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Old 05-08-2013, 09:06 AM
 
7 posts, read 27,703 times
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My take on Portland after living here for ten years is:

The people here, despite what anyone may say to the contrary, are some of the nicest, but more importantly, genuine people. I have extensive knowledge of Northern Mainers as well for I have a cabin on Moosehead lake and spent much time there for the last 30 years. I have met every kind of Mainer there is.

I have seen just about every road along the Maine coast by motorcycle, skied the interior, climbed many of it's mountains etc., and even after traveling the world Maine strikes me as one of the most scenic, unspoiled places and an underrated gem.

Portland offers much. I like it's aura. I find that it has an unpretentious vibe that allows one to partake in dining, cultural events, shopping, or mingling with others, without having to look or act that one "is all about the money"... (I fled Jersey because of THAT)

The problem is that every job is ten dollars an hour. And I think it's too bad. Companies like mine (working with the disabled) or even school systems (I am also a cert. Spec. Ed. teacher) just will not, or are unable to, pay a Portlander enough to survive on.

So that's it I'm afraid....off to Seattle. And I doubt Seattlites will be like the people of Portland.......
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Nashua area, NH
278 posts, read 578,302 times
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It's a double edged sword. If Maine paid good wages (among other things), everything you stated that you liked would be gone. It's a combination of the perceived harsh winter, poor pay, being at the end (or beginning) of the transportation line, high cost of energy, etc., that keeps Maine the way it is.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Rhode Island/Mass
563 posts, read 1,183,152 times
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Seems pretty drastic to move all the way to Seattle. Pay in the human service field is very low everywhere, isn't it? Sure you live in a rural area, so of course there are more opportunities in a city like Seattle. But if you really like it there, why don't you make do one way or another, like a Mainer would. You own property even, can you really be that bad off?
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:26 PM
 
7 posts, read 27,703 times
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The cabin has been there for decades, bought when the land was dirt cheap, (by my parents) and I really should have phrased things like "I have access to a family place."
I rent in the West End.
The problem with "making due like a Mainer would" , is I can't see how working 80 hours a week, anyone has time to spend with a wife and kids. I want a family, but most people I know who live elsewhere seem to have a better balance between work and family time because they are more adequately compensated. My company, like many others I assume in Maine, know that people are desperate for work and therefore treat them as expendable. My company is a Shepard of state monies, which are guaranteed to them , (no need to worry so much about lean times) but only a few get middle class salaries.
Seattle would pay three times the starting pay, but more importantly has more assistive and adaptive technology jobs, more certification and/or educational opportunities.
I recently was told that ten dollars an hour is what I would make to: (possibly) give out medications in a school (as I am CRMA trained) be certified to teach special ed. (but only ed. tech 3 jobs are open) have to pass proficiency tests, and take three master levels classes per year, etc.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Maine
18,569 posts, read 22,360,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westender4life View Post
So that's it I'm afraid....off to Seattle. And I doubt Seattlites will be like the people of Portland.......
Best wishes. I'm afraid you're in for quite a culture shock. Seattle is a very expensive place to live. It can be a great place, if you're rich or on the extreme upper end of middle class. If not, good luck affording a place to live out of the 'hood. Do your homework before you pick a place to live. And be ready to spend 3-4 hours a day staring at tail lights.

It's a gorgeous area though. The Olympics are the most beautiful mountains I've ever seen.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Nashua area, NH
278 posts, read 578,302 times
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There are several factors that hold true in life.

In manufacturing, there are the following "wants" in product development:
  • Fast
  • Good
  • Cheap

You can have any two of the above at any one time. Pick the two that are most important to the customer, because the law of economics tells us that one can not have all three at the same time (it is impossible).

Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources. We can not have all things, at all times. The OP stated that the people here "are some of the nicest, but more importantly, genuine people". He has witnessed "the Maine coast by motorcycle, skied the interior, climbed many of it's mountains etc., and even after traveling the world Maine strikes him as one of the most scenic, unspoiled places and an underrated gem." Portland offers much. he likes it's aura... It has an unpretentious vibe that allows one to partake in dining, cultural events, shopping, or mingling with others, without having to look or act that one "is all about the money"..."

In any geographic area, in order to have all of the things you mentioned above (which are indeed positives), you must have perceived negatives. In Maine it is low salaries, and a harsh winter. There is a formula that a true economist can use, but this touches on the basics.

Add great salaries, and great weather into the equation, and you must subtract the "genuinely good people", because you would be attracting the good and the bad (with those high wages). Add good or great weather, and you must give up the beautiful scenery and add traffic jams, buildings, parking lots, big-box-stores and spoil the view (think San Diego).

You will get higher wages in Seattle, but you will loose some of the other things you mentioned. In life we all must choose between 'fast, good, or cheap'.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:39 AM
 
1,587 posts, read 2,149,669 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riddei63 View Post
It's a double edged sword. If Maine paid good wages (among other things), everything you stated that you liked would be gone. It's a combination of the perceived harsh winter, poor pay, being at the end (or beginning) of the transportation line, high cost of energy, etc., that keeps Maine the way it is.
I'm so glad to hear/see you say this. I appreciate Maine just the way she is........gorgeous, unique, very special.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Better half of PA
1,391 posts, read 1,098,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
I'm so glad to hear/see you say this. I appreciate Maine just the way she is........gorgeous, unique, very special.
Yep. I live in PA. But my wife and I got married in ME. We spend a decent amount of time there and we have fallen in love with it, as it is. It should stay the way it is too. Maybe that's a narrow view point but there is a reason Maine is so damn awesome.
My wife already has orders to spread my ashes at various locations on MDI (where we got married).
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
6,358 posts, read 7,365,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westender4life View Post
The problem with "making do like a Mainer would" , is I can't see how working 80 hours a week, anyone has time to spend with a wife and kids. I want a family, but most people I know who live elsewhere seem to have a better balance between work and family time because they are more adequately compensated.
One of your 'problems' is that you are limiting yourself by thinking that you have to work a 'JOB' (away from the family) in order to produce all of your income. This is NOT TRUE. A great many dissatisfied working people have fallen for the same lie, which keeps them 'Just Over Broke' and dependent on an employer, good little working stiffs who keep their mouths shut and take whatever is handed to them because they fear what would happen if they no longer had the 'JOB'.

The fact is, that there are many things you can do TOGETHER with your wife (& kids, if you have them) to increase your income. Being dependent on a single source of income is rarely a good idea, this concept is fairly well known in the business world and if you read the 10k and 10q statements for publicly held corporations you will see 'going concern' statements (warnings) if the company is wholly or mostly dependent on a single source of income. In most cases, you want (need) to have a number of independent income streams, so that in the event that any one stream 'dries up' you will still have income from other sources. Failure to have multiple income streams places the company in danger of bankruptcy if their only (or major) source of income goes away, and can make investment in that company a poor risk.

This is the land of opportunity, take advantage of it. The only one stopping you from producing your own income, independent of your 'JOB', is YOU.

It seems that a great many Americans have lost sight of the opportunities available to them, while foreign immigrants flock here to take advantage of them. I have heard a lot of people **** & moan about "foreigners" who come here and have a 'good life' and 'advantage' just handed to them on a silver platter, but it isn't true. I have first-hand knowledge of how they get themselves into positions that 'born here' citizens seem to think were just 'handed' to them- they work for several years (sometimes for extremely low wages), doing without 'luxuries' that some americans take for granted (cable/sat TV, etc) as 'necessities' (which they aren't- and anyone who is complaining about a lack of money but is sitting in front of the TV is just WRONG), saving every penny that isn't needed for immediate survival until they have enough money to start a business of their OWN, so that they are not stuck in the same cycle of working and being dependent on someone else that so many Americans think is the way it is 'supposed' to be.

The internet, transportation industry, and [relatively] cheap land available here make for some great opportunities- break free of thinking that you always have to work for someone else and take advantage of them.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:04 AM
 
7 posts, read 27,703 times
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I really like some of the responses here. I worked for a start-up company in Greenville where we would process trees into cedar shims and shingles. It was a family affair, mostly, like the previous poster eluding to the fact that families can work together to generate more income.
That company did not make it....
Most of the people up there want little if any change to the Greenville area. Mainers and people from away don't want things to change, however there is a bit of denial perhaps, that people can just seize any opportunity to have a middle class life here.
I work with immigrants and refugees form all over the world in my field. I think the Mainers I work with are just as driven to provide for their families as they are and I don't see Mainers as whiny, just underemployed and expendable. It is just my opinion that Maine employers could do better...certainly not a fact. It is hard for me to fathom an educator or someone who has been at a job for ten years to be earn what someone in charge of the "fryolator" at McDonald's would earn.
My original purpose for posting was to express disappointment that there is not much vested interest in Maine educators, workers, etc.
And I think there could be a happier medium between preserving the uniqueness, beauty, and having most of Maine toiling, condemned by economics, or fear of industry, at the "working poverty" level.
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