It’s a Weird Day. Let’s Rank States!

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 10.09.15 AMThis weekend, for a wedding, my little family drove all the way up to Lisbon, NH, in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between America and Canada. Basically it’s about as far north as you can believe the US goes and then further. We passed signs saying “Thar be dragons.” As we drove through them, and to pass the time, we ranked the states of New England. Appropriately, this morning, I saw this: What’s The Matter With Connecticut?

Who would run away from Connecticut in the first place? It seems a state not afflicted, a lovely, hilly green hamlet nestled between Boston and New York. It has a low crime rate. It has stellar schools. It has the highest per-capita income of the 50 states. It’s home to Martha Stewart and America’s best pizza, for God’s sake. Edge complained primarily about the state’s political incompetency and its “freeloaders.” But there’s a much deeper malaise afflicting Connecticut and its angry letter-writers. While there is great wealth, there is stagnant growth. Along with high incomes has come increasing poverty. Amid those million-dollar mansions, the middle class has eroded. In short, Connecticut has somehow managed to become both the richest and worst economy in America. And what’s worse, America has started to look more and more like Connecticut.

This makes total sense to me because here’s my ranking, based on sober analysis and reflection:

1) Vermont: great branding, cute towns, cheddar cheese, maple syrup, skiing, Baby Boom

2) Massachusetts: Romneycare, Northampton, books, Cape Cod, Cambridge/Somerville, Camp Ramah

3) Rhode Island: Newport, Providence, Touro Synagogue, Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams

4) New Hampshire and Maine (tied): pretty lakes but the isolationist/libertarian streaks are a real turn-off. Also, way too remote and cold to be so expensive.

5) Connecticut: ???

Basically the only positive things about CT are Stars Hollow, which is fictional; Josh Michtom, who was born in NYC and transplanted to Hartford; and Yale.



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