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Old 07-07-2008, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
148 posts, read 579,871 times
Reputation: 120

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An old family friend back in a mid sized town in Northern Minnesota worked for forty years delivering bread. He had only a high school diploma, had no trade or vocational school degree. He learned how to do the work on the job! He brought in enough money (in his NON UNION JOB to allow his four kids to have a full time Mom and buy a mid sized home and even go on a few vacations. He lived the American Dream of a person without a trade or college degree.

I wonder if there is any where left in America where wages are high enough and prices low enough that the middle class dream is still possible for a bread delivery driver? (or similar non union position)

Help me find this town!
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:36 PM
Status: "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong" (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,838 posts, read 21,144,826 times
Reputation: 9420
There are lots of places in Kentucky with a very low cost of living and a good economy. Are you looking to live in a city, suburb, or rural area?
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Old 07-07-2008, 04:25 PM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,738,716 times
Reputation: 46028
Pretty much most places in the South. Even some of the larger cities. The problem in the North is that the tax burdens have gotten too far out of whack. It's insane what a working Joe has to pay in property taxes up there.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:20 PM
 
2,506 posts, read 7,758,215 times
Reputation: 828
I don't think our tolling Northern taxes are hurting people who make minimum wage. Actually, they recieve tremendous social benefits from higher taxes. The social services are plainly better here than they would be in some right-to-work or tax haven state. Property taxes on a $80,000 dollar house in Northern Minnesota aren't going to be much, more than some other places, but still very cheap. The schools will be excellent, the cost of living low. You could still likely do something like that in whatever northern Minn. city you were referring to.
I just don't understand the orig. poster's anti-union sentiments. Unions are the only reason why someone could not go to college and make $30 an hour assembling a Ford.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:59 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 8,050,128 times
Reputation: 885
^Northern cities do tend to be more expensive, though. That's the bottom line. Higher taxes may not seem like a huge deal to people who can afford them, but for lower-income families, it can hurt financially. Northern cities just aren't very affordable...aside from taxes, there's also the insane costs of parking.

Small towns would be an exception, but the job markets in small towns tend to be lacking (especially right now), which makes them equally impractical.

I'd second the recommendation for KY. It's a very affordable state. Even in the major metro areas.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin
4,229 posts, read 15,411,537 times
Reputation: 2294
KY, and TN.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:34 PM
 
11,881 posts, read 32,920,559 times
Reputation: 8626
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshB View Post
KY, and TN.
Kentucky's tax burden is considerably higher than Tennessee's. The reason Kentucky seems so "affordable" is because the cost of living there is so much lower than other higher-tax states that the high tax rates in Kentucky still don't amount to much.

According to The Tax Foundation, here's how states stack up using state and local taxes (other lists rank states solely by state taxes and don't include all the various optional local taxes). The higher the ranking, the higher the over-all combined state and local tax burden:
  1. Vermont
  2. Maine
  3. New York
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Hawaii
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Ohio
  8. Connecticut
  9. Nebraska
  10. Minnesota
  11. California
  12. New Jersey
  13. Arkansas
  14. Kansas
  15. Michigan
  16. Washington
  17. Iowa
  18. Louisiana
  19. West Virginia
  20. North Carolina
  21. Maryland
  22. Kentucky
  23. Utah
  24. Illinois
  25. Pennsylvania
  26. Indiana
  27. South Carolina
  28. Massachusetts
  29. Mississippi
  30. Arizona
  31. Georgia
  32. Virginia
  33. Colorado
  34. Idaho
  35. Missouri
  36. Nevada
  37. Oregon
  38. Florida
  39. North Dakota
  40. New Mexico
  41. Montana
  42. Wyoming
  43. Texas
  44. Oklahoma
  45. South Dakota
  46. Alabama
  47. Delaware
  48. Tennessee
  49. New Hampshire
  50. Alaska

The entire report can be found here:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/335.html

Obviously there are more variables than a state's tax burden to determine if living in a particular state is more affordable than living in another state. But it's a good start.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:34 PM
 
1,604 posts, read 3,503,116 times
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Cities that no one gives a damn about anymore (if they ever did).
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin
4,229 posts, read 15,411,537 times
Reputation: 2294
Thats an interesting list JMT!
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:48 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 8,050,128 times
Reputation: 885
I'm surprised that NH is considered so affordable. I had always assumed that taxes would be high there.

I'm also surprised to see that Florida has such low taxes.
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