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Comment Re:Screw San Fran (Score 5, Interesting) 653

Having lived in both San Francisco and now back in my hometown of Wichita, KS, I always enjoy when I can talk about both places within the same topic.

As far as urban decay, guess where you'll find it? You'll find it in urban areas 100% of the time, per the very definition of "urban decay". To claim that local phenomenon are a direct result of local political leanings is to play very fast and loose with cause and effect. I can think of ten other hypotheses off the top of my head about the cause of urban decay, many of which don't factor politics in at all, and some of which actually involve inverting the cause-and-effect relationship of your own hypothesis that liberal politics cause it (maybe urban decay causes liberal politics?). To put it generously, it's utterly obtuse to say, "urban environments often include blighted environments, urban environments often have liberal-leaning voters, thus liberal politics cause urban decay, case closed."

I should also mention that these same urban areas do not consist completely of blighted, impoverished neighborhoods. Every city has it's good parts and its bad parts. But I'm sure the devoted partisan will find some way to assign a city's bad aspects to whichever wing of politics they don't like while simultaneously claiming that the good parts are actually somehow proof of the correctness of their preferred politics.

So on to Kansas. Right now in Kansas, yes the cost of living is very low, but the lower average income from what I see does not at all work out to the advantage of most people. The only people who can really take advantage of the low cost of living are the few people here such as myself who can work remotely and thus take advantage of the sorts of incomes offered by industries which don't even tend to locate here. Here in Wichita alone, in the midst of Governor Brownback's conservative libertarian "business friendly" policies in full swing, Boeing just up and packed its bags and left the state entirely, leaving huge swaths of longtime residents suddenly jobless. Where did those jobs go? Many places, including the supposedly anti-business liberal hellhole of Seattle. So it seems your simplistic reasoning falls apart at the slightest examination.

Kansas is a fairly deep red state, and right now Governor Brownback has a lower approval rating here than President Obama. That takes a lot of fucking up to achieve. Even my grandma and my great aunt are posting to Facebook with calls for his resignation at this point, and they both tend to espouse strong conservatism both socially and economically.

Comment Re:alternately: (Score 1) 492

We have a river for canoeing and kayaking, and I was able to afford a house a short walk away from said river. As for mountains, I do like to ski, and some of the finest ski resorts in the nation are a reasonable drive away in Colorado, a drive plenty short enough for how many times I actually go skiing in a year. I went to K-12 here in Kansas, and I can assure you that, at least at the schools I attended, neither Creationism nor intelligent design were ever brought up in class by any of my teachers, although we certainly did cover the Scopes Trial more than once as part of American history.

Yes, we are a red state, yes our current Governor is an ass along with both our Senators. But my feeling is that you've never actually been to Kansas and what you "know" about it comes from the media. Either way, it smells like shit coming out of your mouth.

Comment Re:alternately: (Score 1) 492

If you get to management or are truly in the top 10-20% of engineers it is worth living out here.

I did take a pay cut coming back to Wichita, but it certainly wasn't half, and the difference in living expenses more than makes up for the difference by a huge stretch. As far as "management" or "top 10-20% of engineers", I resent the implication. Before I went back to contracting, I was a co-founder and CTO. When I returned to contracting, I did so earning among the top rates in my field. Ultimately, the Bay Area was still not worth it for me. It might still be worth it for you, but I'd say it's a little arrogant to chalk it up purely to differences in professional attainment or skill. I'd say it's far more likely that we're working with different sets of trade-offs.

Comment Re:alternately: (Score 5, Interesting) 492

This. I migrated from Wichita to the Bay Area in 2008 and lived there until last summer when I moved back. I had already been an independent contractor for 3 years before the move, so finding work was only slightly more difficult after the move. The advantages are clear:

1. For less than half the monthly price of my rent controlled 1-bedroom apartment in SF, I now own a 3-bedroom house with a yard and everything.
2. There aren't really any jobs in Wichita for me, so all my work is remote. I hate commuting. While in SF, I could sometimes find gigs which allowed some remote work, but most expected you to commute to the office if you were in the area.
3. The lower cost of living means I can be more selective about what work I take on. I have more free time to spend with my girlfriend and on hobbies, not to mention the space. I've taken up woodworking since I moved back, and it's easily one of the most pleasurable activities I've ever taken up.

I miss SF sometimes, but the trade-offs are quite clear. And now that I'm not throwing away so much of my earnings on living expenses, I can afford to visit SF if I want, not to mention other possible destinations.

One last thing: a good friend of mine back in SF, also in the tech industry, recently purchased a school bus which he will be living in, rather than finding a new apartment. In part I think it's kind of cool in a radical, fuck the norm sort of way. But on the other hand, it really shows the heights of ever escalating absurdity the Bay Area has reached in terms of housing.

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