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Old 04-26-2014, 04:30 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,666 posts, read 8,955,753 times
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Montanans, Alaskans Say States Among Top Places to Live
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,884 posts, read 5,767,013 times
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No Question.

If you are tough enough to handle the cold, the isolation, the low wages, you are probably someone with a lot of self confidence and ability to take care of yourself, so you are where you want to be.

If you need a lot of entertainment venues, if your self worth is predicated by your paycheck, if you are annoyed by people that are proud of their state and culture, this is definitely not the place for you.

Montana IS the last Best Place.

Last edited by MTSilvertip; 04-26-2014 at 05:45 PM..
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
2,311 posts, read 3,595,481 times
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I lived in Helena from 1994 to the end of 2008. A little over 14 years of living in paradise until my job took me away.
Within the next ten years I will be back in Helena where I belong.

To answer the OP's question, for me, yes Montana is the best place to live.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,293 posts, read 3,327,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
No Question.

If you are tough enough to handle the cold, the isolation, the low wages, you are probably someone with a lot of self confidence and ability to take care of yourself, so you are where you want to be.

If you need a lot of entertainment venues, if your self worth is predicated by your paycheck, if you are annoyed by people that are proud of their state and culture, this is definitely not the place for you.

Montana IS the last Best Place.
.......ditto on the above!... My License plate holder says : THE LAST BEST PLACE!
Based on my job connected to Mining and Timber Industry in the 1950's and early '60's, I traveled extensivly (while living in CO) all through CO, ID, WY & UT, AK &B.C. Then in the late 60's & 1970's & 1980's, I also had to increase my contacts to include power plants and petrochemical operiations in AZ, NV, TX, CA, OR, & WA.
As a result of this very extensive travel (75% by car 25% by plane), I had the great opportunity to "check-out" many, many areas and towns that were in states that I really liked. I kept accurate notes on the locations and areas that I (and my wife) really were interested in...... By 1975 we had decided that the area around CDL, ID and the B.R. Valley, MT.,were our two top choices, based on our hobbies, interests, employment options, weather statistics and several other factors that were taken into consideration....... Found a piece of land that we loved in 1975 in the B.R. Valley......bought it in 1976.....and moved on to it in the spring of 1980 in an RV and took the next 11 months to build our home. After finishing building the house, I went back into the same type work I had been doing for the previous 25 year and continued the extensive travel until retirement in early 1994........after 40 years, I figured "I had Paid MY Dues", and and hung-it-up...for good..

AND YES.......In my opinion MONTANA IS THE LAST BEST PLACE>>>>>I WOULDN"T LIVE ANYWHERE ELSE
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:47 PM
 
297 posts, read 666,409 times
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YES! It's funny, me & the old man have been talking over the last year about retiring and wondering if some other state or region would be better for us. We've taken trips and looked at houses and tax situations and really thought about it and... decided we do not want to leave Montana.
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:22 PM
 
Location: 406
1,423 posts, read 1,536,248 times
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I'm very pleased to live where I do, having been born here and spent the bulk of my life in three of the state's Western counties. If Montana didn't offer my family and I an acceptable quality of life thus far, then we wouldn't be here. Simple.

Sadly, though, I say those things from a standpoint of perplexity, which stems from my feeling that Montana, at this point, is a place that has been very, very slow to establish a future for itself in the 21st century. This is a problem that, I believe, is mostly entrenched in a sometimes very isolated, self-defeating culture that encourages fear and resentment toward changes that are becoming increasingly necessary to the state's survival, and by that I'm referring to: Economic growth and diversification that doesn't limit Montana to dependence on agribusiness and energy development, along with, you'd better believe it, increased urbanization, both upward and outward, that can establish population centers attractive and economically viable enough to retain educated millennials in the state's workforce and attract others from outside of the state (I'm not kidding).

From one Montanan to other Montanans, may I please ask what the future holds for a state that already has one of the highest median ages in the country and simultaneously bleeds its millennial population with every passing year (we've done a pretty good job of attracting retirees and telecommuters, but is that really to our credit?) In what way are we a role-model of self-reliance when, no matter how you spin it, we're receiving more federal dollars from the national treasury than we've given, and, on the state-level, the fastest-growing "industry" may very well be bureaucratic state (and federal) services for an aging, low-income population? Should ambitious, growing businesses within our state and potential incoming industries not be apprehensive about our massive worker's comp payouts and business litigation risks? How long do we expect our population to accept sub-par wages and salaries when a greater sense of financial security can be found by simply stepping over the border into ID, WY, ND or SD? Financial security matters, folks, very much so, and in no way is that an overly materialistic notion.

So yeah, it really ain't looking all that pretty, my friends. We'll either wake up, confront our economic reality and kick ourselves in the a*s to change it, or we'll become pre-Bakken North Dakota in the next three decades. What's it going to be? For those of us who are poised to be in the workforce for the next 20-30 years, it might do us good to have an exit strategy (unfortunately, I've already contemplated one myself).

And although I may be painting a bleak picture here, I'm very much aware that Montana has a lot of potential, from west to east, it's definitely there. Montana has changed and grown in many ways (ask anyone over 30 from Billings, Bozeman, Missoula or Helena about that) in my own lifetime, and for the most part I've enjoyed seeing it. But what I fear being on the horizon is stagnation, if not perhaps decline, especially the longer we fail to establish a strong technology sector (Microsoft, for instance, is moving its new data center to Wyoming, in case anyone's wondering...)

Montana today is a product of a very complex and tumultuous history, I understand that, and while I do respect my home state for what it is, I also understand that, as far as the people go, I've long had a strong sense that far too many of us may be willfully frozen in a romanticized, if not at times mythological, time-space that is preventing us from achieving the sort of modernity that we should. Geography isn't an excuse anymore.

And on that note, my (hopefully not too patronizing) ramble shall come to a close.

And just so everyone knows, if you happen to know something I don't about a sunny future for Montana and its workforce, well, I assure you that I'd welcome being proven wrong.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:46 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,666 posts, read 8,955,753 times
Reputation: 10953
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montguy View Post
I'm very pleased to live where I do, having been born here and spent the bulk of my life in three of the state's Western counties. If Montana didn't offer my family and I an acceptable quality of life thus far, then we wouldn't be here. Simple.

Sadly, though, I say those things from a standpoint of perplexity, which stems from my feeling that Montana, at this point, is a place that has been very, very slow to establish a future for itself in the 21st century. This is a problem that, I believe, is mostly entrenched in a sometimes very isolated, self-defeating culture that encourages fear and resentment toward changes that are becoming increasingly necessary to the state's survival, and by that I'm referring to: Economic growth and diversification that doesn't limit Montana to dependence on agribusiness and energy development, along with, you'd better believe it, increased urbanization, both upward and outward, that can establish population centers attractive and economically viable enough to retain educated millennials in the state's workforce and attract others from outside of the state (I'm not kidding).

From one Montanan to other Montanans, may I please ask what the future holds for a state that already has one of the highest median ages in the country and simultaneously bleeds its millennial population with every passing year (we've done a pretty good job of attracting retirees and telecommuters, but is that really to our credit?) In what way are we a role-model of self-reliance when, no matter how you spin it, we're receiving more federal dollars from the national treasury than we've given, and, on the state-level, the fastest-growing "industry" may very well be bureaucratic state (and federal) services for an aging, low-income population? Should ambitious, growing businesses within our state and potential incoming industries not be apprehensive about our massive worker's comp payouts and business litigation risks? How long do we expect our population to accept sub-par wages and salaries when a greater sense of financial security can be found by simply stepping over the border into ID, WY, ND or SD? Financial security matters, folks, very much so, and in no way is that an overly materialistic notion.

So yeah, it really ain't looking all that pretty, my friends. We'll either wake up, confront our economic reality and kick ourselves in the a*s to change it, or we'll become pre-Bakken North Dakota in the next three decades. What's it going to be? For those of us who are poised to be in the workforce for the next 20-30 years, it might do us good to have an exit strategy (unfortunately, I've already contemplated one myself).

And although I may be painting a bleak picture here, I'm very much aware that Montana has a lot of potential, from west to east, it's definitely there. Montana has changed and grown in many ways (ask anyone over 30 from Billings, Bozeman, Missoula or Helena about that) in my own lifetime, and for the most part I've enjoyed seeing it. But what I fear being on the horizon is stagnation, if not perhaps decline, especially the longer we fail to establish a strong technology sector (Microsoft, for instance, is moving its new data center to Wyoming, in case anyone's wondering...)

Montana today is a product of a very complex and tumultuous history, I understand that, and while I do respect my home state for what it is, I also understand that, as far as the people go, I've long had a strong sense that far too many of us may be willfully frozen in a romanticized, if not at times mythological, time-space that is preventing us from achieving the sort of modernity that we should. Geography isn't an excuse anymore.

And on that note, my (hopefully not too patronizing) ramble shall come to a close.

And just so everyone knows, if you happen to know something I don't about a sunny future for Montana and its workforce, well, I assure you that I'd welcome being proven wrong.
This is all very well-stated. I am one of the ones who stepped across the border to Wyoming as I couldn't make it on the low wages. Montana indeed is a bleak place for a lot of people to live. I could not have stated the bolded paragraphs better myself.

By the way, where is the Microsoft data center moving to in Wyoming?
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:33 PM
 
28 posts, read 48,229 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montguy View Post
I'm very pleased to live where I do, having been born here and spent the bulk of my life in three of the state's Western counties. If Montana didn't offer my family and I an acceptable quality of life thus far, then we wouldn't be here. Simple.

Sadly, though, I say those things from a standpoint of perplexity, which stems from my feeling that Montana, at this point, is a place that has been very, very slow to establish a future for itself in the 21st century. This is a problem that, I believe, is mostly entrenched in a sometimes very isolated, self-defeating culture that encourages fear and resentment toward changes that are becoming increasingly necessary to the state's survival, and by that I'm referring to: Economic growth and diversification that doesn't limit Montana to dependence on agribusiness and energy development, along with, you'd better believe it, increased urbanization, both upward and outward, that can establish population centers attractive and economically viable enough to retain educated millennials in the state's workforce and attract others from outside of the state (I'm not kidding).

From one Montanan to other Montanans, may I please ask what the future holds for a state that already has one of the highest median ages in the country and simultaneously bleeds its millennial population with every passing year (we've done a pretty good job of attracting retirees and telecommuters, but is that really to our credit?) In what way are we a role-model of self-reliance when, no matter how you spin it, we're receiving more federal dollars from the national treasury than we've given, and, on the state-level, the fastest-growing "industry" may very well be bureaucratic state (and federal) services for an aging, low-income population? Should ambitious, growing businesses within our state and potential incoming industries not be apprehensive about our massive worker's comp payouts and business litigation risks? How long do we expect our population to accept sub-par wages and salaries when a greater sense of financial security can be found by simply stepping over the border into ID, WY, ND or SD? Financial security matters, folks, very much so, and in no way is that an overly materialistic notion.

So yeah, it really ain't looking all that pretty, my friends. We'll either wake up, confront our economic reality and kick ourselves in the a*s to change it, or we'll become pre-Bakken North Dakota in the next three decades. What's it going to be? For those of us who are poised to be in the workforce for the next 20-30 years, it might do us good to have an exit strategy (unfortunately, I've already contemplated one myself).

And although I may be painting a bleak picture here, I'm very much aware that Montana has a lot of potential, from west to east, it's definitely there. Montana has changed and grown in many ways (ask anyone over 30 from Billings, Bozeman, Missoula or Helena about that) in my own lifetime, and for the most part I've enjoyed seeing it. But what I fear being on the horizon is stagnation, if not perhaps decline, especially the longer we fail to establish a strong technology sector (Microsoft, for instance, is moving its new data center to Wyoming, in case anyone's wondering...)

Montana today is a product of a very complex and tumultuous history, I understand that, and while I do respect my home state for what it is, I also understand that, as far as the people go, I've long had a strong sense that far too many of us may be willfully frozen in a romanticized, if not at times mythological, time-space that is preventing us from achieving the sort of modernity that we should. Geography isn't an excuse anymore.

And on that note, my (hopefully not too patronizing) ramble shall come to a close.

And just so everyone knows, if you happen to know something I don't about a sunny future for Montana and its workforce, well, I assure you that I'd welcome being proven wrong.

Brilliant post!

I have lived most of my adult life in central Wyoming, and a little in Colorado (before the "boom"). My family goes back a long way in those parts--tough old ranchers and settlers. I've always considered the Rocky Mountain West as "home."

However, I've been in Eastern Washington State for the last eleven years. It's Nirvana, actually. I never thought I'd say that.

I just took a trip back to NW Montana. It was a sad place. What was even worse, was the fine folks of that city felt it was not only normal, but "better" than any other place. A dump of a city with ridiculous traffic (and I do mean ridiculous), junky streets filled with metal scrapyards, crummy-looking neighborhoods, crappy city planning, sky high housing costs and sorry wages, and no where to go because the whole friggin' valley is fenced off into tiny parcels. I couldn't even find a place to run my dog without driving an hour.

The arts are stifled, the places to wine and dine are relegated to yet another greasy spoon (hey, I like a greasy spoon joint--just not on every corner next to the requisite sh*t-hole casino on every corner), and there's a general sense of chaos. There was no sense of community, because everyone is too busy being " tough, independent spirits."

There are HUGE $$ in Montana, beyond huge, actually. Yeah. How's that "trickle down" working for y'all?

Edit to add: I'm an educated professional, but will not invest in Montana long term because of precisely what you've laid out--the return on investment (on so many levels) is at this point looking forward, a questionable investment.

Last edited by twoponies; 04-27-2014 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,884 posts, read 5,767,013 times
Reputation: 8257
If you live in eastern Washington, how does your view count as far as how Montanan's feel about Montana?

My views on Washington would be just as irrelevant on a poll asking how Washingtoners felt about their state.

I must admit I was surprised that WyoEagle was the one to start this thread as that poster has never made any bones about having issues with Montana that didn't align with what they thought was important, (mainly high wages) and I had thought this was probably a troll thread to try and pick fights or to encourage others living outside Montana to post what is wrong with the state in their view.
The jury is still out on this in my view.

Alaska also scored very high, and also has many of the same problems Montana does, limits imposed by the feds on using what we have to make a better life here.

Every time we try to make the jobs here, we get shut down in court. See the power plant in Great Falls, the attacks on coal, mining and timber production.

Because of our geographical location, shipping is expensive, so although we have the qualified people and raw materials, everything is shipped out to states closer to shipping to be manufactured into value added products instead of being made here.

Don't try to start a manufacturing business here, you will get hit with lawsuits until you don't have any more money to fight.

This is a playground for the rich and shameless, and a dumping ground for trustifarians so they don't embarrass their rich folks back home anymore.

In spite of that, People that can survive here have a deep pride in their history and tradition of self reliance. They are proud they don't all buckle under to special interest groups like the eco-terrorists, that they refuse to leave no matter what the out of state interests do, including infesting the place with wolves to try and destroy the wildlife for the hunting industry, and the livestock of the ranchers.

Montanan's are a proud, independent people that don't like others telling them what they should do or believe.

Yes, outside city limits and reservation borders, this is a very conservative state. We work hard, but earn what we have. We struggle against the climate and outside forces every day just to keep what we have and try to earn a living in spite of that.

Montanan's have a very special bond with the land. It shapes us, it tests us, it strengthens and inspires us, and yes, regularly, it tries to kill us, but because we live close to our land, it's very precious to us, and we are one with the land.

Yes we are proud of our land and our state, there's a lot to be proud of. No it isn't a place for everyone, the living here can be harsh and unforgiving, but at the same time it is what makes the people strong and willing to work hard and help their neighbors with whatever they have to give.

If you bad mouth, complain or whine, you won't find a lot of acceptance. You have to hold yourself to a much higher standard to simply survive here.
When you put down the state, the natives and those that have moved here to become Montanan's will take offense, but usually instead of a punch in the nose, you are simply ignored, and you will find it a very lonely place to live.

Montana is a very small community connected by a lot of roads. Although the state has several diverse regions with very different people living there, we are all Montanan's, and proud of it.

If anyone doesn't like that, tough. You can have your museums of modern art, Nothing beats the alpenglow on the mountains at sunrise for beauty.

You can have your snails and overpriced tidbits on a fancy plate served by snooty waiters in tuxedos and the high priced fermented grape juice, I'll take fresh elk steaks cooked over a campfire with a cold bottle of beer chilled in a mountain stream over that anytime.

If you don't like what this state has to offer in beauty, grandeur, in honest hard working people doing anything they can to survive, if you don't like that you are more likely to find chicken fried steak in a restaurant instead of haute cuisine, if you don't like having to share a café with men and women with cow manure on their boots instead of French perfume on their earlobes, then don't come here.

You'll be happier, and we won't miss you.

Montana IS the LAST BEST PLACE, and we are lucky enough to realize that. You stay where you are happy, and we will all be better off.

If you started appreciating your state instead of worrying about mine, then perhaps you would rank higher on that poll
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:16 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,666 posts, read 8,955,753 times
Reputation: 10953
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
If you live in eastern Washington, how does your view count as far as how Montanan's feel about Montana?

My views on Washington would be just as irrelevant on a poll asking how Washingtoners felt about their state.

I must admit I was surprised that WyoEagle was the one to start this thread as that poster has never made any bones about having issues with Montana that didn't align with what they thought was important, (mainly high wages) and I had thought this was probably a troll thread to try and pick fights or to encourage others living outside Montana to post what is wrong with the state in their view.
The jury is still out on this in my view.

Alaska also scored very high, and also has many of the same problems Montana does, limits imposed by the feds on using what we have to make a better life here.

Every time we try to make the jobs here, we get shut down in court. See the power plant in Great Falls, the attacks on coal, mining and timber production.

Because of our geographical location, shipping is expensive, so although we have the qualified people and raw materials, everything is shipped out to states closer to shipping to be manufactured into value added products instead of being made here.

Don't try to start a manufacturing business here, you will get hit with lawsuits until you don't have any more money to fight.

This is a playground for the rich and shameless, and a dumping ground for trustifarians so they don't embarrass their rich folks back home anymore.

In spite of that, People that can survive here have a deep pride in their history and tradition of self reliance. They are proud they don't all buckle under to special interest groups like the eco-terrorists, that they refuse to leave no matter what the out of state interests do, including infesting the place with wolves to try and destroy the wildlife for the hunting industry, and the livestock of the ranchers.

Montanan's are a proud, independent people that don't like others telling them what they should do or believe.

Yes, outside city limits and reservation borders, this is a very conservative state. We work hard, but earn what we have. We struggle against the climate and outside forces every day just to keep what we have and try to earn a living in spite of that.

Montanan's have a very special bond with the land. It shapes us, it tests us, it strengthens and inspires us, and yes, regularly, it tries to kill us, but because we live close to our land, it's very precious to us, and we are one with the land.

Yes we are proud of our land and our state, there's a lot to be proud of. No it isn't a place for everyone, the living here can be harsh and unforgiving, but at the same time it is what makes the people strong and willing to work hard and help their neighbors with whatever they have to give.

If you bad mouth, complain or whine, you won't find a lot of acceptance. You have to hold yourself to a much higher standard to simply survive here.
When you put down the state, the natives and those that have moved here to become Montanan's will take offense, but usually instead of a punch in the nose, you are simply ignored, and you will find it a very lonely place to live.

Montana is a very small community connected by a lot of roads. Although the state has several diverse regions with very different people living there, we are all Montanan's, and proud of it.

If anyone doesn't like that, tough. You can have your museums of modern art, Nothing beats the alpenglow on the mountains at sunrise for beauty.

You can have your snails and overpriced tidbits on a fancy plate served by snooty waiters in tuxedos and the high priced fermented grape juice, I'll take fresh elk steaks cooked over a campfire with a cold bottle of beer chilled in a mountain stream over that anytime.

If you don't like what this state has to offer in beauty, grandeur, in honest hard working people doing anything they can to survive, if you don't like that you are more likely to find chicken fried steak in a restaurant instead of haute cuisine, if you don't like having to share a café with men and women with cow manure on their boots instead of French perfume on their earlobes, then don't come here.

You'll be happier, and we won't miss you.

Montana IS the LAST BEST PLACE, and we are lucky enough to realize that. You stay where you are happy, and we will all be better off.

If you started appreciating your state instead of worrying about mine, then perhaps you would rank higher on that poll
I can assure you this was just meant to be a civil discussion on an article I found interesting that I thought people on this forum would also. So far it's been a civil discussion.
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