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Old 12-12-2009, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,763,266 times
Reputation: 3838

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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
Detroit sure isn't Conservative!!!! It certainly would be pro-Civil Rights if that's considered "progressive" but it's hard to find Conservatives that don't believe in the Civil Rights movement or who would want the return of Jim Crow. Detroit is very progressive when it comes to issues like welfare, food stamps, Medicaid -- the people there tend to be quite in favor of government programs of all kinds. I would suspect there's no shortage of abortion clinics or abortions in a city like Detroit - that would make it fit the ideal of "progressives".

Even if it's not quite perfect enough in the mind of liberals, it's far more liberal than Holland, Grand Rapids, even Traverse City.
Salt Lake City is more liberal than Holland and parts of Grand Rapids. That's the whole point of this discussion.

You guys are lost in the weeds.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:41 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,632,413 times
Reputation: 4404
Quote:
Hmmmm. Still waiting for someone to formulate a legitimate argument in favor of the area being overly conservative. Tell us all how religious zealotry and non-acceptance of outsiders are good character traits for an area.
Those are not good traits to an outsider. But I need to play devil's advocate here (is it OK to use that term in Holland? LOL).

How does West Michigan look to insiders? There are a ton of people that love it here and wouldn't want to live anywhere else, and it's partly due to the characteristics that make it unappealing to outsiders. It's close-knit, roots run very deep, and it's generally a safe, homogeneous, and unexciting place to raise a family. A lot of the people are similar, and, like it or not, there is a certain level of comfort and trust that comes as a result. That's why some people are so tied down to this area.

Like it or not, this area gets a certain amount of strength and stability from the conservative core. Maybe it's not appealing to outsiders. But you can't say that the traits aren't "good" when there are thousands of people that live and work here because of those same traits. "Appealing to outsiders" is not the the end-all-be-all of a community. That's not going to be a popular opinion on a forum that is designed to inform the outsider, but I think someone needed to say it.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,763,266 times
Reputation: 3838
Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
Those are not good traits to an outsider. But I need to play devil's advocate here (is it OK to use that term in Holland? LOL).

How does West Michigan look to insiders? There are a ton of people that love it here and wouldn't want to live anywhere else, and it's partly due to the characteristics that make it unappealing to outsiders. It's close-knit, roots run very deep, and it's generally a safe, homogeneous, and unexciting place to raise a family. A lot of the people are similar, and, like it or not, there is a certain level of comfort and trust that comes as a result. That's why some people are so tied down to this area.

Like it or not, this area gets a certain amount of strength and stability from the conservative core. Maybe it's not appealing to outsiders. But you can't say that the traits aren't "good" when there are thousands of people that live and work here because of those same traits. "Appealing to outsiders" is not the the end-all-be-all of a community. That's not going to be a popular opinion on a forum that is designed to inform the outsider, but I think someone needed to say it.
Nice response michigan83. I agree with you that there are a lot of great aspects of Grand Rapids and West Michigan that have a broad appeal: family values, low crime, safe clean neighborhoods, a lot of great school districts, very little drama, basically no political corruption. Those are some of the reasons why we settled down here.

The issue is when that homogeneity becomes somewhat toxic to outsiders. It boggles my mind when people want safety and security, and then try to deny those same things to other people seeking the same. As I mentioned, there is a very real need to draw people to Grand Rapids to fill some desperately needed positions; people with skill sets that aren't readily available in the local job pool, unfortunately. The majority of the time, the people being lured here aren't your typical White Anglo Saxton Protestant variety. If companies can't lure those people here, they'll move their operations to cities where they can lure people. That's a fact.

It doesn't seem like too much to ask for people to celebrate their own cultures and family values, while at the same time respecting other peoples' cultures and values, even if they're different (not bad, just different).
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:34 AM
 
55 posts, read 91,170 times
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What? No political corruption? Are there no politicians on the west side of the state?
Show me an area with no political corruption so I can claim the land.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,763,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarslinger View Post
What? No political corruption? Are there no politicians on the west side of the state?
Show me an area with no political corruption so I can claim the land.
Certainly there are misspent funds here and there, and claims of favoritism/cronyism, but there aren't any Kwame's or Blagojevich's. Relatively boring politically.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:31 PM
 
55 posts, read 91,170 times
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Here and there huh? ...... shocking.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:21 AM
 
47,531 posts, read 62,248,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
Nice response michigan83. I agree with you that there are a lot of great aspects of Grand Rapids and West Michigan that have a broad appeal: family values, low crime, safe clean neighborhoods, a lot of great school districts, very little drama, basically no political corruption. Those are some of the reasons why we settled down here.

The issue is when that homogeneity becomes somewhat toxic to outsiders. It boggles my mind when people want safety and security, and then try to deny those same things to other people seeking the same. As I mentioned, there is a very real need to draw people to Grand Rapids to fill some desperately needed positions; people with skill sets that aren't readily available in the local job pool, unfortunately. The majority of the time, the people being lured here aren't your typical White Anglo Saxton Protestant variety. If companies can't lure those people here, they'll move their operations to cities where they can lure people. That's a fact.

It doesn't seem like too much to ask for people to celebrate their own cultures and family values, while at the same time respecting other peoples' cultures and values, even if they're different (not bad, just different).
Who are the outsiders that must fill the desperately needed positions? What are all those positions that cannot be filled except by outsiders? And what outsiders with those very specialized skills find the "White Anglo Saxon Protestant" culture of Grand Rapids so horrendous that they believe it must be changed before they can live there? Who are all the apparently non-WASP people that must be lured to unfilled jobs when the unemployment rate is as high as it is and exactly why can't those jobs go to the people of Western Michigan?
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,763,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
Who are the outsiders that must fill the desperately needed positions? What are all those positions that cannot be filled except by outsiders? And what outsiders with those very specialized skills find the "White Anglo Saxon Protestant" culture of Grand Rapids so horrendous that they believe it must be changed before they can live there? Who are all the apparently non-WASP people that must be lured to unfilled jobs when the unemployment rate is as high as it is and exactly why can't those jobs go to the people of Western Michigan?
Because these jobs require skills sets that just aren't found here, especially in bio-sciences and design work. In fact, it's become such a challenge to find people to fill certain positions in West Michigan, a website is being launched by a group of large and mid-sized employers to pool their resources to get people here. The Van Andel Institute is one that has to reach out far and wide globally to find researchers (they're adding hundreds right now). So do Haworth, Herman Miller and Steelcase.

I'm enjoying the fact that you think I'm making this up. Too funny.

Nobody said the whole community needed to change, only that some people who are stuck in their insular ways should be more accepting of other cultures. Unfortunately, Grand Rapids/WM has earned a reputation (a bad one). You can see evidence of it in hundreds of posts just in this forum alone (people asking if West Michigan is really as over-conservative as people say it is).

Last edited by magellan; 12-16-2009 at 08:31 AM..
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:08 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,632,413 times
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Quote:
Because these jobs require skills sets that just aren't found here, especially in bio-sciences and design work. In fact, it's become such a challenge to find people to fill certain positions in West Michigan, a website is being launched by a group of large and mid-sized employers to pool their resources to get people here. The Van Andel Institute is one that has to reach out far and wide globally to find researchers (they're adding hundreds right now). So do Haworth, Herman Miller and Steelcase.

I'm enjoying the fact that you think I'm making this up. Too funny.
I have to vouch for Magellan on this, even though I've been sticking up for the conservative side of West Michigan.

A buddy of mine just graduated from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore (he is from here originally) and I've heard the same thing from him now that he had a chance to live away from the area for a while. Grand Rapids is now known for having wonderful medical facilities and equipment, but does not attract talent to match the facilities. Whether this is really due to the conservative culture, I don't really know. But the stigma is there.

I still maintain that Grand Rapids would not be better off without the conservative culture. It would be a less interesting place in my opinion, because it's a pretty unique thing. But I will admit that the drawbacks are real too.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,763,266 times
Reputation: 3838
Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
I have to vouch for Magellan on this, even though I've been sticking up for the conservative side of West Michigan.

A buddy of mine just graduated from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore (he is from here originally) and I've heard the same thing from him now that he had a chance to live away from the area for a while. Grand Rapids is now known for having wonderful medical facilities and equipment, but does not attract talent to match the facilities. Whether this is really due to the conservative culture, I don't really know. But the stigma is there.

I still maintain that Grand Rapids would not be better off without the conservative culture. It would be a less interesting place in my opinion, because it's a pretty unique thing. But I will admit that the drawbacks are real too.
Conservative does not have to = closed minded. At least, it didn't used to.
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