Thursday, September 09, 2010
I guess this is at least part of the reason why i'm so stressed out, tired, and "angry". St. Louis is like some sort of estranged lover...one that you occasionally get together with...and you still have passion for... but it's a situation where you know it's not really worth the nag and the hassle. Like the lover that you know may not be the best for you, but you can't leave them alone. It's like a love/hate relationship.... with more hate than love.
Portfolio.com has come out with its rankings for the most stressful Metro areas in the Country. See a summary of their report. No surprise that Detroit was ranked #1. But St. Louis wasn't very far behind, coming in at #5 out of 50. St. Louis ranked pretty bad in a few areas... including murders, where it was almost off the charts. See the interactive map. Also see the full list of 50 metro areas.
I don't typically blog about local issues... because that's not my focus. I really don't have much interest in local politics. But from time to time I complain about the nonsense happening here in St. Louis. Eventually something happens to compel me to write. These aren't just crazy rantings...
Ranking poorly on these kinds of lists has become a pattern for St. Louis... there are usually a handful of lists each year that highlight shortcomings in the Metro area. St. Louis (city proper) has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the nation, urban terrorists run rampant, major venues are not the greatest, it is one of the most economically/socially/racially divided cities in North America, the economy is terrible (few opportunities for college grads), it is an old industrial city full of broken dreams that has been slow in keeping up with the rest of the Country, traffic is horrible, safety is always a question mark, and much like Detroit it's a place that people want to get the Hell out of. This is part of the reason why I stay locked in my apartment. There are certain parts of the St. Louis Metro that I consciously avoid just for safety...and to avoid social/cultural pollution. Other areas where I have little choice in going, I try to minimize the frequency of trips. But I find myself making these calculations far too often. If you have to wonder about this constantly... then it can't be the best place for you.
I even despise going to work everyday... it's depressing and stressful. St. Louis is basically a service industry town with a growing low wage sector. It used to be a town full of middle class wages... from a booming car industry, a defense industry (we gave the nation the F-4 Phantom Jet...workhorse of the 1960's & 70's for the Air Force, Navy and Marines, the legendary F-15, and the F-18), airline industry, a booming hub airport, corporate headquarters for a number of Fortune 500's (we gave the nation Budweiser), manufacturing jobs, steel plants, factories, etc. Most of that is gone now. But the cost of living kept going up...as the good paying jobs left town. You have a lot of frustrated, tired people now who are killing themselves working more hours (in many cases... working 2 or 3 jobs) just to survive. And I haven't even mentioned that the dating pool is pretty bad & that the weather sucks.
St. Louis is still a city (and Metro area) mostly in decline.... as is Detroit. These old cities are examples of what the nation could be facing as a whole if it continues on its current path.