This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 31, 2011 3:58 PM. The previous post in this blog was Duck and cover. The next post in this blog is Cha-ching! More Portland water bill money wasted. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Misery loves weirdness

Portland is the second most miserable place in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal. They looked at unemployment, gas prices, and housing values. Fools that they are, they did not count streetcars as a plus. Phoenix came in first (that is, worst).

Comments (17)

I'm sure the mayor's office will announce a 'study' or 'poll' that refutes it, claiming 'it's just plain wrong', or maybe 'it's because of the economy and I am creating new bureaus to help the people of Portland get through these difficult times... yada yada... just give me more power and money... yada yada...'.

Somehow, being well off, nice house but living in the middle of the Sonoran Desert would be far more miserable.

That would account for Phoenix, I suppose.

Worse off than Detroit? Even Chicago. I know Chicago well, and the last time I was there (2007) I couldn't wait to get back.

Yes... 12% unemployment, huge water bills, wacky bureaucrats, crappy schools, an understaffed police force, and consistent drops in home values have seriously raised the misery index for us all.

Throw in having to look at Sam and Randy's ugly mugs makes this place downright unbearable.

Phoenix has at-grade light rail. They're finding it's a killer app.

Watched a presentation from LWV on their recent metro Portland study. It's on one of the government access channels and I'm sure they'll re-run it 20 times. Key point is that too few have full time jobs, and too few jobs pay a so-called family wage. Add in housing costs which may be modest compared directly to other West coast cities, but which are far more unaffordable relative to local household income.

They point to poor education outcomes and disappearing private sector jobs as key issues. They didn't mention the unfortunately common inability of job-seeking Portlanders to stay sober and pass a drug test.

Phoenix came in first (that is, worst).

But...but...Phoenix hired away Steve Banta, TriMet's former Director of Operations, to be their General Manager of their light rail system!

Further, Phoenix contracts out their entire bus system so all he has to worry about is light rail! And Phoenix is embracing light rail, so all must be good and wonderful, because of light rail!

Obviously Phoenix needs bioswales.

Most of us reading and commenting on this blog are probably spared from the true state of our local economy. Having spent time this past week trying to track down some of the subcontractors that we have employed over the past 15-20 years; it is sobering and heart wrenching to find out the true state of the the local workers.

Countdown to a Chuck Sheketoff-Blue Oregon post blaming Measure 5 for this....

Countdown to a Chuck Sheketoff-Blue Oregon post saying that Measures 66 and 67 are the reasons we are not at the top of the list. "Vital services" provided by SIEU and AFSCME, yadda, yadda ...

So, under this study, if you ride a bike, the city is that much less miserable because gas prices don't effect you.

Well when you convert an economy from shipping, logging, fishing, and agriculture to boutiques, coffee shops, and quiche- the chances for sustainable employment goes way, way down.

We have pretty much been living off people selling their properties, moving to Portland, and investing their profit differential into small businesses and what not.

That bubble has burst.

See folks: Cleveland and Detroit are the places to be. Now please leave.

If they counted food carts, I'm sure we'd move into the top 10.

Or how about the price of quality bud?

When your "misery index" ranks Minneapolis, Denver and Seattle as among the most miserable, and Detroit and Cleveland among the least miserable, you know you're measuring the wrong things.

Detroit isn't miserable? Tell that to the nearly quarter-million people who left the city during the past decade.

Well as some of you know, my wife and I left in November 2009; but continue to come back often to see our family here. I have to say that I'm really glad we sold our east side home back in August of 2010; as home prices have dropped at least another 4-5% since we left.
Also, our Reno area water bills are about 40% of what we paid in Portland; and we are saving loads of money this year with no state income tax to pay for 2010.
Although Las Vegas is still a financial black hole; the economy here in the Reno-Lake Tahoe area seems to be improving. About once a week, a new eatery or business opens here. Often moving their operations from California.
And state tax revenues are rising the past three months. It was 80 here today; and I mowed the lawn for the first time
this year...

Dave A.
Glad the move was good for you.
Thanks for the report.
Have a feeling lots more will not only want to leave, but will have to leave as they won't be able to afford to stay.

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