Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Massachusetts Exodus

There is an article by Jeff Jacoby called "Mass. exodus". It details how the population of the state has been declining; why that is unusual, and the possible reasons for it. The facts and figures of the exodus I found quite shocking, but I won't reprint them here, it's worth reading the article. Looking at all the factors, Jacoby maintains the biggest factor in the exodus is an oppressive and demoralizing political culture. An excerpt from the article:

...I suspect that fewer and fewer people want to call Massachusetts home not because of its oppressive winters but because of its oppressive and demoralizing political culture. In the state that produced Michael Dukakis and Sen. Kerry, the concerns of ordinary citizens are so often met with disdain, while the political class lets nothing get in the way of its own appetites and priorities. A state legislature that stays in session year-round? A supreme court that turns same-sex marriage into a constitutional right? Public ''authorities" that answer to no one? In most of America, no way. In Massachusetts, no problem.

On Beacon Hill last week, the big issue for Massachusetts lawmakers was whether tuition should be reduced for illegal aliens at the state's public colleges. On Capitol Hill, the senior senator from Massachusetts was busy implying that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is a racist and a liar. Is it such a stretch to imagine that an awful lot of Americans look at Massachusetts and think: How can people stand to live there? Or that a fair number of Massachusetts residents eventually decide that they can't stand to live here?

This is a state in which a tax cut can be decisively approved by the voters yet never go into effect. In which grocers can be prosecuted for pricing milk too low. In which archaic blue laws decree when shops may and may not open for business. In which local officials have been known to heatedly object to opening town meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance. In which a $2 billion Big Dig ends up costing $14 billion. In which Ted Kennedy keeps getting reelected...

Gosh, it sounds like San Francisco. The voters in SF would vote for something, it would pass, then the city officials would use the courts to prevent it from being implemented, or they would just ignore it and do as they wished anyway. This happened so MANY times, that I eventually stopped voting; I felt my vote was meaningless, so why bother? Our input was unwanted and unwelcomed. It was also a major factor in our selling up and leaving. Who wants to live where votes are meaningless?

Related links:

Another article about the Massachusettes exodus at

Another article, emphasizing racial demographics: Mass. exodus: Census shows whites leaving.

Jacoby's editorial at the Boston Globe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said... someone who just moved here from the Midwest, I can attest that a $250,000 house in a nice suburban town in Michigan can fetch around $500,000 here, which is ridiculous!!! On top of that, everything else w/ a retail value is much more expensive here. I don't think I'll live here long. I see houses built in the 1920's...that cost ridiculous amounts of money because they're 'historic'...yes...'historic' pieces of trash that should be condemned!!!