August 10, 2004

The Economist on Why I Love MA

Patti pointed out an excellent article in the Economist. It quickly dispels the myth of Taxachusetts and goes on to note a number of excellent attributes of the Bay State. You’ll have to grab it at the newsstand or subscribe online to read it. But here are a couple of highlights:

In contrast to the rest of the country, ticket-splitting is common in Massachusetts. So is bucking the party line. This year, some Republicans opposed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage; some Democrats supported it (it passed). Half of all voters are registered independents. And thanks to a referendum on property taxes in 1980, state and local taxation is well below the national average. (Massachusetts, which used to be second in terms of state and local taxes as a percentage of income, has now dropped to 36th). Mr Kerry does not represent a high-tax, one-party state.

The author goes on to note that we’re not fond of country music radio or the Left Behind novels. I like that just fine. Actually, I’m fond of good country music, but the only stuff that seems to make it to radio is complete crap, unless you’re listening to KPIG, Radio Paradise or the like… online. I prefer a good radio station that plays some country to a lousy radio station that always plays that “Country Music Awards” garbage.

But I digress. I agree with the article’s point that the liberal tendency of Massachusetts lies in its open-mindedness rather than an adherence to a party line. We don’t like being told what to think—not by either party. That’s why half of our registered voters do not affiliate with either party. In my case, my parents raised me to be suspicious of parties and not to affiliate, but to think for myself. I’ve tried to live up to that. Though I have rarely found much to agree with in the Republican party, I do not call myself a Democrat.

But I love living in Massachusetts. I’m proud of our state. While you’re free to think your state is better, you’re free to be wrong, too.

Posted by James at August 10, 2004 1:01 PM
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too funny... your last few paragraphs could well have been written to describe my family and upbringing, right here in the Bay State.

- beth, proudly registered to vote as unenrolled.

Posted by: beth at August 10, 2004 4:05 PM

I think the "independent" thing is funny, tho, because most people aren't. My dad will go on and on and on about how he's an independent and hates the two party system, but has an almost 100% Republican voting record (aside from a Perot vote in 92) and almost everything that come out of his mouth sound like Republican talking points.

I've noticed that a lot of people who are essentially Republican call themselves Independent or Liberterian because it makes them feel like a free-thinker, but its a load of bunk.

That said, I have known a very few actual liberterian liberterians, but most of them are just free-market republicans with a gay friend.

Posted by: David Grenier at August 12, 2004 10:02 AM

"I have known a very few actual liberterian liberterians, but most of them are just free-market republicans with a gay friend."

Nice turn of phrase; that would make an _excellent_ T-shirt!

Posted by: Patti M. at August 12, 2004 10:40 AM

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