should we stay or should we go

For the last few years C and I have been kicking around the idea of moving out-of-state (Michigan, for those who aren’t aware).

Okay, C’s been wanting to move for some time and I’ve been dragging me feet. Why? Search me (just watch you hands mister).  But not anymore. I’m ready to live some place else. Not that I dislike Michigan so much. In fact, there’s plenty to like about Michigan. But it ain’t all gravy either. With each passing year the winters get more unbearable. And summer, when temps get up into the 90s and the humidity makes it like breathing through wet, wool blanket, can be rough. Plus we live near Woodward and I’ve pretty much had with the Woodward Dream Cruise. We get it already — you people like cars. Sheesh!

Anyhoo…I got to thinking that maybe this is something to blog about. Off and on. Reasons to leave, reasons to stay. Possible places to relocated to. Etc.

So let’s begin with perhaps the most glaringly obvious reason to bolt Michigan. The shite economy. Which is pretty shite right now but, according to Jack Lessenberry in a recent column of his in the Metro Times it is going to get a whole lot shite-ier.

….what few of us realize is that the very real pain many of us will feel hasn’t even started yet. That will happen starting this fall. Here’s the scoop. The federal government can run a deficit bigger than Betelgeuse, as long as it can keep borrowing money from somewhere.

But the state legally has to balance its books every year, meaning that if they don’t have it, they can’t spend it. When the politicians run short of money to do what they planned on, like fixing the roads or funding schools, they have two choices: a) cut services or b) raise revenues, via taxes or fees.

Hmm. I wonder which one it’s going to be? Let me think, let me think. Of course, cut services b/c the Repub dominated congress would rather kiss Hillary Clinton’s warty butt than raise taxes. Okay, maybe not….no, they would.

“This should scare the (used hay) out of any thinking person in Michigan,” she told me. The Republican-controlled state Senate is on course to eliminate all funding for early childhood development, she reported.

Why don’t Repubs like children? Why?

And Dem Gov Jenny Grannyholm seems tempermentally incapable of taking these yahoos on.

So Fed Stimular money has been tapped to fill the whole in the budget. So bye bye new job creation. And in the end it still won’t be enough.

…sometime before September 2011, all that money will be gone. And if something isn’t done to change the entire way Michigan plans its budget, there will be a great crash, a deficit probably larger than $2 billion, and no obvious way to get that money, short of selling ourselves to Azerbaijan

I’m pretty sure the Azerbaijan comment is a joke, but at this point it almost sounds like a plausible alernative, doesn’t it?

The way ol’ Jack sees it we have two options:

We could accept that we want Michigan to be on a par with Haiti, or maybe Albania, and stop funding education and social services and forget about fixing the roads and bridges.

Or, we could raise taxes to something like the level required to maintain a civilized society. The best way to do that would be to pass a state constitutional amendment allowing a graduated income tax, which means that Matty Moroun and Geoffrey Fieger would pay a higher percentage than a kid who works at Holiday Market bagging groceries for $8 an hour.

I’m all for a graduated income tax b/c I don’t make much, and I get warm tingly feeling in my naughty bulbous parts at the prospect of sticking it to the rich. Take that fat cats!

Just to give you an idea of how bat shit crazy some pols in this state are:

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop is perhaps the prime example of this. Last week, he attacked the governor’s plan to lay off 104 new state troopers, all trained by the state at considerable expense to the taxpayers. The Freep quoted him as saying, “We’ve lost our mind … we’re not focusing on law enforcement.”

The governor says she hates doing it too; it is just that there is no money. Bishop’s response? His Senate Republicans called for another $4 million in cuts to the State Police budget next year


Sounds like Bishop hasn’t had his little bishop polished in a while and it’s making him cranky, not to mention coo coo for co co puffs.

Anyhoo… My point is with all this shit about to rain down on the heads of Michiganders, tell me where is the insentive to stay for crying out loud? Would you?

Right now C and I both have jobs and not much debt. But for how long? Better to bolt ahead of the crash if you can.

Let’s call that reason number 1 for bolting Michigan for new digs. And on a scale of 10-1, 1o being the most significant and 1 being the least, I’d rate it at least a 9.


5 responses to “should we stay or should we go

    • you don’t say?

      have to admit Oklahoma was not on our current list. Where we do eventually end up would depend on where C. could land a good job. And by good job I mean pays well and allows her opportunity to advance and enrich her career. i’m the flex-worker in the relationship, adapting as needed, a role I enjoy because i’ve don’t have traditional career goals. i’ll cast my line out and see what nibbles, take the best offer, or at least what is available.

  1. You’re right. You could leave. You could go to another state, which is probably only three steps ahead of Michigan, and will also suffer the same fate, eventually. It’s like just flying off and leaving Earth when it gets too hot from global warming — we’ll just go f-up another planet until that’s done, too.

    But you could also take a stand. You could also be part of a revolution to change what is here. GenX cynicism aside, it IS possible to make a difference — it’s the size of the difference that needs to be more realistic. Would your small contribution be enough to turn the tide? Maybe not. But if enough of us got off our tuchases and became active in the government that is running our lives —

    maybe it would. Just thinking — from another Michigander who’s in up to her neck so HAS to stay. For now.

    • Don’t misunderstand. It isn’t all about abandoning a sinking ship so as to not get dragged down by the undertow. Nor is it exclusive about an aversion to participating in the reconstruction. We’d simply like to live some place else for awhile. A change of scenery as it were.

      If we had our druthers we’d move to California, but even anyone who only catches the news in passing knows that Gov. Terminator’s state is in less than great shape right now. We like California not just because we want to live in the land of sunshine and the deep blue pacific ocean, not to mention hellish traffic and earthquakes. C’s got two sibling that live out there — one near LA and one near SF. If I had my choice I’d opt for the SF area. LA was okay to visit but I don’t think I’d really want to live there.

      Another place we’re looking as is Austin, Texas. I never would have thought I’d seriously consider relocating to the state that produced W (not to mention a kind of prick-ish office mate I had when I was in grad school, the kind of guy that insisted on posting a bumper stick on our office door that read: Don’t Mess with Texas, which I responded to by posting a sign that read: Detroit: wear the strong survive and the weak are killed an eaten) but the more I learn about Austin the more I like it.

      Anyhoo… my point is we aren’t Mitten-state haters and we certainly don’t want to see it’s demise. It’s just that one gets to a certain point in life and one desires a change of scenery.

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