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Old 11-13-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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Eastern Montana, eastern Wyoming, eastern Colorado, eastern New Mexico, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, western Minnesota, western Iowa and western missouri (Texas has GP terrain, but is a region onto itself) should be considered a unique region. At first I thought we should be considered a part of the midwest, but started thinking more on the subject given the fact that so many midwesterns thought of us as some backwards locations.

Things that distinguish the great plains from the midwest are:

1. dryer climate, which is obvious since these states rank high in sunshine and the lack of trees. We have periods where there is a lot of moisture and the battle of the humid/dry air results in supercell crazy weather.
2. less snow, but not necessarily warmer.
3. Great plains states, despite the national perception, have a very diverse terrain which many cannot be seen in most places in the country. Like the badlands, the loess hills, the sandhills, the black hills etc..
4. Great plains states have a different kind of political climate which favors tax breaks for businesses which explains our diverse, growing economies. The unemployment rate in the region cannot be rivaled.
5. Less populated, but has very health growth within the cities and is not completely devoid of life. Cities like Kansas city, Omaha, Des Moines, Lincoln, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Sioux Falls, Fargo, Denver (debatable, but the city is on the great plains), Fort Collins and Columbia Mo.

There's also some very good high school and college football, college basketball and college volleyball played here.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Midwest
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:52 PM
 
Location: IN
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"4. Great plains states have a different kind of political climate which favors tax breaks for businesses which explains our diverse, growing economies. The unemployment rate in the region cannot be rivaled."

That would be corporate welfare and tax subsidies as well as tax breaks that the state pays for to "lure" corporations and businesses into the state. Often these businesses stay but they often leave as well. "Tax breaks for businesses" often means a very low regulation environment where big oil and coal prefer to operate in. A prime example is North Dakota, a state where renewable energy should have taken off decades ago given the proper support at the state and national level, but is instead the oil and coal capitol of the US. We now have the "Balken shale play" in the western High Plains, but this is another energy bubble economy. Unemployment is low because the population density is low and most counties are agriculturally dependent. Many younger people leave the area because few stay in rural areas anyway. The exceedingly harsh climate and bizzare social culture don't help matters much either.

I much prefer the Midwest and the East.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
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The Great Plains are actually mid way west.

Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, etc. is all back east.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
"4. Great plains states have a different kind of political climate which favors tax breaks for businesses which explains our diverse, growing economies. The unemployment rate in the region cannot be rivaled."

That would be corporate welfare and tax subsidies as well as tax breaks that the state pays for to "lure" corporations and businesses into the state. Often these businesses stay but they often leave as well. "Tax breaks for businesses" often means a very low regulation environment where big oil and coal prefer to operate in. A prime example is North Dakota, a state where renewable energy should have taken off decades ago given the proper support at the state and national level, but is instead the oil and coal capitol of the US. We now have the "Balken shale play" in the western High Plains, but this is another energy bubble economy. Unemployment is low because the population density is low and most counties are agriculturally dependent. Many younger people leave the area because few stay in rural areas anyway. The exceedingly harsh climate and bizzare social culture don't help matters much either.

I much prefer the Midwest and the East.
I hear what you're saying GraniteStater, but North Dakota now has the lowest unemployment in the country and the salaries in the western part of the state fed by the oil boom are putting a lot of middle class people near 100K or in quite a few cases over that. I'm not sure that green blue-collar jobs pay that much. In fact, North Dakota taxes each barrel of crude enough to create a substantial surplus to the state and allowed the legislature to cut property and income taxes in the last couple of years. Where I came from in Illinois, the state raised the income tax by 66% in a single year and property taxes continue to increase in spite of decreasing property values caused by the housing bubble bursting.

Now that I'm a resident of western North Dakota, what I see here going on is unbelievable. It would be wonderful if the whole country knew what full employment was like the way things are here. Things are so crazy here that people are living in RVs and cars in the Walmart parking lot and thousands of new homes and apartments are under construction. That's the biggest problem is enough housing.

Because 92% of our electric comes from coal here, we have some of the lowest rates in the country. Our local electric coop has stated that rate payers can expect substantial increases in electricity if 'green' energy becomes a substantial part of the energy mix. I'll stick with coal.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:50 AM
 
Location: IN
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Originally Posted by cacto View Post
The Great Plains are actually mid way west.

Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, etc. is all back east.
Disagree. They are all part of the Midwest.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:57 AM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighPlainsDrifter73 View Post
I hear what you're saying GraniteStater, but North Dakota now has the lowest unemployment in the country and the salaries in the western part of the state fed by the oil boom are putting a lot of middle class people near 100K or in quite a few cases over that. I'm not sure that green blue-collar jobs pay that much. In fact, North Dakota taxes each barrel of crude enough to create a substantial surplus to the state and allowed the legislature to cut property and income taxes in the last couple of years. Where I came from in Illinois, the state raised the income tax by 66% in a single year and property taxes continue to increase in spite of decreasing property values caused by the housing bubble bursting.

Now that I'm a resident of western North Dakota, what I see here going on is unbelievable. It would be wonderful if the whole country knew what full employment was like the way things are here. Things are so crazy here that people are living in RVs and cars in the Walmart parking lot and thousands of new homes and apartments are under construction. That's the biggest problem is enough housing.

Because 92% of our electric comes from coal here, we have some of the lowest rates in the country. Our local electric coop has stated that rate payers can expect substantial increases in electricity if 'green' energy becomes a substantial part of the energy mix. I'll stick with coal.
North Dakota has a housing shortage and will continue to do so in the core of the boom area because Williston does not want to experience the aftershock of the bubble bursting like the early 80s. Unemployment is still low becuase of the very low population and dependence on agriculture, energy, healthcare, and manufacuring. Definitely higher wages in the west, but cost of living is going up for everyone, not just those with the higher wage jobs.

"Because 92% of our electric comes from coal here, we have some of the lowest rates in the country. Our local electric coop has stated that rate payers can expect substantial increases in electricity if 'green' energy becomes a substantial part of the energy mix. I'll stick with coal"

Most would prefer to pay more for cleaner energy, and North Dakota needs to ramp up the renewable portfolio standard to at least 30-35%. The fact that North Dakota could produce all of its electricity from renewable energy given the necessary investment decades ago and yet is 92% reliant on coal is pure idiocy in my opinion. Coal has a much higher carbon output compared to natural gas as well. The global average temperatures are already too warm. We need to reduce coal burning ASAP and produce electricity from anything but coal.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:12 AM
 
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I agree that the Great Plains are much different from the other areas of the Midwest, much of which would be called the Great Lakes area.

I would disagree on calling Iowa part of the Great Plains though, especially not Des Moines. Growing up there we would never have called ourselves living in the Great Plains. We mostly turned our eyes towards the eastern part of the Midwest as far as associations, culture, etc. I would almost clump Iowa in with the Great Lakes states, it has the most in common with Minnesota and Wisconsin.

I can see far western and northwestern Iowa start to turn Great Plains though. Even then though, having family in Red Oak, only about 50 miles from Nebraska, it still had a much more eastern midwest feeling than if you got west out into Nebraska.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omahahonors View Post
4. Great plains states have a different kind of political climate which favors tax breaks for businesses which explains our diverse, growing economies. The unemployment rate in the region cannot be rivaled.
The Great Plains produce a lot of commodities and have a relatively low population. Commodity prices have gone through the roof in the last ten years. This is the source of a lot of the prosperity.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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Great thread.

I also believe the great plains are a separate region from the midwest. I almost think once you get west enough of the Mississippi river you are in a different region.

The Old Northwest Territory (Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, as well as some adjacent areas right on the other side of the Misssissippi (STL and MPLS) constitute a distinct region (honestly I even debate about MSPL, it didn't have a gritty industrial, ethnic past the way the cities of the aforementioned states and it has the outdoorsy, highly educated populace that is more similar to Denver and Seattle).

And although the Old Northwest is not midway through the country from a simply geographic perspective, if you take the MEDIAN center of population it does fall within that five state region.

So from a population geography perspective, it is still the midwest.
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