Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trendy Un-Trendy Rust Belt

Boston is dying. Residents are intolerant, despite what Richard Florida claims. But it's the high price of housing driving talent to the Rust Belt:

People aren't welcoming when you come here and they always say if you don't like it- then leave when you address the serious issues of the area.

And housing is one of them. All my friends and family think the prices for the subpar housing stock here are laughable.

If there's one thing I have learned in my travels- its that the un-trendy and "depressing" places are much more livable, affordable and welcoming than any of our better, more cool areas.

I know people who live in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia, Upstate New York and Wisconsin who are all infinitely happy and better off financially than those of us who live in the "better places" like Boston, NYC, DC or California. I want to cry when I go visit friends in Pittsburgh who earn much less than what we bring in but have a quality of life probably double that of ares because there housing is affordable, daycare is affordable, taxes are affordable, etc.

Emphasis added. Oh to be uncool Pittsburgh. The Creative Class is fleeing Boston in search of geographic arbitrage. All the hip urban amenities are failing to stop the brain drain.

Instead of investing in a contemporary opera house in order to attract talent, put your money down on people. The allure is personal opportunity, not a vibrant nightlife. Pittsburgh is better than Boston.

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