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Old 12-17-2008, 08:09 AM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 31,807,002 times
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i'm being honest, but ppl i know who have moved south have done it for a lower COL, no more, no less.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:12 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,127 posts, read 35,134,347 times
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Why? Better quality of life.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 69,484,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, yeah. I'm a Chicago guy living in Birmingham now. One thing I've discovered is that most of my erstwhile Northern counterparts draw almost all of their conclusions based on old reruns of In The Heat Of The Night, the one-day drive on Interstates on the way to Disney World, or the bullet points handed them by their local union representative.

I've lived in Chicago, Cleveland, Baltimore and San Diego. Yes, the cost of living here is considerably lower. However, the big difference is in taxation. At the same time Southerners seem to be far more efficient with their tax dollars. I live in a very nice suburb with a school system that's ranked in the top 20 of all public school systems in the country. Further, within ten minutes of my house are two other public high schools that have, in recent years, both achieved a #1 ranking by USN&WR for the quality of the schools. Just the other night, a tree fell from my property into the street at 2 a.m. The city had the tree cleared off the road by 2:30, and were cheerful about doing it.

Yet, my property taxes are less than half what we had to pay in Chicago. The garbage gets picked up, the police and fire departments respond quickly and courteously, and the potholes get filled. The biggest shock was the first couple of weeks after moving here and we called somebody in the local government about a problem with our recycling pickup. The person on the other end of the line, "Why, sir, we'll have somebody out there right away." And they DID. Try getting that response up north.

Further, as another poster noted correctly, the wage gap has closed almost to the point of being nonexistent. For example, the per capita income in Alabama is due to exceed that of Michigan's in 2009, with a lower level of taxation to boot.

I've also found that most good-sized Southern cities have plenty of amenities, whether cultural, shopping, or whatever else. While Birmingham certainly isn't Chicago in terms of offerings, it's actually pretty respectable. What's more, I don't have to kill myself to get tickets to quality events. Yes, shows sell out, but it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to get in, either. I have my tickets to see Yo-Yo Ma come April and I didn't have to get on a waiting list or put my name into a lottery to get them. What's more, I live two miles from one of the country's top five restaurants, according to Gourmet Magazine. Yet, I can pick up a phone and get reservations for a table for two tonight with my wife--something that would have been impossible back in Chicago unless one had serious pull with the maitre'd.

I think the lifestyle is also very important here. I wouldn't say it's any slower here than elsewhere, but I would say it's more relaxed. People are much more polite and less confrontational and pushy. This, too, was kind of a shock when we first moved here. Now, it's really jarring when I go back home to visit. I find myself wanting to tell snotty sales clerks in my hometown, "Is that attitude really necessary?"

What's more, I've noticed Southerners tend to be far more people-oriented. It is not unusual to see total strangers have meaningful conversations in the checkout line of a grocery store. Further, Southerners can be pretty embracing people. All you have to do is step out of your own comfort zone and work to make friends. I'm always amazed at people who move here and call Southerners aloof and unfriendly. I always think, "Hello? Are we talking the same part of the country here?" That being said, I think those northerners who struggle when moving here are the ones who expect the culture to be precisely the same as the one they left behind in Illinois or Connecticut. Southerners do not like being told how to live by people who just moved here. And I really can't blame them for that.

What's more, the economy is moving quite well. For example, my city has one of the country's lowest unemployment rates, and there is a great deal of industrial location. Having dealt with relocating firms, I can tell you that it's not chiefly about low wages--for, again, the income gap has shrunk to an almost imperceptible level. Instead, it's the total cost of doing business, from the labor laws to the cost of energy to the business taxes. Michigan, for example, reacted to the slide in manufacturing by hiking business taxes a few years back. Can anybody possibly explain that to me?

Yes, Southerners are indeed more politically conservative. However, I believe that label is a little misleading. Southerners are actually less in-your-face about their politics than elsewhere, and tend to be more libertarian than anything--which probably explains their strong economic growth over the past two decades. Remember that the South used to have the most strongly statist economies in the country up until the 1970s and early 80s, which might explain why they were the country's economic laggards for so long. The political philosophy of the South changed, and their economic dynamism changed along with it. And, to dispel another canard, Southerners are not browbeating you to go to church with them. We've been asked once or twice by random people, politely declined, and still enjoyed a fine relationship with those people afterwards. But if a tree falls in your yard or you've had car trouble, somebody is going to drop what they're doing and help you. And that's something that's hard to put into words.

Finally, when we moved here, we expected race relations to follow the script of Mississippi Burning. It just was nothing like that. In fact, I would offer that things are more harmonious than they are up north. No, it's not because blacks have been put in their place, given that I work with blacks and whites everyday in positions of responsibility and management. I just think the races down here got it out of their system in the 60s and realized that they have to work together.

So, in my long, rambling essay, I think the South has become a really attractive place to live--and not just for the warmer temperatures. My wife had to be dragged onto the plane for my job interview here, and now refuses to ever leave here again. My friends all made fun of us for moving here, making the predictable jokes about pick-up trucks and improper relations between relatives. Now, two different couples live within five miles of us, and a third is flying down in January to start looking at houses.
Youre talking about an entire state that has only a slight bit more people than only the city of Chicago itself. Gee, thats real fair. Maybe that has something to do with better service? Ya think? Bring your little beloved recycling company from Birmingham and plop them down to a vastly larger customer base in Chicago and see what happens to their "service". Move out to a small northern community and IM sure youll find the exact kind of service you think only exists down south. But hey, if the weather is the slightest bit inclement here, at least you know theyll still show up, rather than tuck tail and run like they do down south.

To be honest, when I lived down south (TN), my experiences were VASTLY different than yours. The work ethic down south is laughable. Noone wanted to do anything, especially in summer. Lifestyles were hideously slow, including those who were on the job. Customer service? HA! And its funny you mention couples flying down to look at houses, my buddy is moving back up from GA, Ive relocated from TN, and my neighbor hasnt been here long from NC. Ive got family also living in TN who finally saw the light when they visited CHicagoland here a few years ago. Once theyre done with the military, guess where theyre heading? You should have seen their eyes and heard their voices when we drove them around here, its like they were lifted out of the dark ages. I know the feeling, I was trapped down south for awhile, too. And Im glad your experiences have been better than mine, but mine were bad enough and left such a sour taste that I will NEVER go back but to visit. Too slow, too hot, too unmotivated for me.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:13 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
15,470 posts, read 25,471,052 times
Reputation: 8936
I like how Steve-O's post just exemplifies what cpg35223 was talking about:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
That being said, I think those northerners who struggle when moving here are the ones who expect the culture to be precisely the same as the one they left behind in Illinois or Connecticut. Southerners do not like being told how to live by people who just moved here.

I think the lifestyle is also very important here. I wouldn't say it's any slower here than elsewhere, but I would say it's more relaxed. People are much more polite and less confrontational and pushy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
To be honest, when I lived down south (TN), my experiences were VASTLY different than yours. The work ethic down south is laughable. Noone wanted to do anything, especially in summer. Lifestyles were hideously slow, including those who were on the job. Customer service? HA! And its funny you mention couples flying down to look at houses, my buddy is moving back up from GA, Ive relocated from TN, and my neighbor hasnt been here long from NC. Ive got family also living in TN who finally saw the light when they visited CHicagoland here a few years ago. Once theyre done with the military, guess where theyre heading? You should have seen their eyes and heard their voices when we drove them around here, its like they were lifted out of the dark ages. I know the feeling, I was trapped down south for awhile, too. And Im glad your experiences have been better than mine, but mine were bad enough and left such a sour taste that I will NEVER go back but to visit. Too slow, too hot, too unmotivated for me.
The South is different b/c it IS the South, some people will never be able to adjust anywhere outside of their hometown comfort zone.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
7,481 posts, read 10,101,667 times
Reputation: 5936
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, yeah. I'm a Chicago guy living in Birmingham now. One thing I've discovered is that most of my erstwhile Northern counterparts draw almost all of their conclusions based on old reruns of In The Heat Of The Night, the one-day drive on Interstates on the way to Disney World, or the bullet points handed them by their local union representative.

I've lived in Chicago, Cleveland, Baltimore and San Diego. Yes, the cost of living here is considerably lower. However, the big difference is in taxation. At the same time Southerners seem to be far more efficient with their tax dollars. I live in a very nice suburb with a school system that's ranked in the top 20 of all public school systems in the country. Further, within ten minutes of my house are two other public high schools that have, in recent years, both achieved a #1 ranking by USN&WR for the quality of the schools. Just the other night, a tree fell from my property into the street at 2 a.m. The city had the tree cleared off the road by 2:30, and were cheerful about doing it.

Yet, my property taxes are less than half what we had to pay in Chicago. The garbage gets picked up, the police and fire departments respond quickly and courteously, and the potholes get filled. The biggest shock was the first couple of weeks after moving here and we called somebody in the local government about a problem with our recycling pickup. The person on the other end of the line, "Why, sir, we'll have somebody out there right away." And they DID. Try getting that response up north.

Further, as another poster noted correctly, the wage gap has closed almost to the point of being nonexistent. For example, the per capita income in Alabama is due to exceed that of Michigan's in 2009, with a lower level of taxation to boot.

I've also found that most good-sized Southern cities have plenty of amenities, whether cultural, shopping, or whatever else. While Birmingham certainly isn't Chicago in terms of offerings, it's actually pretty respectable. What's more, I don't have to kill myself to get tickets to quality events. Yes, shows sell out, but it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to get in, either. I have my tickets to see Yo-Yo Ma come April and I didn't have to get on a waiting list or put my name into a lottery to get them. What's more, I live two miles from one of the country's top five restaurants, according to Gourmet Magazine. Yet, I can pick up a phone and get reservations for a table for two tonight with my wife--something that would have been impossible back in Chicago unless one had serious pull with the maitre'd.

I think the lifestyle is also very important here. I wouldn't say it's any slower here than elsewhere, but I would say it's more relaxed. People are much more polite and less confrontational and pushy. This, too, was kind of a shock when we first moved here. Now, it's really jarring when I go back home to visit. I find myself wanting to tell snotty sales clerks in my hometown, "Is that attitude really necessary?"

What's more, I've noticed Southerners tend to be far more people-oriented. It is not unusual to see total strangers have meaningful conversations in the checkout line of a grocery store. Further, Southerners can be pretty embracing people. All you have to do is step out of your own comfort zone and work to make friends. I'm always amazed at people who move here and call Southerners aloof and unfriendly. I always think, "Hello? Are we talking the same part of the country here?" That being said, I think those northerners who struggle when moving here are the ones who expect the culture to be precisely the same as the one they left behind in Illinois or Connecticut. Southerners do not like being told how to live by people who just moved here. And I really can't blame them for that.

What's more, the economy is moving quite well. For example, my city has one of the country's lowest unemployment rates, and there is a great deal of industrial location. Having dealt with relocating firms, I can tell you that it's not chiefly about low wages--for, again, the income gap has shrunk to an almost imperceptible level. Instead, it's the total cost of doing business, from the labor laws to the cost of energy to the business taxes. Michigan, for example, reacted to the slide in manufacturing by hiking business taxes a few years back. Can anybody possibly explain that to me?

Yes, Southerners are indeed more politically conservative. However, I believe that label is a little misleading. Southerners are actually less in-your-face about their politics than elsewhere, and tend to be more libertarian than anything--which probably explains their strong economic growth over the past two decades. Remember that the South used to have the most strongly statist economies in the country up until the 1970s and early 80s, which might explain why they were the country's economic laggards for so long. The political philosophy of the South changed, and their economic dynamism changed along with it. And, to dispel another canard, Southerners are not browbeating you to go to church with them. We've been asked once or twice by random people, politely declined, and still enjoyed a fine relationship with those people afterwards. But if a tree falls in your yard or you've had car trouble, somebody is going to drop what they're doing and help you. And that's something that's hard to put into words.

Finally, when we moved here, we expected race relations to follow the script of Mississippi Burning. It just was nothing like that. In fact, I would offer that things are more harmonious than they are up north. No, it's not because blacks have been put in their place, given that I work with blacks and whites everyday in positions of responsibility and management. I just think the races down here got it out of their system in the 60s and realized that they have to work together.

So, in my long, rambling essay, I think the South has become a really attractive place to live--and not just for the warmer temperatures. My wife had to be dragged onto the plane for my job interview here, and now refuses to ever leave here again. My friends all made fun of us for moving here, making the predictable jokes about pick-up trucks and improper relations between relatives. Now, two different couples live within five miles of us, and a third is flying down in January to start looking at houses.
Finally! Someone who sees life in the south the way I have always experienced it. Being southern myself, it shows a little bias when I am making these points. Nice to see someone not originally from the south make these statements. I know plenty of people in B'ham, Atlanta and Dallas that are from northern areas that have your same viewpoint.

I went to Samford, sounds like you are in Homewood, Mt. Brook or Vestavia. Some of the nicest suburbs anywhere in America, IMO.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:17 PM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,810,702 times
Reputation: 46078
Quote:
Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
I like how Steve-O's post just exemplifies what cpg35223 was talking about:


The South is different b/c it IS the South, some people will never be able to adjust anywhere outside of their hometown comfort zone.
Probably right. Of course, he's so abrasive and self-important, no wonder he had a bad experience down here. And I'm not sure where in Tennessee he lived, but customer experience is way better here than what we were used to up North. I'm guessing that Steve-O probably said the wrong thing as usual, which resulted in him getting the slowest possible service, in true passive-aggressive Southern style. What's more, all you have to do is look at the people moving down South versus the people moving up North to see which part of the country is gaining the economic upper hand.

Last edited by cpg35223; 12-17-2008 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:45 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,127 posts, read 35,134,347 times
Reputation: 15366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintmarks View Post
Finally! Someone who sees life in the south the way I have always experienced it. Being southern myself, it shows a little bias when I am making these points. Nice to see someone not originally from the south make these statements. I know plenty of people in B'ham, Atlanta and Dallas that are from northern areas that have your same viewpoint.

I went to Samford, sounds like you are in Homewood, Mt. Brook or Vestavia. Some of the nicest suburbs anywhere in America, IMO.
ITA...you should also sing the praises of your alma mater...a beautiful campus.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:58 PM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,810,702 times
Reputation: 46078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintmarks View Post
Finally! Someone who sees life in the south the way I have always experienced it. Being southern myself, it shows a little bias when I am making these points. Nice to see someone not originally from the south make these statements. I know plenty of people in B'ham, Atlanta and Dallas that are from northern areas that have your same viewpoint.

I went to Samford, sounds like you are in Homewood, Mt. Brook or Vestavia. Some of the nicest suburbs anywhere in America, IMO.
Mountain Brook, in fact. Heaven on earth, if you ask me.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Way upstate NY - Where the snow flys
1,130 posts, read 1,361,383 times
Reputation: 1217
I don't see any major advantage FOR ME in living in the south as opposed to the north. I happen to like our four distinct season including winter - having just finished snow blowing the drive and shoveling the decks. I considered moving south for retiremnt and spent a fair amount of time in the Roanoke, Richmond, Lynchburb and Charlottsville areas. I didn't really notice a difference in people. I think the distinct difference between north and south is the weather and I don't like the souths heat or high humidity. I don't mind the cold at all. I'll stay up north thank you! Each to their own.
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:57 PM
 
6,046 posts, read 10,067,122 times
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Weather is a very good reason to move South. You're guaranteed to like something about the South, and the rest is what you make of it. If you're determined to like the South, you will. The people that complain about the South are people that never should have moved South in the first place.
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