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Nicest Places in America: Quality of Life v. Standard of Living

After our discussion yesterday of California, Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution helpfully chipped in by citing an interesting paper about measuring the non-pecuniary quality of life (e.g., climate) by looking at things like housing costs v. wages (in other words, where do people sacrifice the most financially to live?):

Are Big Cities Bad Places to Live?
Estimating Quality of Life across Metropolitan Areas
David Albouy

This is basically what I calculated back in 2005 in inverted form. I came up with standard of living by state by dividing median income for a family of four by ACCRA’s cost of living index. My “Standard of Living” measures the cost of what you can buy anyplace (e.g., a 3,000 square foot house on a half acre lot) while Albouy’s “Quality of Life” measures what money can’t buy if you’re living in, say, Minnesota in a 3,000 square foot house on a half acre lot (e.g., mild Hawaiian trade winds blowing year round).

In my old count, Hawaii had the lowest standard of living, followed by California, while Minnesota had the highest standard of living. Of course, Hawaii and California have nicer weather and more scenery than Minnesota, so it all kind of evens out.

Albouy’s study measure the same dynamic, just flipping things upside down.

From his calculations, the nicest places to live in terms of people accepting depressed standards of living are:

Honolulu

Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Lompoc, CA

Not the Salinas part of Greater Salinas

Salinas (Monterey-Carmel), CA — weighted more toward Monterey-Carmel than Salinas, I imagine

San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose

San Luis Obispo – Atascadero – Paso Robles, CA

Santa Fe, NM (warning: watch the 7200′ elevation)

Non-metro Hawaii

Barnstable-Yarmouth (Cape Cod), MA

San Diego

Grand Junction, CO (nice moderate altitude)

Missoula, MT

Naples, FL

Medford-Ashland, OR

Eugene-Springfield, OR

Corvalis, OR

Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA

In contrast, the lowest quality of life is found in:

Kokomo, IN

Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX

Decatur, IL

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX

Jamestown, NY

Victoria, TX

Saginaw-Bay City-Midland, MI

Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH

Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX

After skimming it, I’d say it’s a very good study.

Albouy finds that “Mild seasons, sunshine, hills, and coastal proximity account for most inter-metropolitan quality-of-life differences.”

I’ve long pointed out that hills lead to Not In My Back Yard politics that drive up housing costs by restricting development. Because current homeowners can see further from their backyards, they become busybodies meddling more in what other people are doing on their own property. For example, U2′s guitarist The Edge has spent a fortune trying to get permits to build five houses on a ridge overlooking Malibu beach, but his micro-development would be visible for miles and miles from the backyards of many of the most influential people in the entertainment industry.

In contrast, in flat Houston, it’s hard to see very far, so people mind their own business more.

One quibble, and I think Tyler beat me to it with his cryptic but insightful comments about marginalism: It’s interesting that big Houston comes out near the Rust Belt and Mexican border town rock bottoms while small California whitopias that intentionally restrict growth score very high.

My impression from the late 1970s was that, at least if you could live on the Rice campus, Houston was OK. But then I went back to L.A. from mid-May to late August, so I didn’t experience the full brunt of Houston’s summers. Still I know a few supersmart rich guys who live in Houston today specifically because the quality of life is good relative to the cost, so I’m skeptical that the quality of life in Houston is as low as it says in the paper based on housing costs.

My guess is that Houston’s super low score reflects a bit of a methodological problem in the study: Houston’s commitment to libertarian real estate development codes means its housing prices are lower, all else being equal, than more liberal places, such as Detroit, which ranks ahead of Houston in this paper (keep in mind that “Detroit” includes a lot of superb suburbs). In the long run, all that more or less washes out, but we don’t live in the long run, as Keynes pointed out.

For example, by way of contrast to Houston, Santa Barbara ranks #2 in Quality of Life in part because of the huge real estate prices that only people with trust funds can afford. Some of that is because Santa Barbara really is awfully nice.

But a lot of the premium people have to pay to live in Santa Barbara is due to the restrictions on development of the huge amount of almost uninhabited coastal land west of Santa Barbara along the 101 freeway. Santa Barbara has suburbs like Montecito and Goleta, but no exurbs even though lots of people would pay good money to have at least a vacation home on the empty coastline west of S.B.

Sandpiper: last golf course before 15 miles of emptiness

For example, the 101 Freeway runs alongside the Pacific for 47 miles through Santa Barbara County, but much of that that narrow but not insignificant sloping coastal plain west of UCSB is spectacularly underdeveloped: all you see is some cows grazing and a ranch house every quarter mile or so.

If Santa Barbara County had Houston’s political ideology, that virtually uninhabited ranchland west of Sandpiper golf course would be wall to wall ocean-view condos, which would lower the premium people had to pay to live in Greater Santa Barbara, which would in turn lower Santa Barbara’s ranking for Quality of Life.

Some of that lower ranking would be real. If Santa Barbara had not long ago refused to connect to the California Water Project in order to prevent exurban development, there’d be more traffic on the 101 in Santa Barbara, and the average person in the S.B. area would be fatter and more uncouthly dressed, which would, presumably, lower the Quality of Life of the current residents of Santa Barbara.

But, everybody in S.B. would still have the nice weather and some of the scenery so I suspect that places with anti-development ideologies rank overly high in these ratings.

For example, Vermont ranks behind only nice weather Hawaii and California in this ranking, but, is the quality of life really that high there when you take the weather into account? Or does Vermont use its supposedly liberal restrictions on development to stay up there with Maine as the whitest state in the country by being too expensive for anybody other than New York City and Boston affluent liberal white flighters?

This brings me back to a major question of ideological framing. In elite discourse, it is seldom questioned that the current citizens of Vermont or Santa Barbara or Marin County or Malibu have not only the legal right but also the moral right, perhaps even the moral duty, to erect barriers to entry in the name of preserving the environment and the architectural heritage and any other rationalizations they dream up to keep out masses of less desirable Americans.

The potential newcomers being kept out of Vermont would of course be much less white on average than the residents of these liberal bastions. But crimestop sets in at this point and pundits develop an overwhelming feeling of boredom and aversion toward the obnoxious person trying to get them to understand how the world works.

In contrast, the analogous idea that America is kind of the Santa Barbara or Vermont of the world, and that American citizens ought to have rights similar to those of the residents of these liberal whitopias to band together to enforce barriers to entry to foreigners wanting to move to America is increasingly seen in American elite discourse as obviously racist and, perhaps, downright genocidal.

 
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  1. Art Deco
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    Honolulu? The place is ticky-tacky as hell, the university is mediocre, the handsome landscapes are on the outer islands, and quite affluent people typically live in high-rise condos where your garden is a mess of potted plants on the lanai. Much of the local color is a performance for tourists as well.

    You get the trade winds and the night air and the beach if that’s what you’re looking for; not a whole lot else.

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  2. BenjaminL
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    Naturally, the Marginal Revolution post did not cite Steve, which is not an especially gracious move. It’s too bad that so many people who pay attention to Steve’s writings feel emotionally unable to acknowledge him as a worthwhile interlocutor.

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  3. Lizzie
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    I think you overestimate how much people actually enjoy that much sunshine. I’m alabaster. The level of sun in, say, Honolulu would leave me either peeling regularly or housebound for much of the time.

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  4. syon
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    Here’s a third metric: quality of output.How much culture, technology, and science does a given region produce? Using that metric, Honolulu ranks quite low.

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  5. Anon 542
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    What an insult to lump in Orange County with LA and Riverside Counties and below Corvallis/Eugene, OR, where it rains 9 months out of the year and you are two hours from a major airport and good shopping. There is a reason the OC has the highest housing prices in SoCal and it’s not because it sucks. We have a nice little boutique airport, major shopping, great beaches, decent colleges, lots of places to work, it’s not too densely populated – particularly in the hills, lots of family- oriented upper middle class people who are not bleeding hearts. It’s a very nice place to live.

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  6. “The analogous idea that America is kind of the Santa Barbara or Vermont of the world…”

    Nice, I’m gonna uncork that on an unsuspecting liberal someday.

    I’d add just one factor to that ranking methodology: the likelihood that your children and grandchildren will want to settle nearby: better for them, better for you. And California doesn’t look good on that score; the trend is that if your descendents can’t afford the shrinking 1st World parts, the next step is moving a thousand miles away.

    It’s not for nothing that Israeli Jews report very high levels of happiness. They have a sweet deal there in their compact little country, as long as they can defend it (and they do seem motivated to do so).

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  7. “Still I know a few supersmart rich guys who live in Houston today specifically because the quality of life is good relative to the cost…”

    My bet is that people in Houston who are supersmart rich guys make their money in Houston, and (at least in the summer months) enjoy their money somewhere else. Now, I’ll give you that Houston is not exactly a cultural backwater, but who’d want to be there in August?

    You see the same thing in places like Bakersfield or even the Imperial Valley. There are plenty of wealthy people in Bakersfield who have made their money from oil or agriculture, but a lot of them have getaways on the Central Coast or in the Sierras or both. Towns in the Imperial Valley like Brawley or El Centro may seem like poor, godforsaken places but there are wealthy people there too, whose venue of choice for enjoying their money seems to be La Jolla.

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  8. Dave Pinsen
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    Honolulu has popped up in Monocle’s most livable cities in the past, if memory serves. I think that makes it one 2 American cities to make the list,

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  9. David
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    Steve, you are wonderful. That point about people among hills being in each other’s business is right on. I think in VT, part of it is that everyone’s house is right along the road where everyone sees the “development.” But mostly it’s because the people with views feel they own all they can survey.

    I wanted to say that although I agree with your interpretation of the effects, I disagree that Vermonters are not sincere when they yearn out loud for cultural diversity while strangling the economy while shooting it in the head while cutting open its belly. Burlington schools have 23% “English Learners” and Winooski (sic) has 43%. Sure, some of those kids are French and German, but not many. These towns set targets for child soldier refugees — I mean in terms of 600 new imports being the goal in 2014! Kill your mom, serve in the Lord’s Resistance Army, welcome to VT.

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  10. Jefferson
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    “I think you overestimate how much people actually enjoy that much sunshine. I’m alabaster. The level of sun in, say, Honolulu would leave me either peeling regularly or housebound for much of the time.”

    Just apply an SPF50 on that alabaster pigmentation of yours and you will survive Honolulu.

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  11. Sluggo
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    What does living near the coast have to do with quality of life? Plus, some people enjoy the change of seasons.

    I don’t live near Kokomo, but I’ve worked there (auto industry) and if you enjoy the country lifestyle (hunting, fishing, etc.) then it seems to be a great place to live. Housing and land are inexpensive and if you have a well paying career, then your standard of living is very high in Kokomo. It’s better to be the rich guy in a less affluent neighborhood than it is to be the poor guy in a wealthy neighborhood.

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  12. poolside
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    Most people who have lived in Houston for awhile find they adjust to the summer temps.

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  13. Dave Pinsen
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    I’m not surprised by (suburban) Detroit ranking high. A lot of locals seem to like the area a lot.

    Re Marin County’s M.O.: it makes more sense than New Jersey’s tack of buying scraps of rural land to limit development. My parents bought a small horse farm in Sussex County, NJ in the late ’90s, and since then I’ve seen McMansions pop up on what used to be farmland. Fortunately, the horse farm abuts a several hundred acre state forest, which will remain McMansions-free.

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  14. Dave Pinsen
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    Don’t the Israelis have a similar problem with rising real estate prices?

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  15. Whoa. Gov Rick Perry indicted:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/15/grand-jury-indicts-texas-gov-rick-perry-/14138843/

    They are clearly removing GOP competitors to Hillary.

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  16. fnn
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    Outside magazine poll says Duluth is the best place to live;

    http://blogs.mprnews.org/statewide/2014/06/duluth-voted-outside-magazines-best-outdoors-town/

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  17. peter
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    “Young Israelis are Flocking to Berlin”

    http://www.newsweek.com/2014/06/20/young-israelis-are-flocking-berlin-262139.html

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  18. Dave Pinsen
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    You can always reduce your amount of sunshine in a sunny place by staying inside. But you can’t increase it in an overcast place by going outside more.

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  19. Dave Pinsen
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    Houston seems to be an underrated city culturally — lots of French expats there, for example. But I’d think a lot of wealthy Texans spend summers elsewhere. I know Exxon Mobil VP Ken Cohen spends his summers in New England, which is a nice setup if you can swing it.

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  20. Dave Pinsen
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    I like living within easy driving distance of an ocean for some reason, even if I only end up going ~8 times over the summer. Maybe others feel the same way.

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  21. Art Deco
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    Travis County’s DA’s office has a history of political lawfare of this sort.

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  22. Jefferson
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    Thanks to MENAs conquering Italy back in the days, I don’t sunburn as badly as a Scottish ginger for example. My Italian butt can survive Hawaii if I had to.

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  23. syon
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    Totally off-topic but interesting. Apparently a sizable number of Israelis are going to Berlin:

    http://www.newsweek.com/2014/06/20/young-israelis-are-flocking-berlin-262139.html

    Frankly, I don’t find this terribly surprising; there’s a deep affinity between Ashkenazi Jewry and Germany. Marx, Freud, and Kafka, after all, were products of German high culture.

    I might also add that many Jews seem to bear surprisingly little animus towards Germany. My grandfather (born in Riga in 1930) never uttered a negative word about Germans. To him, the Nazi episode was an aberration, a terrible blip.

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  24. vinny
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    Duluth is actually a pretty cool place. If they’d rebuild the cable cars so that you didn’t have to drive on those hills in the winter, it could be a pretty decent place to live. But as a better outdoor city than any tens of cities in the west? No way.

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  25. george
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    “What does living near the coast have to do with quality of life? ”

    Cleaner air, more moderate temperatures than just a mile inland, beautiful views, …

    “But, is the quality of life really that high there when you take the weather into account? ”

    You have to like skiing to appreciate Vermont

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  26. Art Deco
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    Honolulu has popped up in Monocle’s most livable cities in the past, if memory serves. I think that makes it one 2 American cities to make the list,

    Wretched real estate prices, malls everywhere, high rise development everywhere, scant accommodation for pedestrian traffic, very little historical architecture or organic neighborhood development, little pre-war architecture, no change of seasons, and a state university about which locals joke. The haolie population in particular is composed of people who came from somewhere else (now and again complaining about ‘them damned mainlanders’); there not unpleasant people, but there’s a je-ne-sais-quoi missing there when you do not have large blocs of people who live there just because that’s where they’ve always lived.

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  27. syon
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    “You can always reduce your amount of sunshine in a sunny place by staying inside. But you can’t increase it in an overcast place by going outside more.”

    It depends on how sensitive to sunlight you are. I lived for a while in Arizona, and I found the intense sunlight in summer to be quite oppressive. Sure, I had a desk job and stayed inside as much as I could, but there are limits to that kind of interior lifestyle. Some times you simply have to go outside, and I dreaded those occasions with a passion. I would pick Seattle or Portland over Honolulu every time.

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  28. Jefferson
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    “You have to like skiing to appreciate Vermont”

    Or like left wing politics to appreciate Vermont. Vermont is full of communists and man hating butch dykes.

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  29. Jefferson
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    “It depends on how sensitive to sunlight you are. I lived for a while in Arizona, and I found the intense sunlight in summer to be quite oppressive. Sure, I had a desk job and stayed inside as much as I could, but there are limits to that kind of interior lifestyle. Some times you simply have to go outside, and I dreaded those occasions with a passion. I would pick Seattle or Portland over Honolulu every time.”

    The heat in Arizona hasn’t scared too many White people away, since there are still enough White people there to make Arizona a red state in presidential elections.

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  30. Sam Haysom
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    Houston sucks please don’t move here. You wil hate it. All that matters is weather and Houston’s weather is bad for three months of the year. This is especially painful because nothing in Texas is air condition.

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  31. Sluggo
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    Cleaner air, more moderate temperatures than just a mile inland, beautiful views, …

    The states/cities with the cleanest air are almost all inland. Here are lists from the American Lung Association and the USEPA. Places like Indiana, South Dakota, New Mexico have 10X better air quality than California, Oregon, or Washington.

    http://www.stateoftheair.org/2013/city-rankings/cleanest-cities.html
    http://www.epa.gov/aircompare/

    Moderate temps. OK, I don’t know why that matters.

    Beautiful views? The ocean? To each his own. I enjoy the big city more than I enjoy looking at hills. I find it more impressive and visually appealing.

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  32. Sluggo
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    Cleaner air, more moderate temperatures than just a mile inland, beautiful views, …

    The states/cities with the cleanest air are almost all inland. Here are lists from the American Lung Association and the USEPA. Places like Indiana, South Dakota, New Mexico have 10X better air quality than California, Oregon, or Washington.

    http://www.stateoftheair.org/2013/city-rankings/cleanest-cities.html
    http://www.epa.gov/aircompare/

    Moderate temps. OK, that doesn’t mean a lot to me.

    Beautiful views? The ocean? To each his own. I enjoy the big city more than I enjoy looking at hills. I find it more impressive and visually appealing.

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  33. Dave Pinsen
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    I don’t think Tyler Brûlée is concerned much about affordability (or diversity, for that matter).

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  34. Dave Pinsen
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    I have a friend who skis there in the winter and mountain bikes there in the summer. His parents have a condo there.

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  35. Anonymous
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    The only really impressive big city views in the US are in Manhattan and Chicago. The tall buildings in other US urban downtowns are just eyesores.

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  36. syon
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    “The heat in Arizona hasn’t scared too many White people away, since there are still enough White people there to make Arizona a red state in presidential elections.”

    Sure. I’m describing one of the spectrum. Some people, like me, are heliophobes and loathe sunlight. Others are heliophiles, and thrive on the sun’s rays. My father, for example, is one of the latter; he heads out to Palm Springs every Winter. To me, that is the height of madness. To me, the light of the sun is the fist of an angry god, and I am thankful for every overcast day.

    As for Arizona being a republican state in presidential elections, the long term forecast is not good.Demography is destiny, and there are a lot of Mestizos in Arizona.

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  37. Tom
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    Steve, have you been to any of the beaches on the East Coast? Every state on the Atlantic coast has nice beaches. Of course they’re only available in the summer, but the water is warmer than the West Coast, and there’s much more beach available, since the entire coast from Maine to Key West has nice beaches, whereas on the West Coast only SoCal has nice beaches.

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  38. syon
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    “Or like left wing politics to appreciate Vermont. Vermont is full of communists”

    MMM, I haven’t run into any communists in Vermont. I have, though, run into a few socialists. They are quite pleasant people.And, of course, their regulated growth policies help to keep Vermont overwhelmingly White.

    “and man hating butch dykes.”

    I know a few Lesbians who live in Vermont, and “man-hating” is not the term that I would use. Indeed, they are kind of fun to be around. For one thing, a surprisingly large number of them are really into topics like action movies and Robert Heinlein….

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  39. Boomstick
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    “below Corvallis/Eugene, OR, where it rains 9 months out of the year and you are two hours from a major airport and good shopping. ”

    Corvallis is quite nice in many ways. It’s a classic land grant university town, you can get some acreage for not much money, and since it’s at the base of the coast range there’s plenty of fishing and hunting on public land. And you can put your kids in the public school. (Because of all the professor’s kids there the public school SAT scores are what you’d see in at expensive private schools in LA.)

    It’s a good place for a certain type of hippy redneck or a family-oriented academic.

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  40. Bill P
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    That whole Vermont whitopia thing isn’t really working out as well in practice as in theory. You see, one of the things that keeps the Vermont socialist engine going is families and children, which Vermont residents don’t like to have. So what they’ve been doing is importing refugees from Africa – Somalia in particular – to keep their schoolteachers and social workers employed.

    The same thing is happening in other really white cities and places, like Seattle and Minneapolis, for some time.

    Now, as commenter David has pointed out, nearly a quarter of Burlington’s kids and half of Winooski’s kids are “English learners.” If you’re from most parts of the US you might think “ah, so they have Mexicans there.” Not so. They have Somalis. And not just any old Somalis, but Somali Bantus. These are people who, prior to coming to the US, didn’t even know how to use indoor toilets or doorknobs.

    They also breed like rabbits, especially when compared to whites in their settlement areas. When my kids were in kindergarten in Seattle, about a quarter of the kids were Somalis, and this was in a school on the periphery of their territory. If current trends hold, the Seattle school district will be something like 10% Somali within a few years, and perhaps a plurality Somali within a generation (there were almost none twenty years ago). That may be an underestimate.

    Politicians love them because they vote en bloc, and all you have to do is ignore the welfare fraud to gain their support. They shamelessly promote candidates at mosques, when Christian churches would lose their nonprofit status for doing the same. White teachers tolerate them because otherwise cities would have abysmal fertility rates and they’d be out of work.

    Somehow, though, it doesn’t strike me as a particularly enlightened long-term strategy.

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  41. Cookies
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    Vermont is a stunning state with a wonderful vibe. I’d move there in a second if there were more jobz.

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  42. Rindor
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    It’s almost as if somehow we have gotten a Prime Directive, like in Star Trek. The only difference is that our new Prime Directive is that “White Americans Shall without exceptions help the People of the Third World”. Of course, we have never voted on, or even stated this in writing, but if you disagree, then you are considered “evil”.

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  43. syon
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    “As of the census of 2010, there were 42,417 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 88.9% White, 3.9% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.6% Asian, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.”

    (WIKIPEDIA)

    “Race and gender[edit]
    Vermont Racial Breakdown of Population
    [hide]Racial composition 2010[84]
    White 95.3%
    Asian 1.3%
    Black 1.0%
    Native 0.4%
    Native Hawaiian and
    other Pacific Islander - - -
    Other race 0.3%
    Two or more races - 1.7%”

    (WIKIPEDIA)

    “Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Vermont ranks:

    2nd highest proportion of non-Hispanic Whites (94.3%)
    41st highest proportion of Asians (1.3%)
    49th highest proportion of Hispanics (1.5%)
    48th highest proportion of Blacks (1.0%)
    29th highest proportion of Native Americans (0.4%)
    39th highest proportion of people of mixed race (1.7%)

    The above percentages are from the 2010 Census.”

    (WIKIPEDIA)

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  44. Renault
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    Why would any of you guys move to Vermont over New Hampshire?

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  45. Dave Pinsen
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    San Francisco has a pretty nice skyline.

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  46. Anonymous
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    Those are townhouses, not skyscrapers.

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  47. anonymous
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    I made a comment on the previous thread about California and the more I think about it the more I suspect a lot of the undeveloped coastal land in California that survived till present, whatever it’s current status, did so because a lot of the early cattle and dairy ranches were located on the coast. Not that California didn’t have huge inland ranches, but all you needed was a large coastal dairy farm (nice weather and water for cattle, good transportation before there were many real roads) that was established in, say, the 1850s-70s and remained in the family for 3-4 long generations with the attitude “we’re not ever going to sell” and voila…

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  48. Steve Sailer
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    Southern California was known in Sacramento as the Cow Counties until at least 1887. It was all cattle ranching, yet cattle ranchers sure sold out for development. I was just rereading “Mildred Pierce” and that starts with Mildred’s husband inheriting a cattle ranch in Glendale and subdividing it in the 1920s. The reason that there are still all these cattle ranches between the freeway and the beach west of Santa Barbara is because there are all sorts of roadblocks to the ranchers selling out.

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  49. Bill P
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    @Syon

    Somalis don’t do the census — lots of them are illegals and they’re a lot more paranoid than Mexicans (understandably — who wants to go back to Somalia?). Anyway, you’d be surprised how fast the war of the cradle can be lost. Burlington apparently has 1,500 Africans, most of whom are probably Somali. That’s over 3-4% of the population. Seems small, right?

    Well, white Vermonters have an average of 1.5 kids. Somalis have about 4 (in the US — they have 7 in Somalia). This means that some 2% of the Burlington population has about 5% of the kids. Fast forward a generation, when the current kids in kindergarten put their kids in a Burlington kindergarten. Add natural Muslim increase and chain migration, and suddenly lily-white Burlington ends up like a pint sized version of Minneapolis today.

    You want to see something depressing? Read this:

    Somali women in kaleidoscopically patterned wrappas or colorless hijabs have become an everyday sight in the Old North End. Scores of African kids now attend the Wheeler and Barnes schools in the same neighborhood, where Shea butter soap and fufu flour can be purchased at grocery stores opened by Somalis and Congolese. Displaced citizens of Sudan, Burundi and Liberia frequent suburban shopping malls. And the Vermont Frost Heaves’ championship basketball season was made possible in part by Issa Konare, a Senegalese who was recruited not in his native country but at UVM’s Patrick Gym.

    The presence today of some 1500 Africans in the Burlington area is only the most prominent point of intersection between Vermont and Africa. A growing number of young Vermonters are traveling to Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and other sub-Saharan countries on service-learning trips sponsored by St. Michael’s College and other local academic institutions. In addition, Africa-focused programs at churches and in elementary schools around the state are introducing Vermonters to the cultures and histories of countries that are at once horrifyingly poor and enviably rich…

    You see, most people posting here don’t have elementary school age kids in public schools. Out of sight, out of mind and all that. I do. You’d be surprised how insulated most whites are from the demographic reality.

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  50. Bill P
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    Oh, I just had to add this quote from the above link:

    Mike Sheridan, a former Peace Corpsman who served in Kenya, offers an anthropological take on Vermont’s open-heartedness. “The state’s rural ethic of community interdependence, of helping out, has been transferred to this refugee population,” observes Sheridan, who teaches anthropology at Middlebury College. “Vermonters used to build barns for one another. Now they build cribs for the babies of refugees.”

    That says it all right there. I’m sure the Somalis appreciate that fine New England craftsmanship.

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  51. Jefferson
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    Bill P, do you think one day Burlington, Vermont will have as many mosques per capita as London and Paris ?

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  52. Bill P
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    Bill P, do you think one day Burlington, Vermont will have as many mosques per capita as London and Paris ?

    Malmö would be a better comparison, and yes, I do think they will someday unless there’s a political paradigm shift in the West.

    To go from the 3% or so of the population that is currently Muslim to 20% could easily happen in a generation in a town as small as Burlington. All you need is generous welfare, refugee resettlement programs and lots of Mainline Protestant white liberals. I was in Malmö in 1985 on my way to Oslo. Didn’t see a single Muslim anywhere. Today they comprise 20% of the population.

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  53. Jeppo
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    The US is the perfect laboratory for determining which climatic and physical features the bulk of people will choose when given the choice. You’ve got steaming Hawaii vs frigid Alaska, soaking-wet Washington State vs bone-dry Arizona, thickly forested Maine vs mostly barren North Dakota, pancake-flat Kansas right next to mountainous Colorado, etc.

    Since WW2 and the widespread use of air conditioning, tens of millions of Americans (and immigrants) have upped stakes and moved to more desirable (to them) locales. The three factors that seem to draw in the bulk of these migrants are, in no particular order:

    1. Ocean
    2. Palm trees
    3. Mountains

    So over the past 60-70 years millions of people have moved from the interior of the country to the coasts. Millions more have moved from the northern two-thirds of the country to the low latitude southern tier. And millions more have moved from the relatively flat eastern two-thirds of the country to the mountainous West.

    Where all three of these factors come together (Hawaii, coastal California), real estate prices are the highest, reflecting their undeniable desirability. Since most Americans have been effectively priced out of these choicest regions, for the past 30 or so years the fastest growing part of the country has been the Inland Empire-Las Vegas-Phoenix triangle where people can enjoy two of the three most desirable factors (palm trees and mountains, but no ocean).

    The present demographic trend in California is the hollowing out of the mostly white middle class, while the white-Jewish-Asian upper class stays put (why would they move?) and the brown and black underclass inexorably grows, fueled by mass immigration. In other words the High-Low Democratic coalition is solidifying itself in Cali as the Republican Middles flee for greener pastures.

    If this trend spreads to other states with two of the three most desirable factors (like Arizona and Florida, amongst others), then much of the American middle class will eventually be forced back to the parts of the country from whence their parents and grandparents came; the north, the east, and the interior.

    So in the long run, the highest quality of life/standard of living for the broad middle classes will probably be in the regions of the country with no ocean, no palm trees and no mountains. Here they will not be priced out by the upper class nor followed in great numbers by the underclass, who will then have the choicest areas of the country virtually all to themselves, just like what has happened in California.

    And the region of the country furthest away from the three most desirable factors, and with the most brutal winters and lamest scenery, is the Upper Midwest. Specifically a six state area (WI, MN, IA, ND, SD, NB) centered on the Twin Cities. As well as being overwhelmingly white and middle class, these are the six most German as well as the six most Lutheran states in America. So that’s a high quality ethnic stock to begin with; i.e. it ain’t Appalachia.

    Sure, they’ve got their problem immigrants and minorities there. But wouldn’t all those Somalis and Hmong feel more at home in states like Arizona or Florida? And what’s stopping the bulk of them from eventually moving to more familiar climes? Nothing. And the bicoastal elites are not about to relocate to the heart of the Frostbelt anytime soon, leaving this region (call it White German Lutheran America) as a middle class paradise for generations to come. WGLA, due to its geographical and climatic lameness, will likely be the last part of America to fall to the Third World hordes.

    So while Santa Barbara and Marin County will remain magnets for the very rich (and their underclass servants), middle class Americans would be better off in the long run relocating to cities like Des Moines or Omaha.

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  54. Anon 542
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    I have a close relative who lives in Corvallis and have visited there many times. She put her kids in private school, alongside the children of those professors you talk about, Boomstick. Oregon, as a whole, has a pretty poor school system considering how white the population is. The desirable neighborhoods are not cheap, even by Orange County, CA standards. There is not much choice when it comes to restaurants, entertainment, vendors, or even places to work if you are a professional. Corvallis thinks much too highly of itself to let Target build there so you have to drive 20 miles to Albany for your everyday shopping, which is major a pain in the ass. For ‘good’ stores, i.e., something like Nordstrom, you have to go to Portland. The rain is the killer, though. I cannot believe how many cars hydroplane off the road there into roof-high “puddles”. The only reason my husband and I own Gortex jackets is for our trips to Corvallis. Albouy’s ranking algorithms could have the input of a woman.

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  55. anonymous
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    Southern California was known in Sacramento as the Cow Counties until at least 1887. It was all cattle ranching, yet cattle ranchers sure sold out for development.

    As a group, sure. But there’s always a fraction that don’t, at least not for the longest time possible (and as you point out, if they lasted until the present in modern California there’s a good chance they won’t be developed).

    I have seen the following reasons for ranches not selling out:

    * The ranch has been in the family for a long time, is surviving economically, and an extended family lives on it. The kids couldn’t bear to lose it. They identify with it and it’s a very pretty place to call home. You just can’t pay money for that. Some of the kids are looking forward to making it their life’s work. Sure the family will sell out one day, but not until the kids grow up, okay? But there’s always been a new generation of kids…

    * A ranch owner dies and leaves stipulations in the will that the ranch is not to be broken up and somehow the executor achieves this. (Or the owner arranged for this directly, these days often selling/gifting the ranch to the government, a school, or to one of those ‘non-profits’ lawyers land-trusts that get rich managing land.)

    * The ranch is tied up in court for decades after the owner dies, as the children fight over what is to become of it.

    * A widower who now owns the ranch just decides she’s too old to change, doesn’t want to do anything different, and lives for a very long time. Perhaps she sells the place off in pieces, a little bit at a time, a decade at a time, in a long drawn out process.

    The last of the large ranches have still not quite died:

    “Storied Waggoner Ranch is for sale for $725 million”, Emily Schmall, AP, 8 Aug 2014:

    “One of the largest ranches in the United States and an icon of the Texas horse and cattle culture has been listed for sale for $725 million, marking the end of a decades-long courtroom dispute among the heirs of cattle baron W.T. Waggoner.

    …The estate includes a 510,000-acre ranch…

    …Heirs and stakeholders occupy two of the three principal houses…

    ….Area residents have been worried that oil wildcatters or foreign investors will divide up the land and fire ranch employees, more motivated by making a profit than preserving history.”

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  56. anonymous
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    Although “near the ocean” is good, near a really large seaport is typically “bad”.

    (Steve, people might have though you were joking about illegals traveling from Manila to Acapulco in shipping containers, but…

    “Tilbury Docks: Man dies after 35 found in container”>, BBC, 16 Aug 2014:

    “A man has died after 35 people – including children – were found in a shipping container at Tilbury Docks.

    The survivors – believed to be from the Indian subcontinent and suffering from severe dehydration and hypothermia – are being treated at nearby hospitals.

    … staff at the docks were alerted to the container by “screaming and banging” from inside.”

    “Man dies as 35 people found ‘screaming and banging’ in shipping container at Tilbury Docks”, The Telegraph, 16 Aug 2014.

    Probably embarked from Belgium, but still… won’t take to long for a cartel to improve the engineering so people can live for a long time in a container.)

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  57. syon
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    “Somalis don’t do the census — lots of them are illegals and they’re a lot more paranoid than Mexicans (understandably — who wants to go back to Somalia?). ”

    That being the case, what is the basis for your stats? A newspaper article?

    “Anyway, you’d be surprised how fast the war of the cradle can be lost. Burlington apparently”

    Again, apparently.

    ” has 1,500 Africans, most of whom are probably Somali.”

    We know this how?

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  58. Brutusale
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    Vermont has many of the stereotypes mentioned (communists, socialists, bull dykes), but it also has a strong libertarian, with upwards of 35% of Vermonters polled supporting secession and, most importantly, Vermont is the home of the least restrictive gun laws in the country. Any Vermont Bantus contemplating chimp-outs needs to realize that he’s surrounded by heavily-armed white people.

    Minneapolis, MN, Portland, ME and Burlington, VT: who’d have thought the Africanization of America was going to go through three of its coldest cities!

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  59. Anon 1
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    OT: Fifty percent of Israelis would like to emigrate, and about one million are already living abroad, mostly in the U.S. The expats are disproportionately young and secular, hastening the aging of the Israeli population. A growing number of Israelis would like to return to Poland, the land of many of their ancestors. Four Israeli prime ministers, starting with Ben Gurion, were born in Poland. Netanyahu’s father, Benzion Mileikowski, was born and raised in Warsaw. It’s not generally known that after the Jews were expelled from England, Spain, France, Italy, and Germany, they typically ended up in Poland which was then the largest country in Europe, and granted Jews unprecedented legal rights in Europe (Statute of Kalisz, 1264)

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  60. “Just apply an SPF50 on that alabaster pigmentation of yours and you will survive Honolulu.”

    I’m not exactly sure how, or why, some statistically significant portion of the population finds the notion of having to slather your body with some greasy sludge before leaving the house, to be a totally acceptable practice, akin to grabbing a coat on chilly days. But its not.

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  61. “Whoa. Gov Rick Perry indicted:

    They are clearly removing GOP competitors to Hillary.”

    ROFL! I can think of few prospects more likely to ensure a Hillarious Rotten Klinton presidency than the GOP nominating that treacherous clown. You DO realize he’s one of the most pro-Amnesty Republicans in the nation, right? His hyper-cynical, dishonest granstanding of the last few weeks not withstanding.

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  62. dixie
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    http://munsonscity.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/where-i-should-live-according-to-math/
    “Where I Should Live, According to Math”

    “Capitol Hill, Seattle led the pack. “

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  63. RickyVaughn
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    American Jews certainly hold a grudge, though, against anything and anyone German, blonde, or blue-eyed.

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  64. Tom
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    Houston has cheap, good housing and plenty of jobs, but is also arguably the most multicultural cesspool in the USA (excluding NAM dominated ghetto cities).

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  65. Tom
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    Agreed. And I’m not convinced that all of that zinc on your skin year-round is good for you either. Very white people just aren’t meant to live in climates that don’t get snow.

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  66. Tom
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    That’s disappointing considering many of us blond, blue eyed American-German devils marched on, fought, and killed our own brethren, as well as died, to free the non-integrationist German Jews that effed up by agitating the Germans too much in a land that was not their own. I would have expected some sort of, I don’t know, gratitude for that immense sacrifice rather than hate.

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  67. Tom
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    That observation is at the heart of how white people, due to their intrinsic genetic impulse to be co-operative toward one-another, are manipulated to harbor their own dispossession. You will never, ever find black communities building cribs for refugees. Social communism (multiculturalism) would not work without white people. However, what will eventually happen is that the black presence will eventually erode community trust and the community will become less community-like and politically cohesive. Fewer and fewer cribs will be built, as well as barns. It always happens and will always continue to happen. The Vermonter nation will be irreversibly shattered.

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  68. Tom
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    Duluth is fairly poor, isolated, and very cold. And they have an annoying strain of white privilege agitprop pumped through the town by the local community college.

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  69. Tom
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    Links?

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  70. Anonymous
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    Non-integrationist German Jews, what? The bulk of the pre-War German-Jewish community was assimilated. Over the previous century, many of the prominent Jewish families in Germany and Austria-Hungary had seen members convert to Christianity to fit in. During the Weimar period, the Jewish-Gentile intermarriage rate in Berlin was unprecedentedly high compared to the previous thousand years of European Jewish history. The bulk of the European Jews interned in concentration camps and killed were from Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Many were poor and religious.

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