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OP-ED | ‘Galluping’ Out of Connecticut

by Sarah L. Hamby | May 2, 2014 4:28pm
(45) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Education, Opinion, Pomfret

SARAH L. HAMBY PHOTO
The good folks at Gallup never seem to ask me about anything important.

They never call me to ask about the Yankees, taxes, the president. . . How many times a year I go to the dentist. (Connecticut leads the way!)

So, it stands to reason, that between June and December of 2013, they didn’t call me and ask, “Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?”

You’ve seen the results of this poll.

Someone shared them on your Facebook wall. You responded on a forum thread somewhere, “Why DO you want to leave?”

You posted it on Twitter, gleefully rubbing your hands together, “I told you so! I told you so! 49 percent of Connecticut residents want OUT!”

It’s happening in other states, too.

New York.  41 percent. I used to live there. Upstate. Practically Canada. I don’t miss the lake effect.

Illinois. 50 percent — half of the polled population. I used to live there, too. Visiting my mother. In Cicero. Down the street from Al Capone’s old place.

Some 47 percent of the people in Nevada want out. What happens in Vegas wants out of Vegas. (I blame Cliven Bundy.)

Anyway, here’s the thing — it doesn’t suck here. And you don’t really hate it.

Taxes, cold weather, expensive food. Politics, the gun laws, too many trees . . . (They’re taking care of that, aren’t they?)

You are still here.

Because your family is here or the education is excellent.

I moved to Connecticut with my daughter in 2005 from Greensboro, N.C.

She’d been attending a magnet school for the performing arts? I thought it would be a good idea. We like art.

Then I learned that there were combined classrooms at the school. So my daughter, who had excelled in private kindergarten, was basically in kindergarten again during her first-grade year — because the school maintained that every student should be taught on the level of the least developed child in the combined classroom.

Just to spell that out, in one classroom there was a class of kindergarteners and a class of first graders. So they taught to the “slowest” kindergartener.

Later, also in one classroom, there was a class of second graders and a class of third graders. They taught to the “slowest” second-grader.

By the time third grade came around, she was so bored she was bouncing off of the walls — but no one understood why I wouldn’t medicate her . . .

Welcome to Connecticut!

And welcome to Pomfret Community School. We’re not in the trailer park or in combined classrooms anymore, Toto. And it shows.

I like living in Connecticut.

Maybe you’ve forgotten some of the great things about our state. For instance, we live in a state that NEVER RATIFIED the 18th Amendment. (That’s right.)

Guess what else?

The first FM radio station was WDRC in Hartford, we get the hamburger, Frisbee, and, for you anti-government folks — we even set the first car laws. Setting the speed limit at a lofty 12 miles per hour.

Every year, CNNMoney lists a few towns in our state as “best places to live.”

It’s pretty here, too. There are no seasons in Greensboro, NC. They have cool and hot. The in between is just brown.

SARAH L. HAMBY PHOTO Old Furnace State Park is practically in my back yard but there are affordable state parks and beaches all across the state. Go!

You’re still not convinced. You hate it here.

You want to move South.

Are you sure?

Thinking about buying a house?

Double-wide trailers with spa tubs are the way to go.

I didn’t have it so good, I guess.

Google The cinder blocks were to keep people from turning around in our driveway? If you took the tops off of them there were black widows inside.

Folks up here seem to think that everyone in the south is just living it up, raking in all that big money and buying cheap food.

Then why, pray tell, are more people in the southern states on SNAP? Not good enough? Here’s data through April 2014 from the USDA.

In Connecticut at the end of 2013 there were 437,131 receiving SNAP. In Alabama, there were 908,168.

Connecticut has an approximate population of 3.6 million. Alabama, 4.8 million.

Do the math. I did.

Are you suuure you want to go?

Maybe you were just mad about your oil bill?

There are no oil bills in the south.

Just BIG electric bills — because of the central air . . .

Don’t even get me started on racism, politics, or women’s rights.

Think things through, my friends. Grass is greener, and all that.

I myself have lived in a dozen or so states. And I kind of like this one.

Sarah L. Hamby is a photographer, non-profit press coordinator, and practitioner of politics. She lives in Pomfret Center.

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(45) Comments

posted by: Janster57 | May 2, 2014  7:39pm

I absolutely agree with you Sarah. Connecticut is beautiful. I love the state, I love the people, I’ve lived here for some 38 years. This is my home.  Last month I moved to Florida. I don’t want to go tit for tat with you. The reasons are that CT is hideously expensive and the state government doesn’t even bother to hide their larceny now. My tipping point was when I saw an employee of the DOT retiring at $200K a year. I realized that the only way they could pay him was to take it from me and give it to him. I own a firm in CT which employed 17 people. CT treats business owners like oppressors of the working classes. All that actually wouldn’t bother me if anyone, anyone, was lifting a finger to even start fixing it. No one is. I’m not blaming democrats. Republicans are just as bad, they just happen to be in the minority at the moment. It is a culture of political greed in this state at the expense of all else, which is quite sad. There are many good people in this state who do their level best to try to see the good, like yourself. For my part, I do a lot of volunteer work for animals and pet owners. The state now taxes money we make selling T shirts and other items for our all volunteer animal rescue group.  All of the positive people eventually give up. I am not retiring. I am starting a new firm there. I am just going to a place where I can thrive and grow, not wear a bulls eye.

posted by: RogueReporterCT | May 2, 2014  8:03pm

RogueReporterCT

I left in ‘87 because of the racial segregation and the crap condition of the cities, especially New Haven. Cities much improved now, but I will probably be leaving again. Why? Because it seems every native Connectican’s instinctive response to an inconvenient truth is to say, “I don’t like your tone”, invoke ‘civility’ and stop listening. (BTW, Connecticut, this is that point after which normal people get angry and start yelling at you, if you care).

posted by: ocoandasoc | May 2, 2014  8:18pm

You’re kidding, right?
You’re comparing life in one of the poorest cities in one state with life in a wealthy small town in another? It doesn’t track. (Greensboro – Population: 277,080 Median Household Income: $39,661   Pomfret – Population: 4,247 Median Household Income: $82,661)
You could have moved to one of a hundred places in North Carolina and found excellent educational opportunities for your child and a fine lifestyle. Suppose you had moved from Greensboro to Bridgeport, or New Haven, or Waterbury, or New London, etc., a far more equal comparison.  Do you think the schools there even vaguely resemble Pomfret Community School?
And who made you live in a trailer park?
I relocated from CT to TN last year. I liked CT just fine…. But once I retired I really could no longer afford it. And I’ve got a lot of company down here.
I bought a $300K house (in CT) for half that. My property taxes are 79% lower, there’s no income tax, and my annual utility bills (heat, central AC, phone, cable, internet, etc.) are running a third of what they were in CT thanks to cheap natural gas and TVA electricity.
I made a lot of new friends. Most of them are from CT, NY, IL, MA and PA. And you know what? None of them live in trailer parks.

posted by: wmwallace | May 2, 2014  9:49pm

Trashing the south is typical from those who look down on people who are different from one self. The south may be behind the Northeast, but the people are friendlier and the taxes are much lower along with the cost of living. When people retire they retire down south, not up north.

If I could move I would in a heartbeat and in the next few years I will be able too. I am many others are leaving because Connecticut it not friendly to taxpayers or retirees.

posted by: marcfitch | May 2, 2014  10:55pm

Somewhat amazing and pathetic that you are so upset about people wanting to move and your examples are a little dated; is anyone supposed to care that the first FM station was in CT? Hartford is a shooting gallery, Waterbury is an insane asylum, Bridgeport is a hole and New Haven looks like they are testing missiles on it. Yes Greenwich and Madison are nice but my brother bought a nicer house in South Carolina for a hundred grand less than I spent here and his taxes are less by four thousand dollars. You can stay if you like, but don’t mock the people that are jumping ship. This isn’t a high school pep rally… this is real life.

posted by: gutbomb86 | May 3, 2014  2:09am

gutbomb86

Sarah is spot on here and appears to have a struck a nerve! How dare she challenge the conventional unwisdom of a b.s. poll from Gallup!

Marcfitch, Sarah is not the one who seems to be upset and pathetic, my friend.

Connecticut is a fantastic place to live unless you’re a grumpy old “get off my lawn” type. By all means, move away from your family and friends to some southern state that has terrible schools and terrible services and low costs along with their own lousy economy as well and all kinds of poverty. Go ahead, get your “free ride.” If money is everything to your quality of life, you’ll have plenty of room and free time to count your money in Tennessee or South Carolina…

Yeah, let’s talk about South Carolina! What a mecca of comfort that place is. Don’t they provide cigarettes, guns and fireworks free of charge to 1st graders there? No thanks!

Connecticut is a great place to live - that’s a big part of why it’s expensive. Property values are the prime driver of costs here, and why are property values high even in a down real estate market? DEMAND. Can’t argue with economics.

And by the way, it IS fair to trash the south for the nonsense that goes on there. You want to trash Connecticut for its problems? Then your chosen states’ problems are fair game.

posted by: pattymelt | May 3, 2014  10:26am

One thing I have learned about CT lefties is they love trotting out southern racism, womens rights etc.  I lived in the south and actually found much less of it down there.  CT could be a great place to live.  But not on its current path and there is nothing to suggest CT will change for the better for a good long time.

posted by: SLHamby | May 3, 2014  10:59am

SLHamby

Hi Janster.
$200K is a lot of money.
About eight times what I make a year?
I do think that we live in a culture of greed - but that’s not politics or Connecticut. That’s people. And would be a different op-ed.
I do some volunteer work myself. Just a little…
I don’t think people eventually give up.
I haven’t.
I’m tired. I get it.
But if you give up you didn’t mean it.
I think CT has some work to do.
My post is not to suggest that it’s perfect.
But there’s no reason to jump ship and think it will be better somewhere else.
A good chunk of the 49 percent are fooling themselves.
Good luck in Florida!

posted by: SLHamby | May 3, 2014  11:03am

SLHamby

Hi Rogue.
I read about the segregation when I moved here. In fact, in a recent Humanities class, I tried to discuss it (particularly re. the schools in Hartford) and was a little disappointed when no one believed me.
(I was asked to bring in sources. I did.)
It didn’t go well.
That’s kind of funny, really, the invocation of ‘civility’ in order to avoid confrontation?
It is kind of annoying, isn’t it?
My father used to do that.
“When you’re ready to discuss this like adults…”
NO! I want to talk about it NOW!

posted by: SLHamby | May 3, 2014  11:22am

SLHamby

Of course I’m not kidding.
I rarely joke.

Thing is, ocoandasoc, you’re making an assumption. I could not have moved to any other place in North Carolina. Or to any other place in Connecticut, for that matter.
I kind of got here by accident.
The trailer got sold, I had no job, no car, Mom bought a house up here, we moved in to it, that sort of thing…
But I didn’t tell everyone that part.

Who made me live in a trailer park?
Welp.
My mom owned that home.
And we lived in it.
Cuz we were poor, see.
Yup.
A $300,000 house was - and is - kind of out of my price range?
I made about 12K last year, plus funds from the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, working multiple part time jobs and going to school, volunteering about 25 hours a week.

And see.
That’s the thing.
I was living in a trailer park.
With nothing.
And now I live in Pomfret.
And have accomplished significant things.
The point is that it’s NOT Greensboro.
Yes. I could compare Pomfret and… Charleston.
Charleston’s nice enough. (I could tell you a few things about it that aren’t so great, too…)
And I see what you’re getting at. I didn’t compare a nice town in the south with a nice town in Connecticut and gosh darn it that’s not fair.
But do you think people are comparing the nice things about Connecticut in their head when Gallup calls?
No. They are thinking about taxes and snow in April and minimum wage.
No one’s thinking about ag grants or vet IDs on licenses or our excellent domestic violence laws or anything I personally find helpful.
There’s a long list.
So I offered some balance.
Connecticut is a great place to live and an excellent place to raise a child.
If you want to retire somewhere else? Go for it!
But I think I’ll probably still be here…

posted by: SLHamby | May 3, 2014  11:28am

SLHamby

Ahhhh Mr. Wallace.
I wasn’t trashing the south. I was picking up Connecticut.
You’re right. The people in the south are different
My daughter - who spent the formative years of her life there - gets odd looks when she says, “hello,” to people on the street.
We make eye contact with strangers. We compliment people we don’t know.
I still say ‘y’all.’

But I won’t stop liking Connecticut or defending it.
I’ve had great success here.
And for all that you say the people are nicer in the south, perhaps some of that “nice” could head up this way…cuz it seems saying, “I like Connecticut!” sure has gotten me in trouble.

posted by: SLHamby | May 3, 2014  11:32am

SLHamby

Marc?
I had this response to you all written out in my head.
And then I realized…

That you probably need to go to a pep rally.
(I called them prep rallies when I was in high school. I was kind of snarky. They have a lot of them in the south. With some awesome drumline stuff. Check it out when you get down there.)

posted by: Terry D. Cowgill | May 3, 2014  12:28pm

Terry D. Cowgill

I’ve lived and worked in several different states, plus five years in Canada. And, as a native Texan, I must say that I do tire of hearing Northeasterners blast away at any place that’s less expensive to live in.

There are wonderful places to raise a family in the south and in the west. And there are horrible places to raise your kids in CT. I spent a summer in North Carolina and could easily see myself living there. Or returning to Texas.

And you also have to consider your economic situation when make these comparisons. Texas and Mississippi are miserable places to live if you’re poor. CT is better, for sure. Fortunately, however, I am not poor.

I think another reason so may people are bailing from CT isn’t necessarily because of high taxes. I work in Massachusetts, which also has high taxes. But the services you receive are generally pretty good. Ditto in Canada: higher taxes but excellent services.

What we have in CT is high taxes and services that are fair at best. That’s never a good combination when trying to calculate quality of life.

posted by: SLHamby | May 3, 2014  12:53pm

SLHamby

Hello Patty.

You’ve learned that Connecticut lefties don’t like racism and they like equality?
That’s awful!
I guess middle of the road conservative, Democrats are the same way!
Neat.

posted by: SLHamby | May 3, 2014  1:08pm

SLHamby

Hiya Terry.
I’m still not sure I’m blasting away at the south.
And I don’t really think any place is a good place to be poor.
Is Connecticut a better place to be poor?
Maybe.

I don’t think I wrote, “The south sucks.”
I think what I did write was, “it doesn’t suck here.”

Few seem to want to acknowledge that, really.
Your child will, very likely, receive a better education in Connecticut.
You will probably make more money in Connecticut.
The seasons are AWESOME in Connecticut.
My mother (and sometimes this is NOT a pro…) is in Connecticut.

There is (slightly) less racism in Connecticut. Less religious persecution. Less sexism.
The people here are healthier.

Yes. The people here are cranky. I think the risk of breast cancer is higher? (Weird fact.)
And some other not so fun things.
But - for me - Connecticut rocks.
Maybe it’s an Army thing.
Suck it up and drive on.
I dunno.

But folks keep comin’ at me for bashin’ the south?
Talkin’ up the state I was born in ain’t bashin’ the south…

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 3, 2014  2:29pm

Janster is right on the money. Her post and Terrys last sentence in his post hit the nail on the head.

Anyone disgreeing with the combination of their two thoughts are really living in a fantasy world.

posted by: Terry D. Cowgill | May 3, 2014  3:32pm

Terry D. Cowgill

“Don’t even get me started on racism, politics, or women’s rights.”

I don’t know Sarah. Sounds like you’re taking a swipe to me.

When I used to travel a lot on business about 10 years ago, I spent a lot of time in places like Richmond Va, West Palm Beach, Austin and New Orleans.

Ironically, I saw a lot more blacks and whites sharing dinner and drinks in those cities than I ever have here in the northeast.

posted by: SLHamby | May 3, 2014  3:53pm

SLHamby

“When I used to travel a lot on business about 10 years ago, I spent a lot of time in places like Richmond Va, West Palm Beach, Austin and New Orleans.

Ironically, I saw a lot more blacks and whites sharing dinner and drinks in those cities than I ever have here in the northeast.”

Riiiight.
Do you think that might be because there are more black people there??

According to the US Census, CT has a black population of about 11.2 percent, compared to the US average of 13.1.

Virginia: 19.7.
Florida: 16.6.
Texas you can almost have.
12.3.
Hispanic or Latino? 38.2%.
LA: 32.4% black.

Rhode Island? 11.2
MA: 7.9
NH: 1.4
VT: 1.1

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 3, 2014  5:33pm

I’ll be looking for Gutbomb to jump all over me for this comment.

Terry saw more blacks and whites enjoying life together in these places because these places are more conservative and conservatives tend more to judge people on the content of their character.

SL Hamby pointed out the population differences and although these states will clearly vote Dem quite frequently they will vote Republican just as frequently.

Bottom line is that Northeast liberals tend to be more racist without realizing it.

posted by: Terry D. Cowgill | May 3, 2014  5:36pm

Terry D. Cowgill

@Sarah >> So it’s just a matter of numbers and nothing else? If blacks and whites truly can’t stand each other, they will not hang with each another, no matter what the percentage.

Or perhaps you have proved my point after all. Confronted by numbers, southerners have come to grips with their racist past better than those in the north who can better insulate themselves from having to integrate socially.

posted by: gutbomb86 | May 3, 2014  6:33pm

gutbomb86

I’m not going to jump on you Joe. Sarah has made her point and clearly gone out of her way to answer comments here. Kudos to her.

Her use of the word “racism” is pretty minimal (one word in fact). She outlined actual differences in the schools and made her case for why she loves CT. But I would respectfully disagree with folks who are trying to validate what is essentially a meaningless poll by attempting to denigrate Sarah’s op-ed through an unsupported suggestion that CT is more racist than some or all of the southern states.

Just because you have once or twice seen people of color at the same restaurant table with whites shows that there are some people who are not racist in the south - more interaction is good. But unfortunately we’ve seen a hideous resurgence of racism in the south and elsewhere since the election of our president, and oh yeah, there’s a history there. It’s still part of the culture in many southern communities. That’s not something anyone can argue with. All you’re trying to do is defend a nonsense poll whose results are far more a reflection of restless human nature and weather than public policy or the quality of life in CT - which is fantastic by the way, despite Republican efforts to make you believe otherwise.

Costs are high because of competition. If CT wasn’t in demand, the price of living here would be lower. Folks who don’t want to compete anymore are the ones who are leaving. The grass is always greener until a lot more people show up and start walking/standing on it.

The Gallup poll never asked “why” people might want to move. I think this whole discussion would be moot if you had the “why” data. Decisions to uproot and move from one state to another are based on substantive things that have very little to do with public policy or partisanship. People move for jobs and weather. Yes, retirees maybe can squeeze a few more dollars out of their retirement in Florida, but in the big scheme of things, the financial difference isn’t that much and Sarah makes an excellent point in that the wages are higher here. I’ll add an important factor - your CHOICES have an impact on costs in CT. Smaller homes are available in CT. That 3,000-sq ft home with 3 br and 3 bathrooms in that nice suburb with a spectacular school system will cost you. Try a less expensive neighborhood and be part of a community, rather than hiding from your neighbors and hoping money and gov’t services will grow on trees. That’s not a strategy.

Does CT have some underlying racial segregation? Sure. In the last few days it’s once again become clear that there are a lot of racist hockey fans in the northeast. But at least CT has tried, and continues to to try, to make an effort to address systemic racism. There are bad apples everywhere. But to suggest that CT is more segregated than parts of the south - or has a history of racism similar to the south - is just ridiculous and reeks of a sort of denial.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 3, 2014  7:03pm

Gutbomb like the ACLU where I agree with them 1 out of 100 times I agree with you on the Bruins hockey fans racism. Vile, disgusting and every other adjective that can be used to describe the people that did this, but most of all racist pigs.

The issue with Obama is not that people didnt vote for him because he is black. Trust me when I say I dont know one person that didnt vote for him because of that. Some people voted for him because they thought him being black was good for America.

However I do know people now that call him racist names. Why? Because he has shown himself to be dishonest, smug, anti-Constitutional, and also to be a racist.

He jumped all over the Cambridge professor situation and all over the Trayvon martin situation. He has never spoken out about the situations like the Australian baseball player who was gunned down in Oklahoma by people who flat out said it was because he was white. He has never spoken out about the truck driver in Detroit, the baby being executed in his carriage in Georgia, the videos (latest one in the last few days) of black teens beating a single white student on a bus. Did any of them look like his son?

He has the bully pulpit and he has shown his selective racism and people are noticing and responding.

The man needs to stand up and be a leader of all people. His speech on race was a joke. He needs to stand up and say to everyone of all races, creeds, religions to cut the crap. We’re all in this together and life is too short. He’ll never do that because it isnt who he is and it doesnt appeal to his base. It would actually appeal to me.

posted by: justsayin | May 3, 2014  8:20pm

Sarah you wrote an oped piece. Your point of view, apparently one that has struck a core.Let it go, you need to.be thicker skinned if this is what you choose to do.

posted by: Janster57 | May 3, 2014  10:09pm

Again, Sarah, I absolutely agree with you. I’m not giving up on the people of CT. I maintain a presence here. Truly, I care for the people I work for here. The government is beyond corrupt.Just today Isaw that Larry Cafaro has been arguing positions his law firm was hired to advocate.Jon LenderSunday Courant. The point in my comment is that I would be delighted to fix things here. Truly, the cold doesn’t bother me in the least. Our politicians across the board have little interest in anything other than themselves. The sad fact in CT is that every last one of them will be re elected, Malloy included.I guarantee it. Despite the various budget disasters,I don’t know that Don Williams has ever seen a budget that he didn’t think was balanced. I’m not flipping the bird to Connecticut. I am turning away in sadness.

posted by: SLHamby | May 3, 2014  10:59pm

SLHamby

Conservatives tend more to judge people on the content of their character.
What do other people judge folks on?

And oh yes. There’s some hate goin’ on up here.
But until I see segregated proms or boys getting curbed for dating white women…I think New England is a little different.
Not as free of racism as I thought it would be, admittedly. But different.

Oh Terry.
You like this a little too much.
There is racism here.
But it is not the same.
You can try to make it the same?
But it won’t work.

gutbomb’s right, “Decisions to uproot and move from one state to another are based on substantive things that have very little to do with public policy or partisanship. People move for jobs and weather.”

I’m not sure why that’s hard to admit?

Folks in Connecticut did say why they’d like to leave.
12% - Cost of living.
6% - taxes.

“Looking ahead, how likely is it that you WILL move to a different state in the next 12 months—?”
Not too/not at all likely:
84%.

I didn’t know responding meant I was cryin’ in my beer, justsayin’...


Keep the faith, Jan.

posted by: wmwallace | May 4, 2014  1:39am

The point is that Connecticut has the highest tax burden and is a horrible place to for seniors. Those are facts and no matter how you try to sugar coat it that is a huge problem with Connecticut.

So while you may think things here are okay for many of us it’s not. I know things won’t be great elsewhere, but than again it will be better financially than what it is here.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 4, 2014  7:35am

Ok I’ll answer that.

First of all my comment used the word “tend” and not “all”.

Second, liberals tend to put people into oppressed groups and conservatives tend to say, “get out of your own way and overcome what the obstacle is because you are no different than anyone else.”

There are a ton of examples of this every day. Here is just one based on something I just read about voter fraud in North Carolina.

Conservatives say “you need an ID to vote.”

Liberals throw out bogus reasons why this disenfranchises black people from voting, and why their hardships make it impossible for a number of them to get any kind of ID to do that.

Why would anyone not want to know that everyone that votes is who they say they are? That way we don’t have to worry about rigged elections which would destroy the core of our representative republic.

posted by: DirtyJobsGUy | May 4, 2014  10:42am

I traveled and/or worked in 49 of 50 states and find that Northeasterners generally are pretty provincial. But data is data and the fact that we have a practical net outflow of working people and jobs tends to reinforce the poll.  I also find that liberals/progressives really need to herd together and tend to draw an enormous amount of self-esteem from their zip code rather than their own selves.  It is important to live in an “acceptable” locale (i.e. CT/MASS but in Lakeville or Cambridge not Bristol or Fall River). 

Terry’s comments on poor public servies are right on the button.  My Daughter is a geologist and since the much vaunted UConn dropped and restarted their program a few years back, we looked westward.  The University of Utah had a great program, plenty of scholarships and a list price for non-residents only a few thousand above UCONNs resident costs.  Our pricey suburban schools were not as good as my Chicago suburban schools 40 years ago, but to listen to the spin from our aspirational liberals were fantastic.

Data rules, so this poll really hit the liberal world hard.  My advice to them,  relax and get your self-esteem from your own accomplishments not the state budget.  Also demand better from our public servants and reps.

posted by: DirtyJobsGUy | May 4, 2014  10:48am

Oh and Sarah,  my grandparents retired to a small town in Southern Illinois from St. Louis and bought (god forbid!) a mobile home (trailer) on a small lot.  It was the happiest place in the world for grandchildren to visit.  Some of the neighbors didn’t have indoor plumbing but were the nicest, friendliest people you could ever meet.

Lose the attitude Ma’am. (Oops that’s a Southern expression, what a Rube I must be)

posted by: StillRevolting | May 4, 2014  11:14am

I love this state. I’m a native that has been fortunate enough to see a lot of the rest of this great country of ours and I like it right here. I like nearly everything here from the people to the land itself. We have our issues and most of them are created by us. Return for the tax dollar is simply lower here. For what I send to Hartford every year, I should never even have to look at a pothole. The electorate is responsible for this by sending our incredibly poor choices of representation to Hartford. We can begin making progress on this in the fall. Because we will almost certainly return the majority of Democrats to the legislature, we simply can’t afford to return Malloy. We must have effective discussion and dissent in Hartford and we don’t under one-party rule. Our over-reaching clown caucus of a state government now feels it has the right to dictate things like from whom we buy our pets, what kind of grass we can grow, and what type of milk our kids can drink. All this while they fail miserably at improving our economy and closing the educational and pay inequities that they continually use as emotional bludgeons to justify stealing more of my pay for another failed program or two. We are turning my beloved state into one of the least American places in America and that is my biggest frustration in living here. If anyone wants to translate that statement into me wishing to overturn Roe v. Wade, legalize an Apache helicopter in every backyard, or, get rid of the EITC, it won’t work. I simply think it is a terrible idea to turn our self-governing franchise over lock, stock, and barrel to a single-minded group that fails to achieve our goals. The Connecticut Democrats we sent to Hartford have proven themselves to be exactly that. I want a responsible government and we do not currently have one in this state. We have the opportunity to at least add a dissenting voice that hopefully doesn’t see a government role in everything and in some cases wants to keep government out of our way by not re-electing Malloy.

posted by: shinningstars122 | May 4, 2014  11:32am

shinningstars122

This is one of the reasons I love living in CT. You stand up for your state, add alittle satire and you your thread blows up.

As any New Englander knows all too well we love to complain and when it comes to taxes?!?

Forget about it. The greatest sin of our democracy.

There are only a few times of the year we don’t complain May into early June and September.

Lucky for us, those that actually choose to stay, that first four weeks of serenity is just around the corner.

As Mark Twain once remarked about our state capitol.

“A city whose fame as an insurance center has extended to all lands and given us the name of being a quadruple band of brothers working sweetly hand in hand—the Colt’s Arms Company making the destruction of our race easy and convenient, our life insurance citizens paying for the victims when they pass away, Mr. Batterson perpetuating their memory with his stately monuments, and our fire insurance companies taking care of their hereafter.”

Or maybe this one is more appropriate?

“I don’t think the folks in the low-tax states really want to go into a fairness discussion. Residents of Connecticut and New York would love to remind them how much they pay in federal taxes to support programs for Mississippi and South Dakota.”
Gail Collins

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 4, 2014  2:34pm

Still revolting , well said. However there are many people in this state and on this web site that would argue, and do every day, that you arent paying enough in taxes, we need to be more equal in outcomes, and that there is much more regulation to do because the government knows better.

The bottom line is I was born here and grew up in Hartford. Democrats were different. They were for the working man as they would tout. My father was a sheet metal worker Democrat and he told me that the first time he started to question that was when a Hartford Democrat politician came to his union hall to give a speech and what came out of his mouth was communism, and these tough construction guys knew it and were mad.

We are all overtaxed and I would bet if Gallup did the poll and asked if people that said they were leaving would stay if there was no state income tax, the numbers would be very different. They get you in state, property, gas pump, fees, and for a swath of society that’s not enough as we need to give more and more and more.

I’ve said this before as part of 2nd amendment issues. Give these people their own state or two, but once in, they can never leave so they can live under their own policies and the rest of us dont have to. They’d be dying to get out, but too bad. They ruined California and Colorado and now on to ruin Texas because they just cant stand to live in the aftermath of the policies they support.

posted by: Stan Muzyk | May 4, 2014  6:09pm

Unless the voters do wise up and vote Gov. Malloy out of office—there is no choice for moving out of state and capable taxpayers to be forced into an exodus from Connecticut.
The offset to this scenario is that the social benefit, taxpayer-paid voters will stay to collect their welfare checks and vote for bankruptcy driven Malloyism.  The bottom line is that a working crowd must stay to pay our rising taxes—unless they are eventually forced into bandruptcy themselves due to our depressed economy.
Sadly, “it’s like being squeezed between a rock and a hard-place to try to survive in Connecticut.”

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | May 4, 2014  10:42pm

DrHunterSThompson

The good Doctor digs Sarah.

HST

posted by: gutbomb86 | May 5, 2014  12:29am

gutbomb86

@dirtyjobsguy - maybe you should listen to your grandparents. They moved to Illinois, the only state on this ridiculous poll’s list that has a higher percentage than CT of people who supposedly would move elsewhere.

@stanmuzk - same cranky comment, copy-pasted from one thread to another. Yawn. Still waiting for a viable candidate from your party. Still waiting for a viable idea. Instead your party has pitched a budget that is essentially the same as Malloy’s. Maybe you should take the hint and realize that there is a level of spending that is required in a state as densely populated as Connecticut. There are responsibilities that need to be met. It’s not a “household” budget. It’s a state budget, much more complex. Maybe - just maybe - you’ll realize that the reason your ideas don’t get traction, even through one of the two major parties, is because they aren’t good ideas and that there are always mitigating circumstances beyond what Fox tells you.

Yup - I’m here to stay in CT. Still voting for Dan Malloy and proud of it. Here’s why:

-I’ve got excellent insurance for the first time through the ACA, which was rolled out without significant problems here and was on its way in CT even before the ACA. That’s right - CT was going to have affordable insurance before the Obama administration even got the ACA through. Happy to have been part of nationwide effort rather than going it alone.

-Paid sick days - this was the moral thing to do. In fact, I think it needs to go further since I’ve suffered from a stomach flu I picked up at a restaurant, likely from someone who was still afraid to take a sick day.

-The minimum wage increase - it was time. And it’s rolling out gradually as a compromise, which is appropriate. BTW, despite a lot of blather here, there has NEVER been a time when a minimum wage hike didn’t help the economy overall.

-Tighter control of firearms - long overdue and much needed. Needs to be mandated at the federal level but once again, smarter gov’t here leads the way. This alone gets my vote for Malloy.

-Balanced budget. It’s not perfect and there are still some revenue streams where they appear to be hopeful, but nevertheless they’ve kept the lights on and the doors open AND have made significant improvement by investing in better data management at one of the state’s biggest cost centers - DSS. Should have been modernized a long time ago. They’re getting it done.

-Earned Income Tax Credit - helps people who need it.

-Paying for contractually agreed pensions.

-We’re leading the way on scrutiny of GMOs - our food supply is our most precious commodity and needs more scrutiny since the federal gov’t was nearly bankrupted by two unfunded wars and a conscious effort by Republicans to destroy regulatory and inspection capacity of every agency. Your party, StanMuzk, has made us less safe as consumers by ruining the gov’t's ability to keep dangerous products off the market.

-ETC ETC

posted by: Noteworthy | May 5, 2014  7:04am

Obviously, writing from one of the lowest taxed, less diverse communities in the entire state, the author never spent more than 20 minutes in North Carolina. Taxes and fees are lower; Spring comes much earlier; Winter is much shorter; and Fall is much longer. From the mountains to the Piedmont to the coast - there are a plethora of artist colonies, rich and bountiful history, beautiful scenic byways and all the wonders of nature you can enjoy along with good weather. The road systems are excellent and frankly, there is far less racism than we are confronted with here on a near daily basis. The university systems are excellent. Bottom line: Ms. Hamby should have gotten out more while spending her few minutes in NC.

posted by: GBear423 | May 5, 2014  7:12am

GBear423

Cost of living in the south is waaaaaaay lower than here. NY Apples and Florida oranges.
Love the pictures provided, the beauty of CT is breathtaking! Though there are some nice pics of the Appalachians and the South too, not just trailer parks.
racism abounds in New England, The South, and apparently in Los Angeles too. Its ugly everywhere/anywhere. 
i think its sad that the author chooses to label the south in her column with such stereotypical remarks. :O/

posted by: SLHamby | May 5, 2014  9:04am

SLHamby

It got a little silly so I decided to work this weekend instead of sniping back but this I have to respond to.
I was stationed at Fort Campbell from 1995 - 1999 and lived in North Carolina from 2000 - 2005.
Suggesting that Pomfret has low taxes suggests…
Well I won’t tell you what I think it suggests but maybe you ought to look that up.

Stereotypical remarks.
Really?
Darlin’ if I wanted to make stereotypical remarks about the south you’d know it.
What I DID do was say that I’d been there, done that, along with a bunch of other places - and decided Connecticut was better.
Bunch of people don’t seem to like that.

Poll can come out saying with less than half of 600 people saying they’d like to leave and the world tilts on its ear - everyone reposts it.
Cheers are heard across the state. ‘Bout time someone said how terrible it is here!
But someone most of you have never heard of talks about how great it is here and the world ends?
Really?

posted by: Matt W. | May 5, 2014  10:27am

Matt W.

My in-laws built in Myrtle Beach about 3yrs ago. Taxes there were $2800/yr vs. their home in Tolland where they pay $11k.  Now they are residents and the taxes are $800. Of the 7 houses in their little cul-de-sac, 5 are owned by current or former CT residents.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 5, 2014  11:42am

Matt, obviously a bunch of former CT people that dont understand personal finance, economics, or what’s in their bank account. How dare they leave other people behind that they should be paying for.

posted by: GBear423 | May 5, 2014  11:45am

GBear423

Fort Campbell?  I was C Co 502nd Infantry, lived on Tobacco Road in Clarksville TN in my single wide trailer- I ETS’d in 95, guess I just missed ya lol

Yes sugar, stereotypes in your column: “racism, women’s rights”, and a picture of a trailer, you can’t deny it.  and yeah I get you coulda went heavier on stereotypes- Christ i lived on Tobacco Road!!  lmao.

Humidity.  Lord, that is good enough reason to not live in the South, downright oppressive.

posted by: justsayin | May 5, 2014  12:44pm

Aint civilization grand, darlin’!

posted by: ASTANVET | May 6, 2014  6:09pm

Woah woah woah - settle down people… sheesh.  I love how the ‘tollerant’ one’s always tell people with different opinions to “get out”... awesome.  No prejudice there.  Someone (GUT) invoked economics, and someday when it’s time to retire i have two choices.  Stay in CT or move to a more tax friendly state.  This would give me about a 12K raise which is more than just walkin around money.  Of course if I stay, it would be to fix that, run for office (i can’t do that while I still serve), so I’m kind of trapped.  I’ve lived all over, other states, other countries, loved many of them, loved Georgia, VA, South Carolina, Texas… not so fond of Brazil, California, or Florida… I’m a new englander - we think different…and though GUT and I are vastly different, we have more in common by being new englanders than he or I would like to imagine.  I’d love to fix CT - I always find my way back here - I am raising my daughter here…although we are not city people, we are horse people - so I don’t share the same experience as a bridgeport, hartford, new haven person… have a little more tolerance people - yeah you GUT - because we ALL love CT… I hope I can afford to stay (if GUT will allow it) when I do retire, if not… it’s a self interest thing.  That is to be celebrated that we have the freedom to escape the prisons that we make and seek greener pastures… it isn’t like that in every corner of the globe I will assure you of that.

posted by: CTResidentForLife | May 7, 2014  9:34am

I’m looking forward to leaving Connecticut when I retire after being a life long resident.  I hope I can leave before it gets much worse.  The irresponsible spending, regulations and loss of freedom here is so bad it’s not a difficult choice to leave.

posted by: DirtyJobsGUy | May 7, 2014  11:06am

I do like the gist of many of these comments.  The idea of instead of ignoring the problems in the state, fix them! 

High costs?  Do something to lower them!

No Jobs?  Encourage business growth!

Personal Freedom (to live, educate your kids and do business freely) restricted?  Make it a priority to reduce the nanny state (and associated cronyism).

I often ask people where the old Yankee spirit of thrift, hard work and entrepreneurism went.  Part of the answer is all those people left (or were driven out) town.  Lure them back.