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Ed Driscoll

What’s the Matter with Connecticut?

September 22nd, 2013 - 4:00 pm

Question: “How Did Rich Connecticut Morph Into One Of America’s Worst Performing Economies?”

Answer: “Government policies did their damage:”

State taxes and local property taxes. Unions corrupted urban governments, along with some of the immigrant Mafioso components. Semi-skilled blacks from the rural South moved north in a vast migration for the industrial jobs, jobs which fled this high-tax, heavily-unionized post-War state leaving them with nothing while immigrant Mexicans happily do most of the hard labor and even skilled labor like masonry and construction, and are happy to work in our Dunkin Donuts shops.

For many businesses and many individuals, economics now trump sentimental home-town and home-state attachments.

But only until they’re fundamentally transformed, to coin a phrase.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
In one of the kind of stupid things that only Democrats can do, our Democrat Governor worked with the Democrat President to spend well over a hundred million dollars of US and Alaska funds on building two ships in Bridgeport, CT. Only a Democrat could tell you why Alaska should spend money in a state whose Congressional delegation has never voted for anything that was in Alaska's interest. Anyway, they touting it as one of those Democrat things to save a vital shipbuilding industry when the reality was there were plenty of places that could build Jones Act ships, but most of them were on the Gulf Coast and non-union or owned by conspicuously Republican owners.

A couple of members of my staff and I were at a conference in Boston at the time the second ship was to be launched, so we took the train from Boston down to Bridgeport. Railroads typically run through the part of town and the countryside that USED to be prosperous, and this was no exception. The cut stone tunnels and beautiful stone retaining walls tell you how much money was in this part of the Country a century ago. The iron lattice catenary supports for the overhead electric supply are elegant in that robust industrial style of the early 20th Century, but the rust is showing through the sloppily applied silver paint. You see the backs of the decaying tenements where the industrial workers once lived and the closed factory where they once worked. There was more than just a mild air of decay. Everything was run down and poorly maintained and there isn't enough money in the World to replace it. Got off the train in Bridgeport and REALLY wished I had a gun, took forever to get a taxi; you'd think taxi companies would know the train schedule and think somebody getting off the train might need a cab.

We get out to the shipyard and the room is all set up for the launching and reception. Very nicely catered and the name of the hotel that did the catering was almost as prominent as the name of the union that represented the food preparers. Union signs everywhere. Lots of union officials and local politicians all backslapping. If everybody's middle name wasn't "the" it should have been. Busted the bottle of champagne and put the ship down the way, did a little uncomfortable grip 'n and grinning - it was no place for a Republican political appointee - and then walked back to the station because the cab never came. Then the train broke down in the middle of nowhere. Now you can tell these are public employees because when the train stops, they closed the bar and restaurant because they have a rule that says they're only open when the train is moving. So, several dozen people are stuck in the woods for two hours with no food or drink - or drinks, which is what we wanted - until they can send in a diesel locomotive to drag the broken electric back in. Hopeless, simply hopeless.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
CT could have been the rich secure Switzerland of the NE. It still could be. But it won't...the disease has progressed too far.

A coastal state hard up against NY & MA with there high taxes and impossible rules should be able to figure out the simple formula for prosperity....act like Texas! No income taxes, fewer laws & regulations, and solid infrastructure with a bias to allow growth. A simple proven formula. It is way easier to move 50 or 100 miles than a thousand or more. All CT had to do was become the NEAREST attractive state to capture much of the fleeing wealth and industry. But politicians are unable to execute even a simple strategy....they can only act in their own narrow personal self interest.

And voters are ultimately the most responsible for voting for the politicians who increase transfer of wealth to them rather than voting for politicians who will create wealth.

It was really a nice state. Was. I live in the south now but I did live in CT for many years.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
“How Did Rich Connecticut Morph Into One Of America’s Worst Performing Economies?”
Obvious answer, they used to be repub, and were prosperous, now they are dem and in decline. Just like the south used to be dem, and was poor, and have now turned repub, and are getting steadily more prosperous.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not sure why I bother voting.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think this has a lot to do with something most of you aren't considering. Wealthy people, of a certain class in America, don't want to live near actual working people...other than the guy who hands them their latte in the morning, or buses the table after they eat at their fancy restaurant. My favorite, out here in California, is the city of Santa Barbara. It's on the coast a couple hours north of Los Angeles, beautiful city on a south-facing beach. Due to geographical and political factors, there's a very limited amount of land for housing, and it's all been bought by extremely wealthy people. There's even a barrio for wealthy Latinos, who I'm told sell their properties to one another to make sure the barrio stays mostly Latino. Point is anything unpleasant is done elsewhere if at all possible. Most everything manufactured is shipped in from somewhere else. The city's businesses tend to be retail and things like public interest law firms, where the pay is good and the cases are often elsewhere. The people who work at the retail shops and restaurants, the maids and butlers and gardeners, and even some of the city officials, often live elsewhere, because even rent is too expensive for their salaries. There was a story in the LA Times a few years ago recounting that Santa Barbara's City Manager was living in Oxnard and commuting--about a 2 hour drive away, with traffic.

Point is it sounds like the whole state of CT has turned into one big Santa Barbara. Don't worry, California's trying to do the same thing, on a much larger scale.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Due to my father's job and frequent transfers I bounced between Rhode Island and Connecticut until I left New England in my 20s. What happened to Connecticut, you ask? The Eastern part came under the influence of Rhode Island's extremely liberal and union dominated politics, while the Western counties, home to the wealthy who worked in Manhattan, came under the influence of that bastion of academic leftwing experimentation, Yale University. During the '60s the influence of Yale changed New Haven from what had been a small, pleasant city into a raging inferno of racial animosity until people fled to the suburbs leaving New Haven to Yalies and minorities. At the same time the transformation of the class structure changed, as well. The old moneyed class died out and the new wealth became radically chic. Hartford, home to the insurance industry, is surely in for some major changes if Obamacare has its way. But, sadly, it isn't just Connecticut - which was a Republican state when I was a child - which has changed. All of New England has become unrecognizable. I'm grateful that I knew it when it was still a special place.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The fault lies with a large part of the electorate that grew up wanting something for nothing, and the corrupt political class that promised it. The blue states lead the way to moral, ethical and economic bankruptcy.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
In one of the kind of stupid things that only Democrats can do, our Democrat Governor worked with the Democrat President to spend well over a hundred million dollars of US and Alaska funds on building two ships in Bridgeport, CT. Only a Democrat could tell you why Alaska should spend money in a state whose Congressional delegation has never voted for anything that was in Alaska's interest. Anyway, they touting it as one of those Democrat things to save a vital shipbuilding industry when the reality was there were plenty of places that could build Jones Act ships, but most of them were on the Gulf Coast and non-union or owned by conspicuously Republican owners.

A couple of members of my staff and I were at a conference in Boston at the time the second ship was to be launched, so we took the train from Boston down to Bridgeport. Railroads typically run through the part of town and the countryside that USED to be prosperous, and this was no exception. The cut stone tunnels and beautiful stone retaining walls tell you how much money was in this part of the Country a century ago. The iron lattice catenary supports for the overhead electric supply are elegant in that robust industrial style of the early 20th Century, but the rust is showing through the sloppily applied silver paint. You see the backs of the decaying tenements where the industrial workers once lived and the closed factory where they once worked. There was more than just a mild air of decay. Everything was run down and poorly maintained and there isn't enough money in the World to replace it. Got off the train in Bridgeport and REALLY wished I had a gun, took forever to get a taxi; you'd think taxi companies would know the train schedule and think somebody getting off the train might need a cab.

We get out to the shipyard and the room is all set up for the launching and reception. Very nicely catered and the name of the hotel that did the catering was almost as prominent as the name of the union that represented the food preparers. Union signs everywhere. Lots of union officials and local politicians all backslapping. If everybody's middle name wasn't "the" it should have been. Busted the bottle of champagne and put the ship down the way, did a little uncomfortable grip 'n and grinning - it was no place for a Republican political appointee - and then walked back to the station because the cab never came. Then the train broke down in the middle of nowhere. Now you can tell these are public employees because when the train stops, they closed the bar and restaurant because they have a rule that says they're only open when the train is moving. So, several dozen people are stuck in the woods for two hours with no food or drink - or drinks, which is what we wanted - until they can send in a diesel locomotive to drag the broken electric back in. Hopeless, simply hopeless.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The tale could fit right in with the first portion of Atlas Shrugged.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I moved out of Connecticut over 25 years ago and so very glad I did. After living in Boston and WDC for almost a decade, we wound up in Atlanta. Aside from visiting family, I can't see going back there again.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
CT could have been the rich secure Switzerland of the NE. It still could be. But it won't...the disease has progressed too far.

A coastal state hard up against NY & MA with there high taxes and impossible rules should be able to figure out the simple formula for prosperity....act like Texas! No income taxes, fewer laws & regulations, and solid infrastructure with a bias to allow growth. A simple proven formula. It is way easier to move 50 or 100 miles than a thousand or more. All CT had to do was become the NEAREST attractive state to capture much of the fleeing wealth and industry. But politicians are unable to execute even a simple strategy....they can only act in their own narrow personal self interest.

And voters are ultimately the most responsible for voting for the politicians who increase transfer of wealth to them rather than voting for politicians who will create wealth.

It was really a nice state. Was. I live in the south now but I did live in CT for many years.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
From Nutmeg to Nut Case State. Welcome to Connecticut.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
No surprise as Connecticut has been under democratic rule for years. They are now right behind Detroit and California. Get out of the state now if you can, same as the smart folks leaving California and Detroit.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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