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Old 02-19-2012, 12:33 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
8,210 posts, read 9,903,274 times
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I am getting a dreary impression of it on here. No jobs, everyone is gonna hate you. Poverty is the standard.

I lived in the area for a year and it was dreary for me. I came from another part of Montana so I wasn't hated, but I did hear plenty of complaints about people from "back east" which seemed to mean anyone from outside of Montana. I describe western Montana as poverty with a view. Take a look at it and see for yourself if you like it before making your decision. Go with your gut.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:35 AM
 
202 posts, read 426,916 times
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Originally Posted by WyoEagle View Post
I am getting a dreary impression of it on here. No jobs, everyone is gonna hate you. Poverty is the standard.

I lived in the area for a year and it was dreary for me. I came from another part of Montana so I wasn't hated, but I did hear plenty of complaints about people from "back east" which seemed to mean anyone from outside of Montana. I describe western Montana as poverty with a view. Take a look at it and see for yourself if you like it before making your decision. Go with your gut.
Yeah. I think it would be foolish to move without visiting the area. One thing I seem to think about is the fact it is a college town. That college should provide some income for folks there. Whether it is a lunch truck or some kind of supporting business. I mean it has a Mall, and from what I read, its thriving from what I see.

The truth is , no matter where you go, "people hate outsiders." It is kinda dumb really. If you are not the same race, people hate you. If you are not the same social class, people hate you. If you are not from the same side of town, people hate you. If you went to a different church, people hate you. If you like red hats, people hate you. If you like sneakers, people hate you...ect. Its just dumb. If you have that as a reason not to move somewhere, then you just stay in your cave.

So there were two major employers that have left. Nothing new really. I will use Allentown, PA as an example. They had a Steel Mill that closed. Billy Joel wrote a song about the city. It took them over 20 years to realize, hey, we have a College, and a Main Street, and a huge property that someone can use.

Well they pushed promotion of the school, started a thing they called MusicFest, which is a like a week long event. Promoted the Main Street and supported new and old businesses. Now, its a nice place to visit.

All the nay-say'ers did so online like here, while the people who wanted to "do" something about the situation...did something.

Are there negatives, yes. Houses dropped bottom, people gave up and moved out, but a lot moved in. Yes there is crime, as anywhere, USA.

At what point do people stop *complaining* and do something about the place they love so much?

I see all the time, "I love my home, I miss it." Well...why did you leave it. Stay and make it better?

Where I am now, I feel the direction it is going is not they way I would like it. I have , and are still active to make things better here. But I am a minority. So at some time I have to realize its the "kids" turn now. I did my best, let them have a try.

I enjoyed a lot about growing in Philly, and surviving the 80's. I have great memories. But they are gone now, they are places and things that have changed. Never to return. So a place like Missoula is attractive to me. All new 360 degree views, new places to go to, walk, and people to meet. Maybe I can finally use a idea or two and somehow start up a business? Or not? Remains to be seen.

I can't tell the people there, or the government what to do. But I can adjust my sails to navigate that water. I think there is hope, for any city in the U.S. I feel bad that there are some who want things, and fail to realize that they could be the ones making it.

I am not rich, retired, white-collar, or work-at-home. I am a regular guy who is willing to work for a pay check, or do things to make my own. The people I see complaining are complaining about First World problems.... boo hoo.

I can't wait to see this place myself. I am really guessing its not as bad. I could be wrong?

Last edited by gfunkerror; 02-19-2012 at 11:41 AM.. Reason: spillzsobadd
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 37,682,601 times
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Food for thought.

About 20 years ago (give or take) employers started hiring the cheapest method they could. Experience no longer counted. They stopped keeping employee's at $18 an hour because they could get things done with a couple employee's at minimum wage. Mostly that was due to automation of production. They've automated a lot of movement and they've also went ISO2000 compliant by writing step by step procedures for each task. The guy that was making $18 an hour, wrote those procedures, so the company could qualify for ISO2000 compliant. That told their customers that they had procedures in place so a monkey could do it. That told their customers that prices were going to be cut down because hiring monkeys was cheaper. So now, the company hired nothing but minimum wage people. ISO2000 also meant that every part or piece was going to come out of the company door, exactly the same as the last piece or part no matter who built it.

As time went on, those practices spread to other orgainizations and the populace suddenly realized that no place in town paid more than minimum wage. So now, while job hunting, people looked at other things. Distance to work, benefits, etc... Everybody was paying relatively the same wages. That provided the companies with a much larger employee base also, because remember, a monkey could do it.

People have to buy grocery's, so they'll accespt employment at those places. They can now, come or go, really makes no difference because they are not a large money operation any more.

The second thing is, those companies formed up and started when city regulations were much more lax than they are today. It is 10 times more difficult to start the same operation today. They started and had money in the bank as new regulations come out and they could upgrade relatively easy. Today, all those regulations are stairing you in the face and are called "Start up costs". In 1992, I started a company with $400 in my pocket. I licensed my business, licensed myself, and went to work. Today, to start with the same thing I started with, would be over $20,000. Not so easy. But the business I started was fairly simple, then.

So, a couple companies packing up and moving out, can be devastating to a community these days. The city has become complacient and now accepts $10 an hour as a good wage.

You mentioned hate. That's a pretty strong word and I don't think you will find that in any Montana town. You will find people are reserved and quiet until they get to know you. Montana has always been a live and let live state. But they also expect you to be able to take care of yourself. Those very people will stand back and watch to see if you are coming in to take advantage of what took them years to build up, or if you are coming in to be a part of the community and want to build. I'm not talking build a building, but build confidence in others, build a reputation. become a part. To blend in. That doesn't mean you have to loose your identity, but it does mean that you don't step on others identity either. Become a neighbor. Become somebody that is solid in the community. Eventually, you'll become a friend. But the locals are going to watch and monitor those vary steps. It's not hate. It's a matter that they have been burnt before by people taking advantage of the people, the jobs, the community and most importantly, the trust of others.

Last edited by ElkHunter; 02-19-2012 at 12:16 PM..
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
5,531 posts, read 6,362,212 times
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Excellent posts ElkHunter and gfunkerror, and both outline exactly a lot of the situation facing us today.

First, gfunkerror, you have just described Butte to a "T".
In the early 1980's the Butte pit closed down. THen Montana Power came apart at the seams, retirements were gone, property values plunged, jobs were non-existent, lots of people had to move to find jobs. The people who were left were a lot of retirees, or those who had no place left to go.

But Butte was always known for their love of a fight. Those hard rock miners and their families didn't give up, they started fighting back. They put a statue called Our Lady of the Rockies up on top of the divide watching over the town, and got to work doing everything possible to bring in new jobs and industry.
Music Festivals, St Patrick's day, Evil Kenival days, just about anything you could celebrate, you could find a wild time in Butte.

The Chamber of Commerce, city government and other groups busted their tails to get new business of any and all kinds to come to Butte.

There is a new silicon plant there, the Berkley pit water is being mined for minerals using new techniques. The School of Mining and Montana Tech and the Vo-Tech are putting out educated people with a wide range of talents. They even put in a new golf course that I hear is pretty awsome for a town of Butte's size.

Butte is a long ways from it's heyday of the Copper Kings, but it is a town that won't die and has made a lot of progress to making Butte a good place to live again.

I also agree with Elkhunter, it is very difficult to start a business these days, and overhead including wages, are a lot harder to overcome these days, but not impossible.

A good friend of mine and I are currently trying to start a new business, and while it is difficult and expensive, I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received from community leaders in the towns we are looking to site at, and from Representative Rehburg's office and actually from several state agencies as well.
The wages will be pretty good, with benefits, but the costs associated with employees are the largest expense associated with the business. Automation will lower the number of warm bodies we need, and by contracting some of the services to other small business, we can make our business work, and provide jobs and taxes to the county. Everybody wins. We still have to fight the envoronmentalists, but we can do that because what we are fighting for has the potential of a lot of benefits for a lot of people, so we will do what Montanan's have always done and stand up to those who wish us harm.

The attitude I have encountered overall from City/County/State and even Federal representaives has been shockingly posative, but then again, these are the people who are trying to bring jobs into Montana, not the ones from other places that wish to lock this state up as a Park.

I also disagree with the characterization of "hatred" of out of staters, I think the distaste that exists is for those who would destroy our way of life.
Those who introduced Canadian grey wolves into Montana over the objections of a large segment of the resident population is probably as good of an example as any.
Those who shut down the Timber and Mining industries also fall into this catagory as do those that shut down access to public ground so their 20 acres with a McMansion control thousands of acres of public land so no one else can access it. Closing down streams for fishing and land to hunting are also some of the unforgivable sins that give out of staters a bad name.

An old man of my aquantance was speaking to my father and I one day, and as he had known my grandfather and Uncles, and had lived in the area for over 90 years, was well aware of our heritage. I did find it funny when he told us that our family had been in the Paradise Valley since before the Indians, (not really, my Great Grandfather was part of the Indian Fighting army of the late 1860's - 1870's fighting the Sioux and Cheyenne, and probably the Nez Pierce and brought the family into Montana in the late 1870's). This story simply serves to underline that I and many other families in Montana have deep roots here. Our ancestors came here by wagon, fought Indians, disease, dust bowls, starvation and hard winters to live here.

There are no indigonous people here, even the Indians came from somewhere else, and because this is a land of immigrants, new people are welcome as long as they simply respect the land and it's people. If you wish to be one of us, and are willing to adapt to the way of life here, you will have no problems making friends.
If you come here to make changes, and protect us from ourselves because you know better, then stay where you are, we don't need you.

Missoula is an enclave of folks that comprise many of the things the rest of the state find distasteful, so most of the views you will hear of it are not positive.

Montana is comprised of far to many people and places and different attitudes and microclimes to easily define or steriotype, it has to be experienced.

Don't come with preconcieved notions, be willing to listen and learn, be ready to be part of the community, and you will soon find out why in spite of our low wages, we are still the Last Best Place on Earth.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:14 PM
Status: "Help those that are vulnerable... Wear a mask" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
13,250 posts, read 16,625,202 times
Reputation: 13834
Boy ain't that the truth about the eco-nazi's. Can't disturb or timber the forest, even though a healthy forest needs to be thinned. Fish all you want- but don't fish on my 300' of stream bank.. Enjoy the outdoors all you want- just not on my patch of ground.

Selfishness and foolishness runs amok. Happened in West Virginia, and it's the same here. The one thing that occurs in West Virginia and not that I've seen here? Those good old boys burn vacation homes to the ground and hunt through. Lol.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:46 PM
 
202 posts, read 426,916 times
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I hear all of you loud and clear. And from the things you say. I feel I would do just fine. I never understood the idea of moving somewhere and try to make it like "home," or different. Here is an analogy that I am thinking of.

As a music lover, and to be known to lay down a Bass line or two, I have had a share of a few bands, and mates who...well this happens....

Lead Guitarist plays out at a bar. Meets a very nice lady. They date, they get serious, they marry. Now the thing that attracted them to each other is stopped. He shows up to less practices, then is AWOL. Misses a show. Then one day says, "Yeah guys sorry, my wife wants me to get a full time job, she is to jealous of the girls at the shows.

The end? Nope.

A few years go by. I'm in another band. I see wife is at the bar, and I wonder....so I ask wife how is her husband. She says...son-of-gun is always working, never has time for me, we are separated!

A few months go by....lead guitarist wants the band back together... said wife went all nazi on him, told him to grow up, stop playing, get a job, then complains the excitement in the marrage is gone, leaves him...for...wait for it...wait for it....a guitarist in a band in a bar she was at!

Makes no sense. She should have let him be a guitarist in a band, come to the bar, have a good time, and take him home, no matter how drunk. Why change the thing that brings the excitement?

So....Missoula, is the guitarist, and I wouldn't change a thing. Now where is the bar?

I understand about start-up....we never seem to have enough...lol we go to the bank for help, and they say get more. *sighs*

But then, maybe....I were to look at a new place altogether.....a place that I wouldn't mind working my butt off, and scraping together everything I had for...maybe...that's a plan? My wife thinks so. MT seems so beautiful, but I need to be realistic as well. I want to go there and offer something. Not go there and take. But like I said in another post, I am a regular guy. So I will need to at least have some income coming in. If its minimum wage, well, hell....its enough to put food on the table, then its a start. I would have to get to know people. I can talk to anyone. Its my nature. I never do well at selling anything better than me selling myself. And some say thats a thing you need to be entrepreneurial.

Lets stop and talk about the Hippies. Ummmm I understand some points they have politically, and the environment is a valid subject. I would say I would be supportive of keeping things local, foods, farms, businesses. Yep. But then there is a type that could get me thrown in jail. It is the type that would open my chicken coop doors and set free my chickens. Thinking they are high and mighty, but sentencing to death, my chickens to the wild. The kind that refuse to see the dangers, over the "movement." So yeah.....house fires do happen. Its a shame. lol
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:15 PM
 
Location: upstate NY
11 posts, read 22,814 times
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After lurking on these boards for some time now I’ve finally decided to join the discussion. I too am considering Missoula. I’m in my mid 30’s and have hopped around the country (NY, CA, NC) for the past 14 yrs with intermittent stops to finish my education. At the present time I’m living in upstate NY. The economy here is finally starting to take a turn for the better, but I’m not looking to get rich (although it would be nice if that were to happen) I just want to be able to pay rent, utilities, food.

I plan on visiting this summer to see if Missoula and I are a good fit. And if so then come next spring I’ll be loading up the car and the dog and I are heading west, yet again.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:23 PM
 
202 posts, read 426,916 times
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Originally Posted by icculus View Post
After lurking on these boards for some time now I’ve finally decided to join the discussion. I too am considering Missoula. I’m in my mid 30’s and have hopped around the country (NY, CA, NC) for the past 14 yrs with intermittent stops to finish my education. At the present time I’m living in upstate NY. The economy here is finally starting to take a turn for the better, but I’m not looking to get rich (although it would be nice if that were to happen) I just want to be able to pay rent, utilities, food.

I plan on visiting this summer to see if Missoula and I are a good fit. And if so then come next spring I’ll be loading up the car and the dog and I are heading west, yet again.

Lurking is safe as long as you do it responsibly.

Please join in. Let us, (or me) know what it was like. What do you see as a reason to move there. I'm not looking to be a tycoon or anything as well. But pay the bills. Then maybe once established see what I can do for a business for my self.

The water is nice. Jump in.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:55 AM
 
Location: upstate NY
11 posts, read 22,814 times
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gfunk- not even a dental floss tycoon?


I can tell you as of now my initial reasons for wanting to move are purely selfish and are not even remotely monetarily driven. It appears from doing my research that making a lot of $$ in/around Missoula is hard to accomplish, though I‘m sure with hard work one can at least make a living. I’m fully aware of the trade off regarding wage/location and have accepted it as fact.

I’m not the type of person who can stay put for too long. I enjoy the outdoors as well as the pace/lifestyle of small university town/city. I want to able to spend my free time “playing” outdoors while still having the availability to catch a decent band/show later in town, as well as a good football game at the University. From what I’ve gathered thus far Missoula seems to offer just that. I realize they’re probably not getting too many major music acts but I will continue to travel to see those certain bands that I enjoy.

Like many other BA degree holders I know my way around the restaurant/bar. I’ll more than likely look for work in the service industry while there as this what I’ve mainly been doing on-and-off for the last 15 yrs. I’ve found it’s a great way to make connections, and then who knows, anything is possible….?

Should I choose to move there I do not intend to change anything about the city, or state for that matter, as it is Montana itself that calls me. I still plan to be a productive and valued member of society, but I’m not looking to move mountains!
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:28 AM
 
202 posts, read 426,916 times
Reputation: 125
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Originally Posted by icculus View Post
gfunk- not even a dental floss tycoon?


I can tell you as of now my initial reasons for wanting to move are purely selfish and are not even remotely monetarily driven. It appears from doing my research that making a lot of $$ in/around Missoula is hard to accomplish, though I‘m sure with hard work one can at least make a living. I’m fully aware of the trade off regarding wage/location and have accepted it as fact.

I’m not the type of person who can stay put for too long. I enjoy the outdoors as well as the pace/lifestyle of small university town/city. I want to able to spend my free time “playing” outdoors while still having the availability to catch a decent band/show later in town, as well as a good football game at the University. From what I’ve gathered thus far Missoula seems to offer just that. I realize they’re probably not getting too many major music acts but I will continue to travel to see those certain bands that I enjoy.

Like many other BA degree holders I know my way around the restaurant/bar. I’ll more than likely look for work in the service industry while there as this what I’ve mainly been doing on-and-off for the last 15 yrs. I’ve found it’s a great way to make connections, and then who knows, anything is possible….?

Should I choose to move there I do not intend to change anything about the city, or state for that matter, as it is Montana itself that calls me. I still plan to be a productive and valued member of society, but I’m not looking to move mountains!
Foo Fighters play Missoula...

Well if The Foo Fighters made a stop in Missoula, as well as other well known bands...I say you may not have to travel to much. I investigated the music scene well. Plenty of good venues and acts come through there. Being a College Town I am sure is the draw. But my punk rocks roots always makes me say..."Make your own scene."

I would say move there. Get money rolling how you ever you can, then maybe find a use for that BA. Sometimes better paying jobs,(anywhere USA), just requires a degree. So you have an advantage from the job lurking I have seen.

Then, leave the mountains where they are, just have fun, be safe, and play on them. No need to move them. lol

btw, you get awesome points for the Frank Zappa...*twists mustache*

Maybe in a few years when, and if I still want to move there, we'll met up.

GO GRIZ!

Last edited by gfunkerror; 02-21-2012 at 11:32 AM.. Reason: Can't seem to post videos properly...
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