and even Hollywood; a charming coastline great for swimming, sailing, and fishing; old-time Yankee towns and virtues.
Jobs for all. Minimal taxation. A huge middle-class, with more upper-middle than most states had, to spread their money around. Huge Hartford insurance industry. Horses, cattle, fine Connecticut shade tobacco. Old town greens with their Congregational churches. Town Meeting governments where every wise old guy and every crank had his say. The southern half is close to NYC, and the northern half goes to Boston for baseball and football and hockey. Good choices.
Government policies did their damage. State taxes and local property taxes. Unions corrupted urban governments, along with some of the immigrant Mafioso components. Semi-skilled blacks from the rural South moved north in a vast migration for the industrial jobs, jobs which fled this high-tax, heavily-unionized post-War state leaving them with nothing while immigrant Mexicans happily do most of the hard labor and even skilled labor like masonry and construction, and are happy to work in our Dunkin Donuts shops.
For many businesses and many individuals, economics now trump sentimental home-town and home-state attachments.
Probably, like many Californians, government is doing their best to drive me away but it's still home to me. Roots, family, friends, traditions, church, clubs, colleagues. Some of my wealthy friends retire to elite enclaves in Florida for six months plus one day, and spend the rest of their time up here. Not that they really retire, but you know what I mean: they keep working via the internet and phone.
Attorneys and accountants are needed to minimize the damage of the government greed which, unlike private desire for profit, comes to us at gunpoint.
Nothing about Florida holds any charm for me (sorry, Florida readers). It's just how I feel. I have enjoyed visits to the Everglades, and other places in Florida. But not to live. It's just not my subculture.
Now I must be off to a neighborhood cocktail party. Some of the old traditions persist amongst the traditionalist old minority here, where a blazer and tie are still never the wrong attire for a Connecticut Yankee.
Nobody has informed Bridgeport about that yet, but I still hold some hope for that old town if they can starve out the mob, the unions, and etc. "Park City."
Posted by The Barrister in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects, Our Essays, Politics at 15:59 | Comments (30) | Trackback (1)
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Having to watch this happen, slowly over time has ben one of my great sorrows. Over and over the people in charge pandered to the narrow special interests of the inner city parasite, public employees and zero growth Fairfield County activists while taking the great intellectual and manufacturing capital for granted as it slowly decayed away. Connecticut at one time led the world in tools, brass, precision manufacturing and optics. Most of that has withered away, taxed and regulated out of existence to serve the interests of the various privileged groups, whether they be Greenwich activists, Hartford public employees or Bridgeport welfare recipients, all of whom are Malloy's coalition.
You left out firearms, aviation, machine tools, boat-building,
I went to college in Connecticut and lived there subsequently for most of my adult life, but I left over a decade ago. Development ruined the quality of life of my once rural town. Commuting became a nightmare. Weicker's introduction of the state income tax rendered CT uncompetitive and ruined the state economy. My real estate taxes went up annually and I was paying $10K per year when I left.
I didn't want to make the list too long. If you started to add up all the industries in Connecticut where companies had a leadership position, it would just make you even more miserable. Firearms is gone, machine tools is gone, aviation is going, ball bearings probably isn't healthy, electrical power equipment, and yes boat building. What's worse, is that when one large industry goes it takes a bunch of support industries and makes them less viable. As an engineer in this state who relies on those vendors, that's not a small concern.
An identical story for Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The "one more tax supported program and we will achieve paradise" libs thought the economic goose that laid the golden eggs couldn't be killed, no matter how much it got taxed. As Connecticut was long the riches state in the country in per capita income, it appeared that one more tax could be easily accommodated. And after that? One more tax, then one more tax, then one more tax....Guess what? The economy got goosed with all them taxes.
As Connecticut was long the richest state in the country in per capita income...[
The increasing taxes along with the welfare state that taxes are co-dependent with places a double whammy on the economy. If you lived in Connecticut all your life you will remember it was most people of European origin who lived and worked there 50 years ago. The Democrats and their destructive "tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend" philosophy fundamentally changed everything and created a welfare society which attracted people who wanted free stuff and repelled people who wanted to work hard and succeed. So today as you look around who do you typically see? Is your school bulletin board message in Spanish? Have they changed one of the old well known streets to Martin Luther King Blvd? Would you ever drive or walk down the MLK Blvd after dark? When you go to the DMV or most government offices do the government employees treat YOU like how Oprah Winfrey claimed the Swiss store clerk treated her?
If this sounds familiar I'm warning you now when the golden goose stops pushing out those golden eggs you better be prepared to hunker down.
One thing that scares the hell out of me is that some little company that was the only one in the world that makes a certain absolutely critical widget goes out of business because the owner dies and the heirs can't pay the taxes and keep the business open, with nobody in our leadership finding out until the doors are shut and all the critical stuff is dispersed and dumpstered.
Six weeks ago I moved from CT to TX. The new job pays almost the same, so I'm significantly wealthier because virtually every tax, fee, and many prices (notably real estate, electricity, heating, gasoline) have dropped drastically. (It was a great pleasure to send in all my vehicle plates to terminate the personal property tax.)
I had a secure, comfortable job in CT and had little trouble paying my bills, but contemplating retiring there was scary. It is my belief that someday, maybe even soon, the Greenwich money machine will wind down. If that happens, times will get tough in a hurry.
Terrain and geographic beauty are the biggest losses, but I personally will accept that loss to get rain and snow free days.
What's wrong with Connecticut? As New York installed itself as a Soviet Socialist Republic, those who could, fled to Conn. When Conn. installed its income tax, it killed any incentive to live there. The death spiral mirroring New York began and will continue until the implosion which is drawing nigh.
The shame of it all is that too many Blue-staters leave once the situation they caused by voting (or not voting), for politicians who passed laws that hurt their home states, and once in their new state, continue to vote for that same damaging politicians, the cycle continues unless they realize they play a small part by learning from the past. Their was a sign at the border to a Red state which read "Welcome! All that stuff you'd did back home, we don't do that here".
I'm seeing it happen in my state now, from Red to Blue incrementally, hopefully not inevitably.
It's a shame about New England, I've lived all over the US and it's the place that I still call home in my heart, but the jobs just aren't their, and the taxes bleed dry those who remain.
If you lived in Connecticut all your life you will remember it was most people of European origin who lived and worked there 50 years ago. The Democrats and their destructive "tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend" philosophy fundamentally changed everything and created a welfare society which attracted people who wanted free stuff and repelled people who wanted to work hard and succeed. So today as you look around who do you typically see? Is your school bulletin board message in Spanish? Have they changed one of the old well known streets to Martin Luther King Blvd?
Fifty years ago, there were plenty of Puerto Ricans in CT, and there were plenty of blacks in the big cities. North End of Hartford, for example. MLK Blvd name changes began nationwide in 1968, which was 45 years ago.
One difference is that 50 and 40 years ago, it was not inaccurate to label the consensus in CT as "conservative Democrat."I so heard it said back in the '70s. Recall that Nixon, not George McGovern, took CT in 1972. The flaming libs, previously confined mostly to the universities, have taken over the Democrat Party in CT and many other states.
I can't tell if you are agreeing or not so pardon my response if I misinterpret your position.
I will have to assume you did not live near Connecticut 50 years ago. The difference is dramatic between now and 50 years ago. There were more (far more) portuguese in Connecticut then there were Puerto Ricans. There were some blacks in the big cities, not many. But the difference then was that people worked for a living most did not try to make welfare a career. Black, white, Puerto Rican, Italian, Greek, Irish, Portuguese, etc. most all worked and looked down on welfare. I spent some of my misspent youth in black nieghborhoods of Eastern cities in the 50's and felt relatively safe.
The reference to MLK Blvd was not careless on my part. I have never seen a study on this but I'm betting what I said was 100% correct. If a city is big enough and has a large enough percentage of blacks to coerce the city to rename Main street or some other significant street to MLK Blvd then it also has a higher rate of crime then a city that has not renamed a street for MLK or Ceaser Chavez. So test it out ands see if I'm right or wrong. Next Friday or Saturday night walk the MLK blvd in Houston Tx between 10 pm and 2 am and let me know how that works out for you.
50 years ago I was a Democrat and my politics haven't changed (much) I have always been a conservative. I didn't leave the Democrat party it left me. George McGovern was the saddest excuse for a politician I have ever seen. John McCain could have beaten him. So to say they were "conservative" democrats misses the point. By today's standards the Democrats of 50 years ago were conservative as were the Republicans.
I often travel through the nutmeg state between NJ and Bsoton; and guess what? I plan on NOT having to buy gas in CT as the price is cheaper in neighboring states.
Seriously, I almost ran out of gas once (the tank only had 1.3 gallons left) because I knew that it would be cheaper once I crosssed the border into NY state (and NY state ain't cheap by any means)
I will have to assume you did not live near Connecticut 50 years ago.
Incorrect assumption. Spent the first half of my life in CT. Know it VERY well. Loved the local grinders. Hell with subs. A half century ago, Governor Dempsey and our local legislator greeted me and my 8th grade classmates outside the state capitol building. Profound words from da Guvnah: "Stay in school." OK, Guvnah.
There were more (far more) portuguese in Connecticut then there were Puerto Ricans.
Far more Portuguese than PRs in CT at the time? Maybe down in New London/Mystic Pizza area, but NOT in NE/Central CT. NO NO NO. A thousand times no. I didn't meet any CT residents of Portuguese descent until I went to college. PRs- didn't need to go to college to meet them. They were nearby. [Can't get hold of '60 census data.]
Currently, there are about 5 times as many people of Puerto Rican descent compared to Portuguese descent in CT.[7.1% to 1.3%] I doubt that 50 years ago there were FAR MORE Portuguese descent people than Puerto Ricans in CT. Just going by my experience: seeing more PRs around, more talk about PRs. Portuguese- invisible. CT is not New Bedford.
There were enough PRs in CT a half century ago that my American History teacher found out that his students had more negative views of PRs than they did of blacks. His question- to the dumb class, not to my class- were you to go to the next town over to the movies, would you move if a PR/black sat near you? This was NOT a hypothetical question, as the town in question had PRs in abundance. Overwhelming answer- leave if a PR["knife, knife"] sits near you, don't move if a black.
My point is that 50 years ago there were already plenty of blacks and Hispanics in CT. I stand by that. [1960 to 2010- from 5% black to 10%, by Census]. My supposedly lily white hometown- sent a black and a Hispanic [not PR] to our regional high school - out of 27 students.
Regarding the changes in work/welfare, I am not going to argue about that. However, I suspect that just as in NYC at the time, that the PRs in CT were already more inclined to be on welfare - and this before the Johnson Adm. push to increase the welfare rolls.
Now that we have the big oil development in eastern Montana can you imagine what those liberals from WA state are doing? They are busing in many, many poor trash people and putting em on the dole. Of course, these people never worked in the fields, and never intended to work in the fields. These people--mostly single white mothers--come in station wagons. Western Montana is 500 miles away from the oil fields. These liberals from WA state are now lobbying our legislature for increased "services". We still don't have a sales tax--but, you can bet they are just chafing at the bit for some of that oil revenue. Over there on the eastern side of the state would anyone be surprised if I told you the Chicago union "workers" were hunkering down? They were able to get some of the cities in MT declared "sanctuary" cities and now we have car loads of illegal Mexicans. I remember once back in 1986 or 7--the same crowd brought in two gay guys with aids and then filled our newspapers with stories that said things like "see even in MT you have AIDS". These guys later admitted they were just plants. Their apartments were rented for them and they showed up now and then.
Just stay in CT. Don't need you people anywhere else.
Deal with your own mess.
Fairfield Country sustains the rest of the state. That is true.
Have in aunt in E. Ct. who says the local school has 29 languages spoken. The school HAS to find interpreters for them. They can't sell their house to move to Florida because of the high taxes etc. However as my Dad points out to them they voted Malloy and Obama so they are getting what tbey voted for.
We welcome PTR Industries and the 140 gun manufacturing jobs they will provide as they flee CT for our state. Sturm Ruger of CT announced a huge new plant in our sister state just this past week.
Yes, it looks like CT is intent on driving 3,000 employees in the firearms industry out of the state. We would welcome every one of those good manufacturing jobs here in South Carolina.
You could be right. Everyone's perception is based on what they see and since you took the trouble to look at the census records your perception may be more accurate then mine. I do know there were a lot of Portuguese in Eastern Connecticut and my impression was the great influx of PR's occurred in the late 60's and 70's. Back then you would not know someone was "Portuguese" unless you knew them and spent time with their family. They were "Americans" and only spoke Portuguese in their homes. You could of course go to a Portuguese bar and hear them speak Portuguese.
I see the great transition in this country as beginning about 1961-62 but getting a huge boost with Johnson's Great Society movement that resulted from the overwhelming election of Liberal Democrats in the 64 election. It has been downhill ever since. Johnson and the Democrats openly admitted at the time that the intent of the Great Society program was to give free stuff to the minorities and thus make them Democrat voters for the next 200 years. I have always seen this as the devil offering "free stuff" if they gave up freedom. And indeed that is what it is all about; The Democrats are offering us all "free stuff" if we will just give up those pesky constitutional rights and freedoms. Food stamps, welfare, section 8 housing, Obamacare, etc. just agree to give up your constitutional rights (especially your 1st and 2nd amendment rights). As crazy as that choice sounds many have taken them up on their offer. And who is more likely to take them up on that then someone who is not a citizen, new to the country and does not have and never heard of the protestant work ethic? Johnson put this Liberal death wish into motion and since then congress has added pork and free stuff to it and now Obama is delivering the coupe de grace.
I grew up back there in the 40's and 50's. Every year the teacher would introduce half a dozen immigrants to the class and tell us where they came from. Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, East German, etc. were common back then. Within a month these kids could speak English and within three months they spoke English as well as any of us did. It is the native catering to the language that impedes learning English. I could go back East today and show you the businesses these immigrants built that there kids are running today. I have done it! Looking up old school friends was easier if they had opened a business. I can remember walking into a body shop with an unusual name and asking the guy if he knew my old friend with the same name and sure enough it was his dad. I can drive through this large/medium size city and still see stores and businesses owned by immigrants from the 50's and 60's who did have a work ethic and an aversion to welfare. But when I visit some of these old friends and their families the discussion always turns to where they want to move to so they can get away from the crime, high taxes and discrimination by their government. They are afraid to send their kids to many of the schools and there are parts of town they are afraid to go into. And of course they are having trouble selling their homes for what they should be worth.
CT, NY, CA.... See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Goose_That_Laid_the_Golden_Eggs
Weicker's 1991 income tax was a direct attack on Connecticut's middle class, despite being marketed as a progressive tax. The wealthy NYC commuters of the Gold Coast were already paying New York state tax (based on their place of employment), and so did not see their tax burden rise: they could simply apply their NY tax to cover their CT taxes. The sales tax was cut, too, so the NYC commuters and the poorest CT residents actually saw their tax burden fall a bit. Much of the burden fell onto the middle and working class individuals employed within Connecticut itself. That's in addition to a property tax structure which rewards the wealthiest towns with low rates, and punishes more affordable towns with very high rates. Hundreds of thousands have responded to this treatment (among other reasons) by simply abandoning the state since the early 1990s.
As in New York City and Westchester County, the state's policies are basically telling you that if you are not either supernaturally wealthy or an impoverished immigrant (preferably illegal) who serves the wealthy class and mows their lawns, you are not wanted in Connecticut. Fairfield County, especially, very far removed from its egalitarian Yankee roots, is turning into a caste society of WASP landowners living in gated estates and served by a Hispanic laboring class that is carefully herded into rental ghettos.
"Nothing about Florida holds any charm for me (sorry, Florida readers). It's just how I feel. I have enjoyed visits to the Everglades, and other places in Florida. But not to live. It's just not my subculture."
Nothing about Connecticut holds any charm for me (sorry, Connecticut readers). Particularly winter time. Most particularly. It's just how I feel. I have never visited Connecticut. It's just not my subculture.
Sad story. It's kind of sad about productive people as they get run over and voted out by the leisure class. Unfortunately you keep sending these people down here and they never learn. They escape the bad places then go and vote the same way (democrat) and ruin the next place they go. They NEVER learn. It's actually kind of amazing to watch.
Tthis screed is looking forward to the past. As a human form of invasive plant, we ultimately overwhelm the native population. Travel has made "native" an anachronism. I miss the Bronx where kids walked to the park and the schoolyard and the candy store unattended by parents or crossing guards and where sidewalks allowed for a myriad of ball games, some with coins, some without. Where cigar boxed became goals for different size marbles and baseball cards could be flipped, tossed and traded all day. The borough is now a symbol of urban decay and danger, Riverdale notwithstanding. As S. Hart is quoted in a profile in a Psychosomatic medicine newsletter, "Add change to death and taxes as the things that will always be with us."
BeezleBub and I spent the evening at Meadowbrook Farm, catching the act of Bob Marley (the Maine comedian, not the dead reggae star). All I can say is that he was wicked funny! He has captured the essence of...
Tracked: Aug 18, 23:28