Well…what do you put in a first post on a site that you know will not be read by anyone anytime soon?

My family is sick and tired of my ranting about the state of Detroit, and Michigan. They are Sick of hearing me complain about what is, or more often, isn’t being done to make Michigan, and Detroit in particular a better place to live and work. I’ve been stating my belief that there couldn’t be a much worse place to live than Michigan. That the people, the companies, and the government are not progressive at all. Michigan’s quality of life is definitely lacking, to say the least. Mass transit? Right… Bicycling, or exercise of any kind? Yeah, you can do it…at your own risk. Walkable neighborhoods? Um…yeah…we have cars. Why would we walk?

Obviously my problem is not necessarily with the location. I like the lakes. The weather could be better, but truth is most places could have better weather. Most of the time it’s too hot, too cold, or too humid anywhere in the country, with few exceptions. No my problem is with an overall mindset.

Yes I’m generalizing, but I find it tough to meet people with similar desires for a decent quality of life (or even a similar definition of a good quality of life…mine doesn’t include good pro sports teams, strip malls, or mc mansions). I’ve lived in Portland, Oregon, Madison, Wisconsin, and Colorado. All had great livable communities, with recreational opportunities, parks, inhabitable downtowns, and progressive, forward thinking people.

Is it wrong to want that? Perhaps if we did fix that mentality, and put more emphasis on making Michigan and Detroit great places to live, more people, and more companies, would like to live here. I don’t think…actually I know, our problems, as great as they are are not caused by bad tax policy, but by the fact that young creative, risk taking individuals ( the type we want and need here) do not want to be here period. They start companies and don’t usually take into account the areas tax policies. If they did California and New York would be in our position, and everyone would want to move to Alabama. Our problems are also not insurmountable, but they require a complete change in our collective thinking.

So, you may say, why don’t you move then? Well, I might, but I’m here now, and my family is here. So are many of my friends. My business is here too. Also, I’ve discovered that there are worse places to live, and many of them. I want to make the most of where I live, but it sure is hard.

June 4, 2007

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