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Monday, March 2, 2009

We're No. 1 -- and that ain't good

I don't know what to make of this. Even a cranky curmudgeon like myself isn't that down on the place. But the statistics are pretty telling.

Comments (34)

The most heavily weighted factors were the depression, suicide, jobs (unemployment and job loss), and crime rates.

There's the answer right there. And you can blame a lot of that on Portland's weather.

Depression, sure. But you blame the weather for crime and unemployment? Hurricane Vera, maybe.

I'm with you Jack, not sure what to make of it. Sure, the weather is a huge factor, so much so that I took an hour walk today just to bask in the sun.

Let's see if the PDX Chamber puts this ranking in their list of reason to relocate to PDX.

But we rank 24th in crime, so I'm thinking the depression was weighted higher. Not sure where our unemployment ranks, it is high, but so is virtually everwhere else

The ranking is obviously compiled by people who don't live in the Pacific Northwest.

When I recently spent a week in San Diego, several people I met there assumed everyone in Portland must be depressed to live under the clouds.

I gave up trying to explain that the rain is one of the things that make the Northwest so appealing (and makes us value sunny summer days much more than people who live in places where it's sunny 400 days a year).

Toward the end of winter the grey wet weather can begin to wear on one's nerves. And by the end of spring it really is a bit much.

I've been calling on the weather to resign now for two months.

Portland is so emo.

The most heavily weighted factors were the depression, [...]. The depression rate is based on drug company data on antidepressant sales.

Hold on, if we're all taking so much anti-depressant, then we're not actually depressed any longer, right? Maybe we're just the most treatment-prone!

We're No. 1!!!!

Finally Sam's job creation plan is working.

Best to worst in thirty years!


Tell everybody out of town! Send this to all your friends, family and acquaintances in all locations outside of Oregon.

Oh...mp97303? Look around you. Do you see any PDX Chamber? No? That's because it doesn't exist. It got all subsumed into some other animal. I was an economic development specialist at the old Chamber when Portland was named the Number One Most Livable City in the US.

BusinessWeek needs to read the Chaplowski Manifesto if they want to understand what Portlanders need to achieve happiness.

We're the unhappiest city? Really? I woulda' thunk it was somewhere in the South where they hate Obama, West Virigina maybe? (Yes I know that's not a state)

Well this is what you get from trying to be the most European city in America.

So sad.

I wonder if Metro has some award they can drag out to neutralize this ranking.

Or maybe Sam can have some event to cheer everyone up?
Tram Week? or something like that?

No Sam,,, not Teen Week.

I can't believe I didn't make it to the Chlapowski joke first. That was right on target.

Wait a minute, what am I thinking? The Chlapowski reference isn't a joke at all. He and Adams were dead serious. I think having spent the time and money for Chlapowski's insights that the people of Portland are in fact entitled to some sort of explanation here. Adams had the study done in this, the real world. How does he account for this?

Last weeks Oregonian had an interesting chart concerning the unemployment history of Oregon. In the past 25 years, Oregon had only 15 months with an unemployment average that was less than the national average! Maybe that has something to do with Happiness. Roland and Sam don't put much emphasis on jobs except talking about it-creating "creative centers" and bio tech jobs in Florida.

This is an old report showing unemployment at 7.8%.
We are close to 10% now which means we are solidifying our hold on #1.

In recent years the City of Portland has put developers and development schemes before its troubled or low income citizens.

Portland does not offer many of the housing, economic or other protections to renters that other major US cities do.

Renters used to be able to take a deduction for rent paid during a year; they no longer can. There used to be plentiful mid- to low-income apartments available; these buildings are increasingly being bought up and either remodeled to a point where the tenants are priced out of the market or torn down and the "infill" property converted to expensive condos. Hearings or no, the City nearly always comes out on the side of the developer.

30 days and you're out, regardless of the fact that you were a good tenant for years.

The State employment offices used to offer personal assistance to those seeking jobs. If the unemployed go there now, they have to shift for themselves, sorting through a shrinking number of subsistence and part time job offerings where the employer is often never identified by name and the complete onus is on the applicant. Employers need not even reply to employment inquiries.

Social support and medical support programs have been cut and cut.

Workers at City Unconcern and other agencies are tired, jaded and hardened. Personal experience, 4 years ago, before things got worse, made this clear to me.

The way things stand in Portland, even a gainfully employed person who makes less than $20,000 a year may only be able to afford to rent a storage unit for their possessions but not a place to live or the many deposits, fees, etc. demanded by property managers who are now requiring that applicants make 2 to 5x the high monthly rent before they will even be considered for tenancy.

The emotional support offered by a pet - often of many years - is denied the low income renter. A majority of available apartments do not allow animals or allow only one cat. And these charge high fees and deposits and make outrageous demands such as that the cat must be declawed. Declawing a cat causes more problems than it solves because the declawed cat, experiencing discomfort digging in a litterbox, started to defecate and spray on rugs and floors.

As a result renters are forced, in increasing numbers, to surrender their often aged pets to animal control or abandon them. Recent stories from the Oregon Humane Society, animal control in Troutdale as well as numerous listings on Craig's List for Portland stand as stark evidence of this trend.

These people can't afford to buy homes. They may have been forced out of a home and must rent.

The city acts like everybody can afford a home and a car or wants one. That is a bogus assumption.

Talk about depression . . . I guess you have to be living at that income level in Portland to really understand how depressing it can be.

I say let it go. Trying to explain that you're happy just makes you sound like a lunatic.
One time in my brief sound system days back in the 90s, we were assigned to cover one of those plaque presentations about how wonderful Portland is. The mayor didn't show - it was another official and they held it outside at Pioneer Square.
A citizen wandering by kept interrupting the proceedings yelling out that Portland sucked, and the Mayor was the anti-Christ.
I hate to be insensitive but I thought it was very funny. I realized we weren't as bad as the man said, or as perfect as the plaque said. It's always hard to quantify these things.
Besides, have you ever been to Hartford?

Can we put Gov. McCall's welcome signs back up?

Maybe it is Jack's debt calculator for he citizenry that is making us all so depressed.

We just need to raise some fees in the obvious areas like cars, trucks, motorcyles and planes. Compliment that with a 5% sales tax and Oregonians will be much happier.

No no no. It's the long string of broken promises that sadden the masses.

Never mind the post cards with light rail and trolley scenes.

The rest hasn't shown.

Sooner or later people get it,,,,
the phony BS and all, without the vision arriving.

The Port of Portland promised a jet aircraft maintenance boom with a $50 million hanger. FLOP

The Port of Portland promised a shipyard/dry dock boom with a $85 million floating dry dock. FLOP

The City of Portland/PDC promised a creative services cluster. FLOP

Metro/TriMet.CoP and the Port promised a ped/bike/pedestrian oriented mini-city with $200 million at Cascade Station. FLOP

CoP/OHSU/PDC promised a biotech cluster with 100s of millions in SoWa. FLOP

That's just off the top of my head and
there's much more disappointement with major employers leaving town.

Yet Portland officials simply do not care.
Their easy jobs and slouching towards retirement are not dependent upon success of the city or happiness for the citizenry.

So no big deal.

And with every department and elected official having a PR staff to peddle the public more BS they remain confident they will never face any consequenses.

The unemployment rate is constantly high because young people keep coming here without jobs just because they want to live here. So maybe this article will stop the in migration and help correct the employment picture.

Portland consistently gets low rankings from Money magazine and now from Business Week. So I'd say that from the greedhead perspective, Portland doesn't look so good.

So show of hands of everyone reading this who would rather live somewhere else.

(And if so, why aren't you?)

Portland is more unhappy than Detroit, Cleveland, and Kansas City?!
What a joke.

I lived 'back East' many years, following high school. At first, for a couple of years, I tried to give a good impression and rep re sent for my home team. Then I spun my head one-eighty and leaned into the punches. Anything anyone said that was bad, ("it's out in the sticks and out of touch"), I doubled it, ("actually, it's not in the 48 states anymore, Oregon drifted out to sea, you can't get there from here ... and you wouldn't want to").

I did my part to keep 'em out. When I got back, too many immigrants -- McIntire, Mabon, Sizemore, Cali beach flotsam (Monica Lewinsky, for instance) -- were trashing the place.

'Well now, where you goin' with all that Reaganomics?' It'll take two generations to get the Feds out, (Kroger, for instance), and clean this place up. I hope Business Week put PDXUgly on the cover.

Have you seen the lift lines at Meadows and Timberline?

Don't be sad and wistful. A new baseball stadium and major league soccer team will fix everything. Everyone in Portland will be happy at last. At least that's what's being promised.

Surveys like this are Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you make bad assumptions in any model, you just get crap as a result.

"Cloudy days" as an indicator of unhappiness? Seriously? I'd be a lot less happy if I had to spend more time each year shoveling snow (like, more than the couple hours I spent in last year's 50-year storm) or living in some desert hellhole like Phoenix. I suspect that the rain drives out most of the people who'd be unhappy with cloudy days.

As for the anti-depressant sales, that could simply mean that more people here are likely to or able to seek drug therapy for depression, not that more people are depressed. That could be a result of access to medical services, and regional acceptability of an admission to problems with depression.

It's not exactly an empirical measurement system.

LOL. Suppose it's a coincidence that Business Week ran as the lead photo the huge crowd for Obama last summer?

Well played.

Is that what that is?

I thought it was the Blues Festival. (Which would have made twisted sense.) There are no stages in the pix, that I could see, so I was unsure.

I'm fine with the greedheads finding Portland to be unattractive. Please, don't come. Thanks.

I also can't help but wonder, with the influx of outsiders, whether many of those flocking to our dismal shores aren't citizens of Prozac Nation fleeing the source of their angst elsewhere. Of course the incidence of antidepressants is high, it's around the treatment center.

godfry: I'm not certain, but it looks like the weather and the boats match up pretty well.

The first thing that sprang to mind when I saw the article was "BW included a photo of a nice, sunny day in Portland with this? Are they clueless?"

What darrelplant said. Exactly.

Darrelplant, I agree with you about garbage in and out on Lists. But last years Portland was noted in one of these "Top 100" lists as one of worst places for your "medical services". Blows your theory on value of lists.

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