Johnny Monsarrat New England Manifesto 2012
I'm tired of soft out-of-staters who whine about New England, and the Yankees who let them. We Yanks are stoic. We know we're better, but we don't brag. Well the time for that is over. Read my New England Manifesto and be proud!
California does not have the best weather -- they just get the least rain. Of the 10 driest cities in the US, 6 are in California. The state is 24% desert. This does not make the weather "good". Cities with severe water crises are artificial enclaves.
So who has the best weather in the United States? New England. Before you laugh, let's acknowledge that everyone, everywhere complains about their weather. Just because we complain doesn't make us all-knowing weather genies who are experts on US meterology. So shut up, be open-minded and I'll explain.
Sure, it gets cold in New England, but we can put on coats and we only get a big dump of snow 2 or 3 times a year. What can they do in Los Angeles when it hits 113 degrees as it did in September 2010? Nothing, and global warming is working in our favor. California already has 5 of the top 12 hottest cities in the US. Do you really think global warming is going to make Los Angeles better? In fact, California is "facing the most significant water crisis in its history", along with raging forest fires (California appears 10 times on the list of 27 large US wildfires in the last 10 years), and 36 other US states face drought. None are in New England, and Texas has the worst. According to Scientific American (August 2010), climate change will bring more water to the East Coast and less to the West.
Every year, 30,000 people die in the world and and $6 billion in damage is done from weather. But not here. We don't get floods, slides, waves and surges, wild fires, hurricanes, cyclones, tornados, and typhoons in New England. We also don't get earthquakes, which cause $2 billion a year in damage elsewhere in the US. Massachusetts is the 9th safest state for lightning strikes. We don't have snakes, alligators, or other dangerous pests, or huge insect problems. Boston has lower pollen than 83% of top US cities, and Sacramento, California has one of the highest. Plenty of US places are flat, featureless, or have no seasons. New England has fall foliage, oceans, and mountains, and we lead in pollution cleanup: the Charles River is the country's only swimmable urban waterway.
New York? America's bedbugs capital. And good luck visiting a forest from downtown Manhattan, unless you want to spend all weekend driving.
Smog has been shown to shorten lifespans. The states with the fewest toxic chemicals in the USA? All six New England states plus Hawaii and Delaware. The top 10 dirtiest air cities? Half are in California.
The upshot? It's still nicer in Hawaii, but don't let anyone pick on New England's weather. And what kind of wimps assess a region solely based on its weather? Sure, you're cold, but with 2.15% of the nation's population, Massachusetts gets only 0.31% of its weather-related deaths and 0.041% of its damages. Of all US states, Massachusetts has the 8th fewest fatalities per capita (CA: 17th, NY: 19th, TX: 26th) and the 5th least per capita damages (CA: 10th, NY: 27th, TX: 36th) due to weather. So deal with it! And stop whining. You're making us look bad and you're even starting to believe your own BS.
Stop thinking you live in a small city! Houston looks bigger than Boston because it's one sprawling city. Boston's metro region is actually larger, it was just chopped up in the old-timey days into Cambridge and other towns. We actually live in the 5th largest metro region in the US. That's right! Boston is not #20. We are #5 after New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C. And Silicon Valley? Only #6.
Government & Economy
Never let Californians brag about owning Google and Apple. In fact, of the Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, only 11% are based in California. But California has 12% of the US population. Massachusetts has 2% of the nation's population, but 3% of its Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 firms.
Sure, California leads the high-tech booms, because they're full of hype, so they lead the busts, too! California has an unemployment rate of 12.4%, the worst in the US after Nevada. Massachusetts at 8.2% is well below the US average of 9.8%, and New Hampshire and Vermont are at the bottom, below 6%! In fact, of the 5 US Continental States with the highest median household income, three are in New England! Massachusetts is #4, California is #7, with braggy states New York and Texas well below. From Dec 2007 to Dec 2009 (recession) and then to Nov 2010 (recovery), San Francisco lost so many jobs in the recovery they are now the 4th worst recovery city in the nation.. The article says "a handful of metros like Boston account for a disproportionate share of new jobs in the US recovery", as Boston's unemployment rate has dropped from 8.3% to 7.4%.
California has "America's worst budget crisis", has the foreclosure capitol of the World, and has the 4th highest rate of foreclosures among US states.. California now has the worst credit rating of the 50 US states. The state with the worst debt problems relative to size? Still California. Los Angeles has the largest homeless population in the US, with 85,000, a third of whom are veterans. Los Angeles County Jail is the largest mental health facility in the world.
San Francisco is the worst run big city in the country according to their own San Francisco Weekly. Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are the 4th, 8th, 19th, and 20th best run state governments in the US, all with the lowest percentage who lack health insurance. New York is #26, Texas #36, and California #49, the 2nd worst. California is right next to Mexico and has the worst backlog of immigration cases in the USA.
And don't let your friends brag about how easy it is to start a new company in California. More than half of all venture capital offices in the US are based either near San Jose, New York, or Boston. And sure, more money is spent in California, but if you're just one person starting a company, what you care about is per capita spending. Massachusetts is #1 per capita with 25% more venture money available per person than in California.
Boston is America's smartest city, with 20 "IQ points" over San Jose in the #3 spot. Massachusetts has consistently had the top-rated grade school and high school education systems in the country. California is 46th.
Harvard, which has an unmatched list of famous alumni and has educated more Fortune 500 CEOs than any other school by more than 2x has fallen from 1st most recognizable brand to #3. But it got there by falling behind Boston favorite MIT. MIT and Harvard are co-located, creating a boomtown for think tanks and spinoff companies. Stanford and Caltech are six hours drive apart, and an hour from Stanford is Berkeley, a state school in a state that has no money. They do pretty well in high-tech, but how often do you hear California schools quoted in the news? Harvard (#1 in the world) has more than twice the endowment of Stanford, and MIT (#4 in the world) has more than twice the UC Berkeley and Caltech combined. If you count up Nobel laureates, Harvard and MIT (colleges #1 and #2) have as many as France and Russia (countries #4 and #5) together.
The world's capital for percent of population with advanced degrees? Cambridge, MA. New England owns 4 of the top 10 universities and 5 of the top 6 colleges. After the Library of Congress, the top 3 largest libraries in the US? All in New England. With more than 50 colleges and universities, the Boston area has 250,000 students within the 128 beltway, the highest concentration of students of any metropolitan area in the country. That's why it's called the Athens of America.
You know who has better arts than New York in the world? Nobody. So get over it, Boston. Living so close to big brother is disguising the fact that Boston is the 3rd most cultural city in the US, just after Washington D.C. San Francisco is only #9, below Providence, RI at #8. Los Angeles? Only #22. And Boston also has more arts employees per capita (page 11) than Los Angeles or New York! And don't let your friends say that Silicon Valley's got culture because of San Francisco. They're an hour's drive apart.
Californians love to brag that they own Hollywood. But California's share of big-studio productions dropped from two-thirds in 2003 to less than one-third in 2008. Massachusetts now offers the 2nd biggest filmmaker tax break in the country, and blockbusters are now being made here, like 2006 Best Picture Oscar "The Departed", and 2010's The Social Network and The Fighter. More than 300 films have been set in New England, far more than other regions outside New York and LA. Beyond movies, what about television, books, magazines, advertising, and newspapers? It's all about New York City. East Coast, baby!
Sure, California's bigger. That just means the liberals are surrounded by conservatives, who revoked gay marriage. If you want to bury your head in the sand and pretend the rest of the world agrees with your kooky liberal views, Boston's a great place to settle down. Only 12% of Massachusetts residents identify as Republican. 4 of the 5 most liberal states in the US are in New England. Massachusetts was the first state to abolish slavery (1783, and California waited until 1849), first to allow same-sex marriage (2004). And the Catholic church scandal that exploded in Boston? It turns out it was a worldwide problem and we liberals were just the first to notice and stop it. New York is only the 7th most liberal state, and the last state (in 2010) to make fast no-fault divorce legal -- and their divorce law is still in the dark ages. For example, adultery is still a class B misdemeanor.
The state with the lowest divorce rate? Massachusetts, at 1.8 per 1,000 marriages per year. New York has 2.5, Texas 3.3, and California is the worst state, with a divorce rate of 75%.
Although San Francisco at #2 edges out Boston at #3 in the list of 50 greenest cities in America, Boston has better recycling and Cambridge at #6 beats out Berkeley at #7. New York is a distant #20.
California has by far the highest rate of parolees breaking parole and being sent back to prison -- and most of them return to prison, a recidivism rate of 70% (and 78% in San Francisco) when our national average is 40%. The Massachusetts rate is only 35%.
Massachusetts has the tightest gun control laws in the country and the #1 lowest firearms death rate in the continental US, and 5 New England states are in the lowest 7.
Also, six of the ten US auto-theft capitals are in California. Greater Boston is way down the list, #163 and -- oh no! -- San Francisco is way at the top (#7 worst auto theft city), San Jose is #22, and Los Angeles is #23! We win again!
New England has tons of history. Of the 44 US Presidents, 8 were born in New England, and only 1 in California -- and that was Richard Nixon. We founded the country and own Thanksgiving (Plymouth), we started the American Revolution and own Patriots Day (Lexington), we own Halloween because of Salem, and since Massachusetts is the most Irish state, we own St. Patricks Day. Christmas Caroling is a tradition that began in Boston, and the modern tradition of giving away Valentine's Day cards started in Worcester. Also our friends in New York City own New Years Eve. You know what people in L.A. do for New Year's? They watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV, three hours after it's happened. Holidays owned by California? April Fools Day. Just kidding. :)
We have a lot more high-tech than New York. In fact we're #2 after California, in the world, and I'm pretty sure they rigged that by having more than 5 times our population. Massachusetts files more patents per year, per capita than anywhere in the world.
Let's face it. Everyone, everywhere complains about their traffic. It doesn't make you some magic genie who actually knows what the traffic is like all over the USA. The fact is, you're as wrong to complain about Boston's driving as you were about the weather. So shut up and lemme learn youse somethin'.
The worst traffic in the US? L.A. (#1), D.C. (#3), San Francisco (#5), New York (#6), and San Jose (#11). Boston is just #14, not great, but the best of all the major US metros. The most densely populated states are in New England (#2, #3, and #4 after New Jersey), so we don't have nearly the urban sprawl and long drives of our Western comrades. And because of our compactness, our public transport kicks ass, with one third of Bostonians commuting by public transit. Boston is one of only 8 cities in the US with an underground subway (the other twenty or so cities have light rail that all have to stop at stoplights). Over 25% of Cambridge residents walk to work, the highest rate in the country, with Boston, Hartford, and Providence all in the top 8. New York City? Only 11th.
Do think Boston drivers are bad? You're completely wrong. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are 3 of the 4 states with best drivers in the US! Massachusetts has the nation's lowest rate of auto deaths per mile driven (2006) and California has the the highest (2007).
New England has one of the largest cycling communities in the country, with more bike shops and licensed riders per capita than even California. Although we haven't done that well in the past, Boston is now one of the 10 highest ridership cities in the US for biking. And Bicycling Magazine has upgraded Boston to a Future Best City.
Boston has the 3rd highest life expectancy (79.3 years) in the US, and Massachusetts (#3) and Connecticut (#5) beat out California and New York, too. That translates into thousands of additional lives saved.
According to the American Public Health Foundation, the healthiest states in the nation are Vermont, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, Massachusetts, and Maine. California is only 24th and New York only 25th. And Massachusetts has the lowest rate of accidental deaths in the US and New England has the lowest obesity rate in the US. Massachusetts was ahead of Obama in being the first state to legislate universal health care coverage, and first with a plan to computerize all doctor offices by 2012.
Boston is the least drunk out of 100 major US cities, based on DUI arrests and alcohol related car accidents. California owns 4 of the worst 12 cities. As reported in Scientific American (February 2010), San Francisco is the center of America's clueless vaccine scare, which has no basis in science. As a result, California just went through its worst epidemic of whooping cough since 1960, with 8,000 cases and 10 infant deaths in 2010. Way to go.
If Russia, North Korea, or China starts flinging missiles, who's closer, California or Massachusetts? Click on this link and zoom out. Notice how China's ICBMs can only hit the West Coast? Do you really think with New York sitting next door anyone's going to bomb Boston? It's like New York is this big bulls eye drawing all the attention away from us. Thanks, Big Brother! Also, our winds always point East so (unlike in California) if there were any nuclear fallout in Boston, it would get swept off to sea. You're welcome, America.
Think they're friendlier in Los Angeles? Wrong! The first ever scientific study on helping found New York and Los Angeles to be the worst places to find help from strangers. And The Journal of Perspectives on Psychological Science (9/08) reports that Bostonians are less neurotic and more agreeable than New Yorkers. However, the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 30 (1999), found that people in Boston walk faster than anywhere else in the US, including New York. Los Angeles was the slowest. I'm rather proud.
Because They Say So
The best small city to live in, in the United States? Newton, MA, unless you're an idiot and want to live in MN or MD. The top-rated small city in California? Only #22.
According to Mercer's Quality of Living Survey 2008, Boston and San Francisco are by far the best US cities in which to live. The Economist's 2007 "Global Livability Rankings" rate the best as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Boston. Los Angeles is way down the list and gee I don't see New York or San Francisco anywhere! Too bad, suckers! Obviously no one in their right mind would live in Cleveland or Pittsburgh, so that means we win!
Because We Say So
California spent the 1990s picking on Massachusetts, because the hype of the DotCom boom made them feel like gods. Then it crashed massively. California isn't recently down. They were only pretending to be up. And we let 'em get away with it, because Yankees are stoics. We don't brag.
You wait. Someday, there will be another boom, and Californians will start bragging again. You will feel compelled to give in. Yankees, unite! Don't take crap from anyone about New England! Boston is the Hub of the Universe! We rule!
Post a link to this page wherever whiners need a clue. And please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback and your own reasons why New England rocks!
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P.S. We have the highest number of ice cream stores per capita, Battleship Cove is the world's largest naval ship exhibit, and Faneuil Hall is the 4th most popular US tourist destination, more popular than Disneyland!