Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We're #9!

Somehow Kiplinger's "best cities" ranking concluded that my little town, No. 9: Flagstaff, Arizona, (out of 361) is a great place to live. I'd love to agree with them, but their reasoning will sound somewhat strange to us locals:

we assembled candidates for our 2009 Best Cities list, which focuses on places that have stable employment plus the talent to create new, well-paying positions. A robust job market makes these cities safe havens during the recession and will give them a head start toward growth when the recovery takes off.

Um, guys...our local job market sucks. I hope you're right about a "robust job market" "when the recovery takes off", but as of today Flagstaff lives up to our city slogan "poverty with a view". Wages are low, jobs are few, and housing costs are high. Certainly the region boasts some of the most beautiful countryside in the nation, and Flagstaff is a very warm friendly town. I love it here. But to make it in Flagstaff you have to be willing to scale down your expectations. Sure, there are a few people prospering, but the vast majority of this town is barely scraping by.

So maybe we should be honored to be ranked so high, but I'm not sure that Kiplinger's was looking at the same city.


urland said...

It is indeed a very beautiful place to live which I have done for 29 years. But when I was working two jobs that only paid the typical depressed wages you find in Flagstaff, it was neccessary to live in a house with 4 other people to be able to afford a roof over my head. Now I have what's considered a really good wage for here and I still cannot afford my own place let alone be a homeowner. The article states median household (that's household) income at $48K. Median home price is pushing $300K. Go to your favorite mortgage calculator and see if YOU could make a house payment friend. Also the article's statement about having a great employer in the university does not take in to account the State legislature enthusiastically raping the higher education budget. We shall see how big of an employer they are after another year or two. Why stay? My friends are here! How's it going Py?

pygalgia said...

Goin' well, and hope to see you this weekend. You and I are the type of people that made me question the article...we know the reality that is Flag. Truly beautiful, but not a place to get rich (unless we find the right scheme). See ya' soon.