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Old 07-12-2014, 05:06 PM
 
9,011 posts, read 8,817,821 times
Reputation: 14447

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Well... You moved from the surburbs, didn't you?

Your complaint has nothing to do with Montana, it has to do with urban vs rural cultural difference.

Rural lifestyle is vastly different. There is no "dating scene", nobody knows that that is. You meet people where people are... work, church, school. Nobody has money for "social gathering spots". And even if they did, they likely would not spend it that way.

People form their permanent relationships young. It's only the rare person who chases a career and waits until they are in their mid to late 20's to look for that other half. You start your life together younger and work through whatever it is your future plans are - together.

Pay is low because there's simply no way to pay more. Most employers struggle to pay what they do. The economy is based on production of value - not the accumulation of money - like the cities often do. And there's not that much value in the production of lumber, beef, or in mining. And even if there is, the costs are high. Everyone has to bust their backsides for every cent they earn. It comes dearly and it's spent just as dearly.

Yes, people seem "clique-ish". Some are. Many simply don't have room in their lives for people who just consume their time. They struggle to maintain long or old friendships when they have the chance to associate only from time to time. Leisure time is limited, and money for leisure that costs is in even less supply.

And these things are true, no matter WHAT part of rural America you go to.

So, if you can't live in an environment like this, or it's miserable, leave. Don't cling to a job with benefits and be miserable. It isn't going to change, because it's a product of being a producer society, not a rent-seeking society, meaning the wealth has to be produced in order for there to be any. Other places accumulate or profit off the wealth created by those in places like this and money is 'easy' by comparison.

On the other hand, I lived in cities and in far reaches of [b]"middle of nowhere", and after experiencing both, I'll choose the rural life every day of my entire life. I detest the phony, plastic, painted on society of the city. I detest the endless rush of anonymous people who care nothing but for their next dollar and promotion and climbing the social ladder. Those people who scrape long and hard for every dollar... are often vastly more generous than those who have much. I was once a 21 year old, living on my own in Phoenix. And I wanted nothing more than to head back to the wilds of rural NW Montana. I would have moved back many times since then, but there was no way to earn a living there and afford to raise my family.
Now, they're adults, oldest are your age, and they would probably think like you. So much more the loss...

I'm in a Chicago suburb now, and I can barely stand that I have 4-5 years more of this urban hell. But if you love this culture, move to it. I did learn one lesson... Doing something you dislike, or living where you don't like, merely for money, is absolutely NOT a viable lifestyle.
Great post- I agree.......this is very, very accurate.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:48 PM
 
9,470 posts, read 6,248,322 times
Reputation: 2169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montguy View Post
Actually, contrary to my assumption, the OP doesn't live in the "urban place" right now; he lives in one of the most desolate areas of the state where, I think, many outsiders from his age-group and with his social preferences would feel very isolated geographically and perhaps a little bit ostracized socially. Not every small town in Montana would be like this, but the state can have visible differences from region to region, and I'm not just referring to geography.

And being that your experience with actually living in Montana occurred more than 30 years ago in a very remote corner of the state, it's only that much harder to think your understanding of Montana and it's younger population in the "urban" areas is very, might we say, "modern".
I'm sorry, but people have not changed much at all. Nor has rural Montana. The specific activities may, but there's nothing really different now. The attitudes haven't changed much, the want of younger people to be entertained by their environment and peers.. Not changed at all.


Quote:
Again, having no personal experience as a young person in any of Montana's large towns/small cities in this century (or the last one, I suppose), you can't credibly insist that *none* of the OP's social preferences exist here. No, Montana doesn't have a Portland, but it does have a Billings, a Bozeman and a Missoula.
I never said there were "none". I said they were vastly more limited to very small areas in MT, than say, in Illinois. In a very large state, with a lot of open space.

Quote:
Montanans on the younger end of the spectrum often prefer these towns (if they remain in the state, that is), even if they don't move to them with educational ambitions.

Why, in your estimation, could this possibly be the case?
I alluded to it above. The want of being entertained by their peers, relationships and a definite pursut of a little old fashioned hedonism.



Quote:
Look, if the OP unwaveringly hates Montana, then by all means, there's more than one way out of here.

I don't fundamentally take any issue with whatever choice this guy makes, I'm just telling a different side of a similar story based on circumstances I can relate to on a few levels, and my advice to him runs counter to yours; that yes, he can change his location and escape some or most of the issues he's had during his time here. He won't find perfection anywhere he goes, and that's where is mindset may need to change.

Anyway, point being, you're still wrong.
Whether I'm right or wrong, it will be he who makes all the decisions that end up being made and it is he will who will decide to take your advice, mine, or neither.

Quote:
Hmm, it seems that inasmuch as you're "all for" economic growth, you more or less accept the tired old canard that it's unrealistic for Montanans to think they can have it (besides, poverty and stagnation build character, right?!).
Huh? What gives you that idea?

Quote:
Tell me something, pnw, if your experience in Montana was the best life you could've hoped for as a teenager (something that clearly influences your positive perceptions of it currently), then why, if I'm not being too invasive, didn't you return permanently in your adult life a long time ago?
Because the life I knew ended permanently. There was no going back. Every last one of my peers left, though not all at the same time. The lives we had ended and never returned. And never will, unless a political revolution comes to this country. There is not and never has been again, a way to earn a living there. Everyone there is now a retiree, a property owner who profits from what he owns (and property is in extremely limited supply... those who have, have, there's no more left with the means to earn a living from it), or collects a paycheck from outside the area.

Quote:
Was, ahem, your salary at least one determining factor? There must be some set of circumstances concerning your economic health as an individual that have led you to the distant suburbia (and other locations before that, correct?) from which you tell me what is and isn't realistic for a place that I, frankly, am a little more familiar with.
Actually, when I became an adult, I lived the majority in a town of 800 people, our out of town entirely, and worked for a pittance for many years, and then struggled to earn a living from my own venture. Many of those years we stayed in our rural area with the wife travelling now and then to other places to earn additional money so we could stay.

Quote:
Now, moving on, you're completely incorrect that Bakken development would provide growth only for the immediate eastern-most region of Montana. Are you going to suggest that ND's boom has been beneficial only for Williston and Dickinson? Bakken wealth is impacting the state all the way to Fargo (and just think, Billings is closer to the Bakken formation than Fargo). Increasing a state's GDP doesn't only benefit three or four counties.
Then tell me how you think it will transform the local economy of White Sulphur Springs, Ennis, Malta, or Libby? Whitehall? Noxon? Rexford? Mind you, I never said it has no effect, I said it will cause serious growth there... but it's reach will be limited. Yes, the state may have more money to pave roads nicer, etc, but fundamentally transform? Not even close. Each will still have and be just what they are today, with the transformation occurring in the area directly affected. It will have NEGATIVE effects on some areas, by accelerating depopulation. I'm not against doing it, I just don't don't have any pie in the sky dreams it will transform the state. Nor would I wish it to.

Quote:
But, however, not every community in Montana will have immediate growth opportunities from energy development to expand the economic pie for their own part, so, they have to explore other possibilities... That's where high-tech must come into play, and no, it's not at all an unfeasible notion considering the numerous options such a huge industry offers, from computer science to biotechnology, never mind that the development of a strong energy-based economy in the East would demand high-tech skills and labor in close proximity.

If Montana offers the right business incentives, then business will come. People can evade that fact all they want, but that's the truth, period. The BS about geography doesn't apply anymore.
Oh, yes it does.

Quote:
Well, of course a member of the so-called 1% would choose Western Montana over ND, for many reasons, actually, not least of which has to do with the fact that Montana is a nice place for Moneyman to be rich, and North Dakota is a nice place for No-money an to get rich. Think about it.

And the Republican Party had ample opportunity to attempt the creation of a pro-growth environment in Montana through much of the 90s and early 2000s. They didn't. Care to explain why?
As I said, Montana has the best laws other people's money can buy.


Quote:
Nobody said that, and that's because it isn't true. The problem is that a lot of Montanans have accepted the consequences of historical isolationist mentality from their neighbors, as well as inaction from their representatives in state and local governments, as simply being the way it is, and if it's a problem for you, then, well, "get out".
The lack of ability to see your hometown transformed is not an isolated problem, nor is it unique in any way to Montana (or even worse than elsewhere), nor is it anything but normal human nature. The number of "visionaries" who transformed a country (region, state, etc) are few, and most of those were for worse, not better.

Quote:
That comment was inspired by the fact that, as I clearly stated, Montana doesn't need another slew of 50 and 60-somethings showing up post-retirement. Our demographics don't favor this, even if the outflow of young people from Montana actually seems to be in the early stages of reversal (Due to what? Could it be...employment opportunities in the Bakken? Yeah, pretty much).
Wow... Back to the single size pie mentality. And you were critical of others up above, yet your attitude is worse than those you critcize here. Come on, think about these things. People with money to spend are not something to hate away.

Besides, I'm not a retiree. I and my wife expect to have to work productively for many years, probably up to just before we expire our ticket on this earthly vale of tears. Stop assuming so much.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:27 PM
 
Location: 406
1,423 posts, read 1,653,281 times
Reputation: 1414
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
I'm sorry, but people have not changed much at all. Nor has rural Montana. The specific activities may, but there's nothing really different now. The attitudes haven't changed much, the want of younger people to be entertained by their environment and peers.. Not changed at all.
Well, you know, it really is time for me to concede this point to the guy who spent four years in Lincoln County.

In the 70s.

Next to that kind of broad and intimate experience, what the hell would I know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
I never said there were "none". I said they were vastly more limited to very small areas in MT, than say, in Illinois. In a very large state, with a lot of open space.
Ten counties, eight of them in the Western side of the state but none truly located on the Hi-Line, hold almost 2/3 of the state's population as of 2010. These "small areas" are where you'll find most of the people, many of whom would be the OP's peers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
I alluded to it above. The want of being entertained by their peers, relationships and a definite pursut of a little old fashioned hedonism.
Peer entertainment, particularly in the relationships department, seems to be what the OP is lacking wherever he lives. If Montanans can find this by changing communities within the state if they wish, then so can he. End of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Huh? What gives you that idea?
Your implication that Montana can have no other prospects aside from energy extraction was very clear, albeit misguided and ridiculous. Review the comment which I responded to if you don't recall that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Because the life I knew ended permanently. There was no going back. Every last one of my peers left, though not all at the same time. The lives we had ended and never returned. And never will, unless a political revolution comes to this country. There is not and never has been again, a way to earn a living there. Everyone there is now a retiree, a property owner who profits from what he owns (and property is in extremely limited supply... those who have, have, there's no more left with the means to earn a living from it), or collects a paycheck from outside the area.
Cool, so let's write off just about any suggestion that this situation could be reversed in the long-term for the state as whole. The issues you've mentioned here are in no way unique to Lincoln County, but I'm sure you know this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Actually, when I became an adult, I lived the majority in a town of 800 people, our out of town entirely, and worked for a pittance for many years, and then struggled to earn a living from my own venture. Many of those years we stayed in our rural area with the wife travelling now and then to other places to earn additional money so we could stay.
Well, when someone actually moves to a Chicago suburb without the pull-factor of being from there, I have to scratch my head. Maybe it's just a Montana thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Then tell me how you think it will transform the local economy of White Sulphur Springs, Ennis, Malta, or Libby? Whitehall? Noxon? Rexford? Mind you, I never said it has no effect, I said it will cause serious growth there... but it's reach will be limited. Yes, the state may have more money to pave roads nicer, etc, but fundamentally transform? Not even close. Each will still have and be just what they are today, with the transformation occurring in the area directly affected. It will have NEGATIVE effects on some areas, by accelerating depopulation. I'm not against doing it, I just don't don't have any pie in the sky dreams it will transform the state. Nor would I wish it to.
Western Montana's needs and options aren't the same as those we can identify in the East. While many rural communities in Eastern Montana have plenty of opportunity for growth under conditions where energy development can occur to its potential, this isn't going to be the case in the West so much.

I can't really tell you which communities will win and which ones won't--we would have to let the market answer those questions, at least in the beginning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Oh, yes it does.
Familiarize yourself with the concept of technology, and then we'll discuss this a little bit more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
As I said, Montana has the best laws other people's money can buy.
I agree. We might want to change this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
The lack of ability to see your hometown transformed is not an isolated problem, nor is it unique in any way to Montana (or even worse than elsewhere), nor is it anything but normal human nature. The number of "visionaries" who transformed a country (region, state, etc) are few, and most of those were for worse, not better.
This would usually be a matter of opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Wow... Back to the single size pie mentality. And you were critical of others up above, yet your attitude is worse than those you critcize here. Come on, think about these things. People with money to spend are not something to hate away.

Besides, I'm not a retiree. I and my wife expect to have to work productively for many years, probably up to just before we expire our ticket on this earthly vale of tears. Stop assuming so much.
I know you aren't a retiree.

The point I've been trying to make is that, because Montana has suffered such a brain-drain of its young workforce members for many years now, it doesn't, with regard to demographics, work to the state's benefit to become "grayer".

So, you can imagine I was pretty glad to discover this:

http://billingsgazette.com/news/stat...0c91013d7.html
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:12 PM
 
9,470 posts, read 6,248,322 times
Reputation: 2169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montguy View Post
Well, you know, it really is time for me to concede this point to the guy who spent four years in Lincoln County.

In the 70s.

Next to that kind of broad and intimate experience, what the hell would I know?
What makes you think that MT rural life young people's experience is much different from any other rural area? I did raise 5 kids who are now all young adults. While the specific items of interest have changed, human nature has not, nor has the nature of youth.



Quote:
Ten counties, eight of them in the Western side of the state but none truly located on the Hi-Line, hold almost 2/3 of the state's population as of 2010. These "small areas" are where you'll find most of the people, many of whom would be the OP's peers.
With the largest city being just under 110K, and the next 3 down dropping dramatically, with the state capital being what could easily be called a "smaller town", you just don't have the numbers to make a bunch of metro areas.


Quote:
Peer entertainment, particularly in the relationships department, seems to be what the OP is lacking wherever he lives. If Montanans can find this by changing communities within the state if they wish, then so can he. End of.
Of course he can. But he wants his high paying (with benefits) job, and so he is bound to a small circumference - and that apparently isn't what he was hoping it would be.



Quote:
Your implication that Montana can have no other prospects aside from energy extraction was very clear, albeit misguided and ridiculous. Review the comment which I responded to if you don't recall that.
I made absolutely no such statement or implication. Perhaps you don't understand what "extractive" means... It's farming, logging, ranching, mining, etc. It is wealth generated by the physical land itself, and value is extracted from it.


Quote:
Well, when someone actually moves to a Chicago suburb without the pull-factor of being from there, I have to scratch my head. Maybe it's just a Montana thing?
We moved here for my wife to get her PhD in one of the 5 choices nationwide. If you want to do the thing, you have to go where you that thing exists, and this where she got accepted.


Quote:
Western Montana's needs and options aren't the same as those we can identify in the East. While many rural communities in Eastern Montana have plenty of opportunity for growth under conditions where energy development can occur to its potential, this isn't going to be the case in the West so much.

I can't really tell you which communities will win and which ones won't--we would have to let the market answer those questions, at least in the beginning.
Yup.


Quote:
Familiarize yourself with the concept of technology, and then we'll discuss this a little bit more.
I think perhaps you have it backwards. I was a technology pioneer in bringing internet to rural areas via fixed wireless - the kind people can afford. I now work for the one of the largest (non publicly owned) metropolitan fixed wireless providers in the country, and probably will until the wife is done and then we head back west.


Quote:
The point I've been trying to make is that, because Montana has suffered such a brain-drain of its young workforce members for many years now, it doesn't, with regard to demographics, work to the state's benefit to become "grayer".

So, you can imagine I was pretty glad to discover this:

Montana, Wyoming, Dakotas getting younger thanks to energy boom
Perhaps we should have an actually serious discussion on the matter of the 'graying' of rural America.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:24 PM
 
9,470 posts, read 6,248,322 times
Reputation: 2169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montguy View Post
Cool, so let's write off just about any suggestion that this situation could be reversed in the long-term for the state as whole. The issues you've mentioned here are in no way unique to Lincoln County, but I'm sure you know this.
Ok, so if you think you can politically defeat the environmental movement, which is allied with the federal government and much of Montana's political establishment, then I'd like to hear some workable plans. Until that happens, it's not happening, absolutely not happening.

I'm very well aquainted with the results of the rural tranformation that has occurred and what it does.

In rural Oregon, the rapid fire loss of logging, due to federal (and some state) restrictions resulted suicide rates, alcoholism, divorce, domestic abuse, bankruptcy, and more, to jump anywhere from 30 to 300%. Some have estimated that the MAJORITY of those in the logging industry committed suicide, became alcoholics, or got divorced within 2 years of the collapse in their area.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:27 PM
 
610 posts, read 2,835,269 times
Reputation: 795
Another thing I can't stand about Montana is the drinking culture. MT leads the nation in the number of drunks and DUI's. You can't dispute the statistics and to make matters worse, the state doesn't do enough to prevent or stop DUIs. There are people with dozens of DUIs still driving around.

Why does everyone sit in bars and drink? Because there is NOTHING to do here!
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:26 PM
 
9,470 posts, read 6,248,322 times
Reputation: 2169
Quote:
Originally Posted by heeha View Post
Another thing I can't stand about Montana is the drinking culture. MT leads the nation in the number of drunks and DUI's. You can't dispute the statistics and to make matters worse, the state doesn't do enough to prevent or stop DUIs. There are people with dozens of DUIs still driving around.

Why does everyone sit in bars and drink? Because there is NOTHING to do here!
That's totally untrue.

So, what do you think there should be "to do"?
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:40 AM
 
9,533 posts, read 9,091,277 times
Reputation: 20869
Quote:
There's several reasons Montana isn't the greatest place, economic growth-wise.

1. A lot of state and federal land ownership. (both of these tend to squelch productive industry)
2. Harsh climate that reduces agricultural and tourist opportunities.
3. Extractive industries have been hit VERY hard by environmenalists, regulatory, and tax issues.
4. Low density of population.
5. Long distances required to move things.

BTW, none of this is unique to Montana.

Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, all have most / all of the same challenges.
Fact #1 above. California is #7 in the U.S. as the state with the most federal/state owned land. Above 43 states in government land. Much above Montana.

Fact #2 above. California 36th place with in farmland with 27% of the state in Farmland. Montana is #11 with 65% of the state farmland. They grow different types of crops. Montana farms, average 2,146 acres and California 347 acres each.

As to tourism, you have not been in some of the most beautiful tourist areas of the country, till you come to Montana. We enjoy natural beauty that attracts tourists. We will leave the overcrowded tourist attractions such as Disney Land to California and we here in Montana are glad not to have those huge monstrosities.

Fact #3 above. It is California that has been hard hit by environmentalists, regulations, and tax issues in the Extraction industries, not Montana. The things that make California, along with New York and Illinois continue to rank among the worst three states in 2014 for business in the entire United States. Montana has mines, including Platinum mines that are only in Russia, African Continent, and in Montana. Oil is booming in the North East Sector of the state. Natural Gas is booming.

Fact #4 above. Low population. We call that a plus, not a minus. Montana is the state with Clean Air, low traffic on our interstates and in our cities. Low commute times, and the other perks of not having an over bloated population.

Fact #5 above. Long distance to move things. Montana has a much less distance to move things than in California. And as it has traffic moving from all 4 directions it makes it a state that moves a lot of things, by rail, by truck, by air. I have a son owner operator flat bed trucker. He loves that he can stop by for lunch on a regular basis to see us. He says the worst place to take a load or pick up one is California. The trucking industry loses billions of dollars in income when they sit in those traffic jams of California. He rarely will accept a load to the state, due to this problem. Truckers get paid by the mile they haul goods, and sitting in traffic jams, really cuts into their incomes. He drives a new truck, that meets California standards so they keep wanting him to take loads there, but he refuses most if it involves larger city areas. In Montana they can drive at freeway speed, and make money on moving things long distance.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:05 AM
 
9,533 posts, read 9,091,277 times
Reputation: 20869
Quote:
No, it's not my attitude. I have been to foreign countries and was able to find a girlfriend within two days. That would never happen in good ole MT.
The more I listen to you, the more I think your problem finding a girl friend, is the girls do not find you someone they want to get involved with. Your attitude will drive them away. You want to move somewhere, and expect young women to flock to you so you can find a girl friend in 2 days. The young women in Montana, are particular with who they want to associate with on a personal basis. You either meet their standards, or they don't want to get involved with you.

Slow down, and get to know the young women around you, and show them you are worth getting involved with. They are not near as desperate as you are, and they are more serious about relationships than you are. You say you can find a girlfriend in 2 days in other countries. The girls in Montana are not that desperate that they grab any one that comes along. They want to know your good qualities, and to know you before they are going to get involved with you.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:14 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
8,033 posts, read 4,030,113 times
Reputation: 10194
Interesting thread. Girls in foreign countries are motivated by money and immigration possibilities so be careful. Fact is, meeting girls (or guys) can be difficult anywhere. Even in large cities. I hear a lot of people on this forum complaining about not being able to meet people in large cities because people are generally not as open and friendly than they are in smaller cities and towns.

Like they say, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
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