Where To Live In The United States?

jcat3022
By jcat3022 on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 - 12:07pm

This is a question I continue to ask myself as a resident of an over-reaching, over-taxing & over-regulating state (Maryland). For me, as independant thinking individual who values family, freedom & liberty above all, I find a vast majority of the population & its "leaders" above the mason-dixon line nauseating & economically inept. Like most on this site, I feel as though the writing is on the wall and the last thing I'd want is to paint myself and family in a corner where we have zero options. Ideally I'd love to sell the house, pack up our stuff and move to a place where the ideas learned on this website & forum can be best practiced. Obviously life is not that simple and complexities such as money, work, property, etc. come into play. Having said that, my wife and I are doing everything we can to deleverage from debt & save as much money as possible via precious metals & other tangible investments. If we were to sell our home I'd be debt free and have liquid assets of around $75k. She would still have $50k of student loans and $150k mortgage on her rental property. She has her masters degree in Speech Therapy and could work pretty much anywhere. I have a 5% ownership stake in a 30+ person business that averages $4.5 million a year in sales with the majority partners having no plans to sell in the next 5 years. The idea of leaving doesn't scare me, nor does taking a job with a 50% paycut. I've been there before, started a sales territory from nothing and built it to a million dollar + territory from sheer work and grit.

I'm not leaving the country, this is where I'm from and where my family and relatives live. So, the question is where to? Where can I take my family in the United States that will allow us to live a sustainable lifestyle without the worry of our freedoms being fully eroded and the government interefering with us.

74 Comments

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
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Previous PP.com insights

jcat -

The previous round of discussion this site had this topic can be found here:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/78965/best-state-live

To get the next round of the discussion going here, I'll repost my contribution to that thread:

I found the following chart interesting:

First, it really hits home how little of the world population lives in the west hemisphere.

Second, it shows how similarly lopsided the North American population distribution is.

For example, despite large cities like LA, the NA west (i.e., west of the Rockies) has a surprisingly small fraction of the total continent's population. Water plays a big role in that, of course, but there are plenty of areas in that large region with plentiful water supply and excellent growing climates (e.g. northern California, and much of the Pacific Northwest).

So if low population density, productive land, and good growing seasons are priorities for you - look west young man (or woman)...

Now, that's not to say there aren't material shortcomings to living in the West. In my state of California, state taxes are painfully high and headed higher as our bankrupt government flails & drowns under the weight of its unservicable debt & deficits.

But my logic is: one day this unsustainable system will collapse under its own weight. Maybe the state declares bankruptcy, etc - who knows? Whatever happens will be unpleasant in the short term, but a new system will emerge from a lower and much more rational baseline (e.g., we'll likely have much less funding for centralized services, but taxes will likely be a lot lower). The sun will still come up in the morning, and plants will still grow.

And when that day arrives, sitting on some of the best productive land in the country, with a near year-round growing season, in a reasonably-populated area, sounds to me like a good position to be in.

I wrote the response above before moving from Silicon Valley up to a much more agrarian location in Sonoma County CA with an engaged community that values sustainability and resilient living. It's been 6  months since the move and my only regret is not having moved here sooner. As a state, California has it's unfair share of dysfunction which makes the cost of living very steep. But the natural and human resources in certain places out here are potentially the best in the country, IMO.

Looking forward to what new insights on this ever-in-demand topic folks have to share.

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No refuge

Jcat3022 wrote:

Where can I take my family in the United States that will allow us to live a sustainable lifestyle without the worry of our freedoms being fully eroded and the government interfering with us.

There is nowhere in the USA that is safe from the federal government.  But leaving the country opens a whole new can of worms.  I’ll take my chances here.  The founding fathers were clear that liberty can only be maintained by vigilance and a willingness to fight for it.  That is the price we must be willing to pay.

There are still large differences in government interference among states.  The worst tend to be along the northeast coast, followed by the west coast.  The southern border has big problems with illegal aliens that bode ill for the future.  That still leaves a large area for your research.

Travlin

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Incentives change

Travlin wrote:

The southern border has big problems with illegal aliens that bode ill for the future.

Not sure that's likely to remain an issue once the federal government realizes it's broke. At that point crossing the border is only beneficial if you have skills that people are willing to pay for.  When there are no free handouts, the incentive is much less.

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The south is very

The south is very intriguing.  States like Tennesee & NC seem like nice places to live.  My parents live outside of Charlotte and love it.  However, that economy (Charlotte) has seen a boom courtesy of the banking business.  Not something I'd want to be around when/if the currency blows up.  The only problem I see with the south is 1) the heat (how long can you keep your AC on if energy costs skyrocket) and 2) the infatuation with religion.  As a Catholic, I can appreciate my church and community and like to get involved.  In the south though it seems they take it to a whole new level.  Not that I'm begrudging it, I'm just not a fan of telling people how they should live their life and with whom.  Maybe I'm being a bit nit-picky?

My wife and I have a trip planned to northern Idaho for 4 days in July.  Their income tax rate is high, but as an avid outdoors person, seeing those mountains and having a garden to attend to every morning is something that gets me excited.  Not to mention that fishing and hunting is abundant and can cut down on food costs.

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Adam Taggart wrote: I wrote

Adam Taggart wrote:

I wrote the response above before moving from Silicon Valley up to a much more agrarian location in Sonoma County CA with an engaged community that values sustainability and resilient living. It's been 6  months since the move and my only regret is not having moved here sooner.

Adam, this is great to read.  I'm so glad your new location is playing out so well for you.

We are in a good spot here in southern Vermont.  The winters aren't for everyone, but if you come from hardy stock and are willing to take extra steps to deal with the inconvenience of snow, cold, and limited growing season, it's a nice area.  There are a lot of do-it-yourself-ers here in families who have been used to "making do" and working together as a community for generations.  There are Transition Town groups and people creating a post-Peak-Oil community vision.  There are farmers and craftspeople and there is still arable land.  There are functional grange halls and grassroots organizations.  I've found it to be a good mix of "friendly neighbors" and "to each his own."  But the winters would give me pause if I hadn't grown up here.

I have heard some say that the Asheville, NC area is culturally similar but more comfortably temperate and better for growing.  If I were starting from scratch, I'd be looking in that area to start with.  Anyone here from there who can speak to the pros/cons of that area?

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Good book: Strategic Relocation

Has anybody heard of this book "Strategic Relocation"?

If you're looking for the safest places to live considering anything from war to financial melt down, Skousen has it mapped out. The book contains very detailed state by state information as well as many maps. Although I don't agree with many of his philosophies (he sounds racist at times), the information he has amassed is solid and consice. Highly recommend it for those looking to relocate.
http://www.joelskousen.com/strategic.html

In addition to this book, I researched "Superfund sites" of the US - don't wanna live where there is toxic contamination. Here is one website that lists all Superfund sites: http://www.epa.gov/oerrpage/superfund/sites/query/queryhtm/nplfin.htm

If you plan on living near the Canadian border, I suggest you research what's going on on the other side. - Politics, population, environmental hazards, water source, etc.

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Asheville area works well

I'm a Northern CA transplant 10 years ago and miss the Pacific but wouldn't go back.  The Southern Appalachians offer much.  It rains, on average, an inch every week of the year so we often don't water the garden except for starts.  Our solar hot water is working out very well and there are two microhydro power generators on the creek that flows through our sparse neighborhood.  Our local tailgate market is the social meeting place on Sat. mornings where PP ideas get kicked around regularly.  At 2-3,00 feet elevation the summers aren't too hot and the winters are mild.  Trout fishing is great along with the waterfalls and hikes in public land.  There is a transition town in Asheville along with many progressive and diverse activities.  As I've watched the severe weather unfold this past year I'm happy to be in a mountain weather pattern - less likelyhood of tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes of the CA variety.  Famous last words?

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Good point

rhare wrote:

Travlin wrote:

The southern border has big problems with illegal aliens that bode ill for the future.

Not sure that's likely to remain an issue once the federal government realizes it's broke. At that point crossing the border is only beneficial if you have skills that people are willing to pay for.  When there are no free handouts, the incentive is much less.

Hi Rhare

You make a good point.  But remember the border states and points much farther north were stolen from Mexico by waves of gringo immigrants.  As the political power of the Hispanic population grows there would be poetic justice in a de-facto reversal.  I bet many of them know that history.

The Mexican people I’ve know are hard working, family oriented, and very likable.  As you say, employment is a key issue, but skills are being acquired, and accepting lower pay gives a big competitive advantage.  If the government can’t control the border now, what might happen when it runs out of money?  My concern is the potential for turmoil these circumstances could bring. 

Travlin

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Any info on Lewiston-Moscow Idaho Area ??

Is there anyone here that has some first hand experience on what it is like in Idaho up near Lewiston?

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MICHIGAN, HANDS DOWN

Everywhere you go you get water. Water, water everywhere. Great fishing, great hunting, real nice soil that can get water to the crops/garden as we usually get just enough rain, and it isn't hard finding any of this North, South, East or West. After a shack a Man could live like a KING.

I have lived in Mississippi, California, Chicago, Okinawa and Guam. I have visited Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona and Texas (Family in these last 4  States), Hawaii, Maine (I could live in Maine), Alaska, Tokyo, Taiwan, Jamaica, Aruba, Mexico (3 times). No place like home.

I don't worry about my Government in the least, and I won't hide because what's the point. If you want to find me it won't be a problem.

Peace

BOB

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Getting Better

You raise several good points. I moved to Charlotte from Santa Cruz, CA 12 years ago. Talk about culture shock. There is however, a growing Catholic community as more people relocate here from up north & Cali so there seem to be more transplants than locals. The cultural shift has been big enough to make living here ok. Charlotte is very cliqueish but 1 hour drive into S. Carolina & I can hunt an abundance of deer, turkey, & duck. The deer have become so abundant that they are becoming a legitimate concern. 2 hour drive to the west & I'm in the Appalation Mtns. & all that has to offer.

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Moving for the long haul

my two cents..  as a NC resident for 30 years and a rural PA native...   I hope to move back the the PA river valley area where I grew up.  NC ranks at the bottom of the 50 states for state employee benefits, has a crumbling medicare/medicaid/ mental healthcare system, requires a car in almost every location to get necessities,, has limited small and mid size sustainable ag systems that work in a low energy economy,   and it is getting hotter and dryer every year!

There are of course,  exceptions in NC-- for now, and likely for the near to mid future,  , but i would ask, how long has cities like charlotte, raleigh or Asheville had great schools, healthcare, jobs, or schools...   mostly only since the boom town post WWII...( ie..  fossil fuel booms.).. so I have to ask, as Oil gets ever more expensive, as jobs created have poor to no benefits, or raises....  will it last,,  ??

I think the future will be with less of many things.   there is no certain utopia.  I do however, cast my vote to the NE in general-  parts of the rust belt more likely, and thriving early colonial sites,, most likely, , there are places that are  affordable, there is a   200 year plus system of food production.., in place networks for small, medium and some large production of goods and the means to transport them.. the small and mid size towns and  somewhat rural communities fit the more likely possibilities of a sustainable community..  IMHO

I suspect there are many places in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,, michigan, some of NJ, DE, NY state, Maryland,,, but since Pennsylvania was my home.. that is were I have the most knowledge.   

My basic offering to you all is to think where there has been a pre- industrial thriving culture... anywhere in america.. I believe that is where things have the best chance to be more stable in the long decent.   

next is to consider why these places had sustainable thriving culture of small, mid-size and larger communities...   

It usually is due to the following:

proximity to Naturally fertile soils  ( ie.  they don't need massive additions of organic matter, lime, phosphate or chemical nitrogen to be very productive-  this rules out a good deal of the south, which was stripped of it's precious topsoil a hundred plus years ago), naturally abundant clean water  ( this rules out most of the SW, Rocky mts and mid west) , access to water power ( for mills, smelting, power generation), access to lower energy transportation of goods and persons  ( this puts a strain on many regions, particularly those without river transport or train systems) , existing systems in place for small, mid and larger scale agronomic production, of regionally produced goods.  ( this excludes regions that were primarily  "Boom" areas in the last 30-50 years- like the western Mt, much of the south, etc)  .people with the traditional knowledge of how to make this happen.

..I have long held the opinion that areas where traditional agriculture life and communities were  "Old order" PA deutch have thrived for centuries.... are areas of sustainable agriculture,these are most likely  communites and regions to thrive in the future.  I dont' think one must become Amish, but realise that there are very good reasons they have maintained a 200 year plus livelyhood without the benefits of cars, suburbs, school busing and modern banking systems...   that is what i mean by a sustainable system.

could there be a future in  the rest of the country,, of course.. but with greater issues of food security, water, economic potential and connection to something greater than a small local economy... at least far out on the "Long decent"

I think community building trumps some of govt worries of where to live.   that is, i would think more of where I have family, connections or can relate to others so i can work to create community to sustain ourselves and possibly change local govt systems...than worry about were there are certain govt laws that bother me.  

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Pre-industrial civilizations

bmega wrote:

My basic offering to you all is to think where there has been a pre- industrial thriving culture... anywhere in america.. I believe that is where things have the best chance to be more stable in the long decent. 

I guess we should be good since we had a road and commerce (1598) before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock (1620). wink

Quote:

Earlier than 900 CE progressing past the 13th century, the population complexes were a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples. In Chaco Canyon, Chacoan developers quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling 15 major complexes which remained the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century.

Source

Guess you just have to watch out for those 50 year droughts!

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joesxm2011 wrote: Is there

joesxm2011 wrote:

Is there anyone here that has some first hand experience on what it is like in Idaho up near Lewiston?

Very likable. I've been eyeing it as a possible "end point" for a few years. I'd be even more compelled if there were PP members working on a sustainable community there. I have had a hard time finding a place that I really think offers social cohesion and sustainability. This is a very interesting topic.

Cheers,
Aaron

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paradox

The best places to live probably won't be mentioned here by the people living there since the people living there like the fact that these places are not overcrowded and they want to keep them that way.;-) 

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North and East (but maybe the West cost)

There's lots to consider when relocating.I'm assuming by relocation you're looking for a place that will stay reasonable climate wise and have natural resources to go around.

What to consider:

1.  Climate change. Check out this link:  https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/news/2904/climate-change-drought-may-threaten-much-globe-within-decades  Much of North America is going to get hotter and drier, 2012 but worse.  Having access to water is going to be key and not just rivers, etc but actual rain.  The mountain west and dust bowl states will probably get worse. 

2.  Nuclear reactors:As things go south will there be money or any human desire to safely decommission nuclear power plants?  Probably not.  Add on top of that the chance that a natural disaster (flood, earthquake, hurricane storm surge) takes out the power or disrupts the coolling capabilities of tons of radioactive material.  Here's a map:  http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/map-power-reactors.html  Might not want to get too close.

These I think are the big two.

There are smaller factors as well:

1.  City or rural.  Living in town is great for community however living in town can limit your collapse plans.  You'll have to retrofit a home and/or have to deal with city zoning regarding what kind of builds you want.  On top of that you might be far from natural resources, space for animals (hunting and domestic) and have limited space for growing food.  Too rural on the other hand means you better have a clan (family/close friends) to help because you will be out there. The fringes of a small town might be best. 

2.  People.  Probably a bigger factor but if you're moving away from all you know try to find a place that has something established and even more helpful if the people already there have long time roots. 

I'll stop there since this is about geography but I'd try to find a place that won't be a burnt to a crisp for 6 months out of the year and that won't be soaked with cessium anytime soon. 

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Climate change is unpredictable!

Yeah,  climate change is only one variable that can throw wrenches in any plans we might make and that is why I don't think there is any way to pick a utopian location with any certainty ..  just improved possibilities by examining history of areas still getting by after 200-300  most recent years..  

bmega wrote:

My basic offering to you all is to think where there has been a pre- industrial thriving culture... anywhere in america.. I believe that is where things have the best chance to be more stable in the long decent

Hah, yeah, you got me there with technicality!   :) 

As you likely know, I am , referring to the last couple hundred years, and what we understand about the current environment and systems in place- of any particular region.   Near future will likely been different than 30 + years down the road,  I hope there is time for some transistioning.

Been to Chaco Canyon.,.. 

I am not very good at arid land food production...and wouldn't want to settle my ancestors there.   The challenges are too great for me,  But if  I had no children to think of, If My Husband and I LOVED arid living,,  and I was already well settled and happy in a SW area, and had the means for living with less, etc, etc,..  well who am I to say that is a poor choice for someone else in the near and mid -term decent?

The question in my mind is sustainable, long term potential.  I am personally trying to figure out a place for not just My generation, but for my children's children's children.  So, thats why I ask to consider... what population level, and level of goods, trading, etc..  was sustainable  in a region,  just prior to the injection of fossil fuel based  economy? 

What can be done to prepare for a ( hopefully gradual) return to such a situation,   And what  technology  CAN be preserved to improve life in " the long decent".

Dunno , but these things seem to make sense to ponder, at least until one of us finds a crystal ball or I finish my time machine ;)

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Correction, I don't believe in a Utopian place,

Just an edit.. I don't think there is a Utopia, but really mean just a place with potential sustainable future for generations..  

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Central Virginia is nice

I appreciate hearing the qualities that people find inviting and believe portend a good future during a time of economic descent and rapid social change. 

Central Virginia has a bit to offer, too.  We live in Charlottesville, Virginia, a college town where the University of Virginia is located.  The University brings some culture (music, theater, interesting speakers) to the area.  Yet if you drive 10 miles out of town in any direction, you are surrounded by small family farms.  The soil is rich enough to garden, and precipitation averages 3-4 inches / month year round. 

Winter is moderate, though snow does fall a couple of times each winter.  A green-house would be required for winter gardening.

Summers are HOT!   Despite good average monthly rainfall numbers, an occasional drought condition occurs and water rationing has been required twice in the last 12 years.  Rain water collection sounds like a good idea.

Trees are abundant.  And wood burning stoves the most economical way to heat a home.

Guns are a part of the culture and are considered "normal."  For example, the rural county of Orange, VA, just north of us has a population of 43,000 and has issued 1300 concealed carry permits in the last 5 years.  The sheriffs department teaches gun safety classes to the public once each month.  Law enforcement seems to generally consider armed citizens a boon to the community and a concealed carry permit a mark of respectability and community mindedness.  (A very unusual attitude for me, coming from CA).

A brisk organic food movement is here and joining a CSA is easy.  Several co-worker sells eggs from backyard chickens and about one third of my co-workers garden each summer.  Driving an hour east into the Shenandoah Valley one finds numerous turkey and chicken farms and an occasional cattle and sheep farm.  In otherwords, there is locally grown food.

Political and social climate is variable depending on location.  The town of Charlottesville is very liberal (Obama supporters, a few openly gay couples, an occasional Buddhist or Hindu meditation group) while the surrounding country-side is conservative socially (Romney signs on every lawn, Christian churches slightly outnumber the bars).  Thus one can choose one's political / social / intellectual climate by moving a few miles in any direction.

Things NOT available here:  No large lakes, rivers or oceans.  A few kayakers look forward to rains that make the shallow rivers  passable for a few days after each storm.  There are no bike paths or roads with shoulders making bicycling not a feasible way to get around for errands.  And of course the climate (too hot, too cold, too rainy) makes bicycling unfeasible about half the days anyway.  There is a bicycling club that goes out in a pack of 50- 60 every Saturday morning.  A group of that size can take over an entire rural road.    There are only 3 swimming pools in a town of some 35,000.  The solar industry has not caught on here.

The area is not crowded.  (The implications of this in my mind is that in the event of a suddenly developing food shortage, we will not be surrounded by 100's of thousands or millions of freaked out people.) 

There is minimal crime.  Minimal homelessness.  (Housing is so inexpensive that even the very poor can rent a room in exchange for doing chores on a farms in the surrounding rural areas and a family on public assistance can rent or purchase a mobile home.)  Race relations seem good.

Price of housing.  In the city of Charlottesville a medium sized residential suburban home is around $250K.  20 miles outside of town,  prices fall by 25%, and 50 miles out in the country, $120K - $170.

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Asheville

As bbroadhead pointed out, the Asheville area climate-wise works well. I'll add that the mountains have historically been poor and learned to deal with that. There is good community to be found here, just don't try to change the way things have been or you'll be found on the outside rather quickly. In a pre/post oil world getting things into and out of any mountain region becomes cost prohibitive on many items, hence Appalachia having been historically poor and most likely will be again. Large tracts of arable land are few however the land is fertile where tobacco has not drained it and could most likely provide sustinance in smaller plots. This area has had a constant influx of retirees over the past 15 years and land starts about $10k an acre up to and past $100k/acre(for now). North Carolina taxes are high, Buncombe County taxes are high. Buncombe County and Asheville work with ICLEI and you can take what you want from that. I think it stinks. I'm staying. I love it here.

The Raleigh-Durham area has potential.

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South Carolina

If you can deal with the summer heat, SC is a pretty good place to be. I moved down here from Long Island, NY 3.5 years ago and am very pleased with the results. Plusses include very low taxes; our home has $500 a year in property taxes, not $500 a month like up in NY. And there is NO zoning in much of the state: raise chickens, start a saw mill on you property? They don't care. There's lots of arable land, and here is the midlands the water table is usually so high that all you need to do to make a pond is bring in a bulldozer: no one has basements since they will strike water. The main problem is getting things NOT to grow, except at the height of the summer. Often you can get in three crops a year. Organic farming is catching on big time. While you can join a CSA. there are also big, state-sponored Farmer's Markets all over the entire state, with areas exclusively for locavores and the organic things clearly marked.

Another thing I love about this area is the lower population density. The entire state has half the population of the non-NYC parts of Long Island. And all of SC has a third of the population of Long Island if you include Brooklyn & Queens. So if I am sitting file miles outside of downtown Columbia SC I'm in farmland; five miles out of downtown NYC and I'd be in Queens (2.23 million) or Brooklyn (2.5 million people). Since ancient times cities of up to 1 million people were sustainable; all of the counties surronding our college town "metropolis" --Columbia-- have about 700,000 scattered over 1/4 of the state. My semi-rural town of Oak Grove has just over 10K folks.

While most folks here are no "clued in" many are: the national Suburban Preppers Conference was held six miles from my home. Those who are not clued are, by and large, a hearty lot of self-sufficient, hard-working, kindly folks. You'll have to decide if being in the Bible Belt would be a plus, but these people are honest and responsible and polite to a fault. It's like seeing what American looked like 60 years ago, only more high tech.

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Where to live?

I concur of every aspect of Wendy's comments and facts.  I know first-hand as my teenage years were spent in South Carolina.  First in Cayce, then St. Andrews and then moved to Hanahan.  What a place to be a teenager in the late 50s and 60s.  I learned to shag dance, attended a few of the motown greats at Folly Beach Pier, developed life long friends but lost many friends to the unjust Vietnam war!  I understand that efforts are being made to bring back the original rice!  

The greatest asset one can own is "land".  Because one can grown their own food supply.  

Good Luck,

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Comments on the west

This is my first post on this site although I've been reading the content here for a couple of years, ever since I read The Crash Course. I have to say that, of the various "prepper/post oil" web sites I've visited, this site has the most thoughtful and useful posts that I've found anywhere. I am grateful to you all for the civil discourse and the breadth of information that you share.

Now on to the "best place to live". I was born in Seattle 59 years ago and have lived all over the west, with a one year visit to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I have been living in SW Idaho for the last 12 years. Here are a few observations:

First, the "best place to live" is highly dependent upon each individual's preferences and values. What might be an excellent place for me, could be a terrible place for someone else. So, I recommend making a list of characteristics that make a location desirable for you. This could include things like ready access to airports or railways (for business or pleasure or visits to far away family), easy access to health care facilities ( important especially as we age), and access to higher education, among the climate and geographic considerations that other folks have mentioned. Once you have your list, rank each item as to its priority for you. Then once you have your list, use it to rate the various locations you investigate - this can help you stay on track as you search for that perfect place.

Next, if acreage is important to you and cost is a consideration, a diligent search of online reality sites can help you get an idea of the price you will have to pay to acquire the land you want, and you can do the upfront research without leaving home. My family purchased 60 acres of timberland in NE Washington back in 2007. We selected that area for a number of reasons, but one of the more important factors in determining the location was cost. We were looking for at least 20 acres in the NW, and found essentially two areas that had acreage that we could afford - NE WA and along the Oregon-California border. NE WA won out for a variety of reasons.

In response to several posts inquiring about Utah and Idaho... Both Utah and Idaho have large Mormon populations. I'm not a Mormon and don't claim to know much about Mormonism, but I do know that the Mormons have a strong tradition of being prepared. Many folks around here have enough canned food to last for years. Prepping is sort of SOP as far as I can tell. Lewiston is down in a canyon on the Snake River - I believe it gets as hot as the dickens in summer. The general area near Lewiston is called the Paloose Hills and is incredibly fertile - it is a huge area of loess (glacial dust from all the ground up rocks from the last ice age); lots of huge wheat farms. Nearby Walla Walla has a strong grape/wine industry. SW Idaho is a desert - very fertile, but requires a lot of irrigation (with diminishing snow packs, this could be a problem in the future). Generally speaking - there are mountains and forests to the east and south of Lewiston, and sagebrush deserts to the west and north. Northern Idaho is mountainous with numerous lakes and deep forests. It is beautiful, but the price of land in many of the mountainous areas in the NW have been driven up, well beyond my reach, by "the rich Californians." The headquarters of the Aryan Nation is/was based out of Sandpoint Idaho, if that means anything to you. It seems like veryone and their dog owns a gun in SW Idaho.

I can't speak for all of Utah or Idaho, but if you don't like the frigid cold  in winter and broiling heat in the summer (I'm not exaggerating) - then you might want to consider some other place. I lived in Eugene Oregon/the Willamette Valley for about 20 years, and I think it has a lot going for it in terms of sustainabily - you can grow anything there, it gets plenty of rain but the climate is generally mild, there is a strong green community, easy access to higher ed, lots of innovation. Too many people for me, but that's just me... 

If anyone has specific questions about Idaho, Washington, or Oregon - I might be able to answer.   

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Adam Taggart
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The East Coast and population density

Those who have read The Long Emergency have heard James Howard Kunstler's argument for relocating to the small towns in the northeast that thrived during the Industrial Revolution.

His logic is that these towns are well-designed for local commerce (e.g. walkable downtowns with central meeting places), have native industrial infrastructure that can be tapped or re-activated (mills, hydro, etc), and are usually situated within a constellation of other small towns so that specialization and trade is facilitated.

On the surface, this logic appeals to me. But I'm nagged by a feeling of "that was then, this is now".

To make the point, let's return to the US portion of the graph I posted earlier:

Look at the immense disproportion of folks living on the eastern seaboard.

(Yes, these numbers are slightly inflated by the thin slice of western Peru and Ecuador contained in the same longitude, but the non-US population here only adds a small fraction to the total amount. The states east of the Mississippi contain nearly 60% of the US population, ~180 million people.)

While there are still plenty of Kunstler's small towns littering the east coast, if things become dire enough (think his World Made By Hand novels), I find it challenging to expect these towns will be able to support the number of people that would flock to them. There are simply way MORE people on the eastern seabord today than during the Industrial Revolution (1780-1840, give or take). Local fields, local hydropower, etc can only provide up to a certain regional population limit.

Personally, I don't think things will ever get near the collapse decribed in JHKs fictional works. But if I was considering one of these eastern small towns, yet had some of the population density concerns others are mentioning above, I'd be asking myself: if the population of this town suddenly doubled or tripled due to urban/suburban flight, could this town still support that many?

The West comes with its own limitations (water availability being the chief one), but aside from a few high-density areas (Los Angeles, Phoenix, etc), there are lot less 'bodies per unit of natural resources' west of the Rockies than east.

A few important things to remember about California:

  • it has been the #1 food and agricultural producer in the United States for more than 50 consecutive years
  • more than half the nation's fruit, nuts, and vegetables come from here
  • it's the nation's #1 dairy state

During a liquid fuels emergency, will all that perishable food still make its way east across the Sierras, the Rockies, and the Great Plains?

Food for thought.

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Question regarding California's future

This question is directed to Adam specifically, but also to anyone else who might have some ideas about this.

I was a kid living in San Diego when the Watts (Los Angeles) riots happened. Images of the violence and looting are seared into my brain to this day. That event made me realize, at the young age of 12, that San Diego was a trap - options for escape in a large scale emergency were severely restricted by the ocean to the west, the desert to the east, Tiajuana and the Mexican border to the south, and LA to the north. Los Angeles has a population of roughly 4 million people now; and, in my view, is similar to San Diego in that escape is limited, there is only one direction for masses of people in LA to go - north up the I-5 corridor towards central California.

In a rapid collapse, I suspect that much of the population of LA (and San Diego) would be forced to head north in hopes of finding food. In that case, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the middle or south end of California. However, I tend to think that a slow but steady decline is the more likely future.

So my question is this: how will the slow but steady impoverishment of the millions of people living in LA and San Diego play out?

If/when food stamps are cut, Social Security checks are reduced or quit coming altogether, the local governments can't afford to pay it's police forces, when there are less and less paying jobs and gasoline is too expensive for the majority of people to pay for, when even the large scale farmers can't afford to run the machines to keep the food growing, when everyone realizes that poverty is the way of the future. What will that look like in southern and central California?  

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As a dairy/cattle farmer

ie. i husband large numbers of animals, so.cal.s' issue is water infrastructure as a function of population density. its unsustainable

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Pretty bad, I imagine

Sirocco -

I think Los Angeles would be a pretty terrible place to be during a liquid fuel crisis. Same goes for other big, road transportation-dependent cities in the West (like Phoenix) where the population density has far outstripped the carrying capacity of the native region (with water being the supreme resource determining this).

But if there were to be a flood of emigrants from So Cal to points north out here in the West, there's a lot more land and other natural resources to absorb them relative to the East Coast. Much of CA north of San Francisco/Sacremento, and much of Oregon (#39) and Washington (#25) have plenty of space, water, timber, etc that could be tapped. Plus the invaluable Central Valley food basket is on our side of the Sierras/Rockies.

Contrast this to the city of New York: over 8 million people (more than twice the population of LA). New York state has the tenth highest population density in the US. It is surrounded by states with even higher population densities: New Jersey (#1), Connecticut (#4), Pennslyvania (#9), Masschussetts (#3). If New Yorkers find they need to make an exodus from the city, where are they going to go? Remember that a huge percent of the fruits & vegetables New Yorkers currently eat is shipped from CA. There's no way those calories could be replaced for that many people in time (if ever) by reactivating small farms of the Northeast.

I'm not trying to stir up fears of collapse here, or even make a blanket "the West is better than the East" claim. My goal is to merely help those considering relocation keep an eye on the data if regional population density is a concern (which several have expressed above).

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West v. East

Sirocco,.

By coincidence I was in San Diego during the Watts riots also, courtesy of the US Navy. 

Adam, et al

I also lived in Washington State for a few years, both east and west of the Cascades.  My impression is that the sustainable land on the west coast is basically the thin strip west of the various coastal mountain ranges.  East of the mountains, including the Central Valley, is mostly desert, heavily dependent on water from elsewhere for agriculture.  I don't know how to figure the actual population density of that thin strip in a collapse or drawn out decline, but I can't help but think that current populations would be hard pressed.  That said, the coastal land, particularly in the northwest is extremely fertile with long growing seasons and lots of rain.

The I-95 corridor on the east coast certainly has a greater population density and in a collapse situation would be in serious trouble.  But, in a lengthy decline situation, there is a lot of arable land with a long history of agriculture including most land east of the Mississippi, not to mention the huge expanse of forest cover that has grown up since farms were abandoned with the onset of highly mechanized agriculture further west.  And, as mentioned by others, the areas settled in the colonial era still have the 'bones' of a very livable and sustainable region with ample water available just about everywhere.

The coastal regions of the east tend to be pretty densely populated, but you don't have to go far inland to find vast stretches of land that could support many more people than currently live there.  Again, I don't know how to figure what the population density of the entire east that would be sustainable is, but my sense is it could support a lot more people than the west coast.

Doug

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Happy to let current perceptions persist

Doug -

I grew up on the East coast and still have most of my family there, and am well-aware of the West/East differences.

My general point, and it's all right to differ here, is that the resource-to-captia ratio is better (IMO) in the West.

Washington, Oregon and Northern California -- if needed to -- can support much higher populations than they currently have (Nevada, Arizona, So Cal quite the opposite). Especially if CA decides to hold on to more of what it grows. But when I look at the population numbers living on the East Coast, I see them -- in a crisis -- overwhelming the max potential output of the "colonial bones" you mention even if they could all be re-activated (which would not be a quick process). James Rawls of SurvialBlog.com expresses a similar conclusion in his 'Retreats & Relocation" manual.

My goal is simply to put the data out there and let inquiring folks decide for themselves.

As a resident of the West, I can selfishly hope others disagree with my opinion. Keeps the population down. :)

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calories

Adam Taggart wrote:

The invaluable Central Valley food basket is on our side of the Sierras/Rockies.

There's no way those calories could be replaced for that many people in time (if ever) by reactivating small farms of the Northeast.

Sirocco,

Here is a link to the Stanislaus County (Ca central valley) 2011 crop report. Note - over 200 crops grown.

http://www.stanag.org/ag/croprpts/croppdf/2011-crop-report.pdf

To put some numbers in perspective, let's see how many calories the first crop (almonds) mentioned in the report produces annually:

168,000 tons X 2000 lbs/ton X 2644 calories/pound = 8.8 X 10^11 calories

How many people could this feed for 1 year (on a calorie only basis) Assuming a 2000 calorie / day diet:

8.8 X 10^11 calories / (2000 calories/day X 365 days) = 1.2 million people

If I were to go down this list and run the numbers on all the other commodies produced, I suspect we could feed most of California. 

Our irrigation system is gravity fed and we have shallow ground water. There is also enough water for part of the Bay Area and the local rivers. Most of us would assume in a crisis mode water would go to produce food.

If you check out a map of the San Jouquin and Sacramento valleys, you would quickly see that the county mentioned is one of many in the central valley.

Son #2 lives in Texas and was shocked that the only agriculture in his area is the river valleys.  He now appreciates wall-to-wall agriculture in California.

My concern is the other 49 states.  What will they do? 

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One step further

Adam Taggart wrote:

Personally, I don't think things will ever get near the collapse decribed in JHKs fictional works. But if I was considering one of these eastern small towns, yet had some of the population density concerns others are mentioning above, I'd be asking myself: if the population of this town suddenly doubled or tripled due to urban/suburban flight, could this town still support that many?

Hi Adam

You made very good points.  As implied in your prior paragraph, I'd ask myself one further question for any location.  Even without refugees, what population could this town support without our current advanced systems?

Farmers buy their food.  Their crops are usually commodities and not generally edible without industrial processing.  Farmers rarely have time to even keep a personal garden, and most never learned how.  Then there are seasonal limitations.  In a severe crisis rural areas would also be in big trouble, even without refugees.

Travlin

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Some Maps May Provide Visibility

Forgive me for re-posting some materials (as well as a few updates) from about a year-and-a-half ago. They were posted in the "Leaving the USA?" thread that also ended up discussing relocation options within the United States.

----------

This is a map of nuclear fallout if the U.S. were to be hit by nuclear attack on strategic targets. The chart uses predicted typical sprintime winds from the 1960s. It was originally published in the Saturday Evening Post in September 1963, but still worth thinking about (like, what will people burn for fuel and how will winds blow). Notice that New England is pretty much a big red smear.

Now this chart below shows just nuclear power plants. The "circles" don't quite take into account wind patterns in the event of a Fukushima-like event, but exposure does decrease with distance. I suspect we'd have a similar pattern as above, since prevailing patterns are west to east, driven by the jet stream.

I haven't found more recent wind fallout charts in my brief search on-line.  If the jet stream changes or even if a minor shift occurs, such maps would not be as reliable. So don't use this for your sole consideration. But just look at all the plants east of the Great Plains.

Population density map, since the continental U.S. population density would correlated to food/water needs.

Take a look at this map:

Then take a look at this map below. Holy moly!

Water supply sustainability by 2050. Predictions. Arizon and Texas, not looking too good. Even today's charts wouldn't be too good...

Farmland prices, 2008:

Far less granular, but from mid-2012:

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones.

Finally, the NY Times' geography of government benefits. Clicking on the picture below takes you to an interactive map so you can find which counties have the highest percentage of government benefit recipients, broken out to Social Security (elderly), Medicare (elderly), Income Support (poor), Veterans Benefits (only 0.4% of government benefits), etc.

Just some food for thought...

Poet

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Excellent data, Poet!

Excellent data, Poet! 

Thanks for posting.

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The east for future, and california

I really appreciate the open discussion at this forum..

You make important points about how many more people the small former industrial/ ag towns in the East could handle.

Many of the small Rust belt towns have experienced population migration away in the last 40 years.. in my home area of rural susquehanna valley PA.. it has dropped by some 30%.  I think this is typical of the small town regions there.

I agree... that a doubling or more would be very hard, to put it mildly.  This is a real concern for me, personally, as I am one who wishes to relocate to Pennsylvania .   I hope there is a very gradual decent, so as to not cause major migrations.  I too don't think a Kunstler suddent collapse is likely either,  I lean towards the (hope for)  slow catabolic collapse of John Michael Greer.   But alas, I have no crystal ball. 

That said,  I think it highlights the need for consideration of to change now, getting by on less now,   But will there be migrations?  Dunno, that would be an additional consideration.  A challenging one...   

regarding california though, while I believe you have your current statistics right regarding recent ( last 50 years) food production,   one must examin how that evolved and is maintained ...How much could be maintained without the current levels of irrigation, fertilizers and trucking, etc..     How this is maintained down the road is a good question.

 the good news is that  it is still plausible for many landowners to invest in soil improvement,  learn small scale , regionally appropriate farming, drill deep wells and cisterns, build low tech windmills to bring water up and irrigate, essentially invest in appropriate technology to help right now , work on local community systems to facilitate this,,,to  segue into the post industrial future.

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Ag census maps

Thanks for the data maps.   Really enjoy them..   I find data maps useful in so many ways.

for additional consideration, maybe you all have seen them, i found these links to ag census maps..   and data;

http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/

1900 crops and irrigation for example:

http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/Historical_Publications/1900/1...

I find it interesting to view  the ave bushels of grains grown per acre...in say 1900, 1840,   these dates, seems to me,  to be fair estimates of future sustainable production levels,  ie before fossel fuel fertilisers  and other fossil subsidies.. ( unfortunately,, no California data)..  and assuming not too much more climate change droughts...historic floods,, etc..  

Of course, remember , there were no tractors, trucks, or cars, so a good deal of all grains had to go to feed horses for farm and transport.

I think it may give an idea of sustainable productivity in a post industrial future..  again, for the long haul  consideration.

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Poet!

good data. looks as though the sand hills of nebraska (no neighbors) are ideal. however i'm stuck here .5kacres of south central VA gotta lotta WW2 neighbors who are being mined for knowledge by no one. were i 20yrs younger? southern tip of shenandoah valley, assuming caucasion persuasion. this is great.

i've gotta go a jersey(not the place)has "milk fever" CMPK

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Wise words

bmega wrote:

regarding california though, while I believe you have your current statistics right regarding recent ( last 50 years) food production,   one must examin how that evolved and is maintained ...How much could be maintained without the current levels of irrigation, fertilizers and trucking, etc..     How this is maintained down the road is a good question.

I think it a pretty good guess that the maintenance of the "Big Ag" farming infrastructure in California's Central Valley will get harder as current levels drop. But as Nate hints, I believe CA will deal with this by keeping an increasignly greater percentage of what it does grow within the state. So even if production conceivably drops in half, the amount of produce available to CA residents may not decrease by all that much. The other US states on the other hand, could see severe shortages. (I admit, lots of assumptions here)

I have greater assuredness in what you wrote next:

the good news is that  it is still plausible for many landowners to invest in soil improvement,  learn small scale , regionally appropriate farming, drill deep wells and cisterns, build low tech windmills to bring water up and irrigate, essentially invest in appropriate technology to help right now , work on local community systems to facilitate this,,,to  segue into the post industrial future.

Yes to all of this! As we recommend frequently here on Peak Prosperity, these are EXCELLENT investments to be making right now if you have the land and the time/$ resources. Increase your independence from fossil fuels, increase your resiliency and that of your community, increase your social capital. These will produce high returns (beyond just the financial) even if the Peak Oil bullet is somehow magically dodged.

If you don't have the resources to prep out your own resilient homestead, think of the type of skills the post-Peak Oil era will need. Learn those, as they will be your currency. Build relationships with others who have skills and resources that will complement yours. As often discussed here, the value of community will greatly increase in the future - finding the right one for you, and your role in it, is a wise investment each of us can and should be working on now.

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1000's of hours later...

Great bunch of posts on the subject!  We have been traveling for the last 2 years looking for THE place.  After reading so much in the way of opinions, looking at stats, charts and having our boots on the ground the search has been similar to many other experiences.  After my wife had a discussion with Chris' wife we started to prioritize.  

We dicovered that our ultimate priority was freedom, from which anything is possible.  This eliminated the Northeast US and the short summers sealed the deal.  So we spent time in:

Virginia... Shenandoah valley... extremely expensive to build a sustainable home $200sq.ft..  Land was expensive, regulation very over the top... and the stinkbugs infested our RV and the are still coming out of the woodwork literally after 3 months.  Coal industry lobbyists have prevented any solar benefits in this state.

North Carolina...Statewide high population desity.  Charlotte... booming economy and no inkling of anything other than the status quo.  Spent the summer there trying to make it work but it came down to a community without a clue.  Asheville... dead economy, bring a job, work for minimum wage or bring your pension... we do not want to release teenagers into this type of community.  We feel that families are going to stay closer out of neccessity in the future.  May homeless roaming there also.

South Carolina... just not for us.

Californina... so diverse,  will anything grow in the central valley without the cloud of pesticides and fertilizers that hang in the air?  We found ourselves holding out breath as we drove I-5!  I am assuming that plenty will grow but will feed a much smaller population.

Oregon.... either too dreary or too cold for us.  Not a state that has any interest in freedom.  Don't even trust you to pump your own gas!

Idaho.... was great for outdoor activities but no rain so irrigation rights were top priority.  Well water was sulfuric in many places.  Very free state so starting a business would not make you insane!  Long, cold, cloudy winters.

Texas.... free state... booming economy along I35 corridor (for now).  Hill country is a little more laid back.  Need a deep well, rainwater collection works 35+ inches, food production year round with a greenhouse,  solar is excellent, thermal mass building is "known"  and used for cooling.  Geothermal coils can be used for cooling and dehumidification.  

I think crime is the result of poverty.... where in the country can you hide from that during a crisis of some kind?  Will there be many refugees?  Will most people stay put until they are too weak to travel far?  What if it is winter in the north?  Summer in the south?  So many variables!  Maybe being isolated but you will have to deal with some really rough customers if they find you.  

Just some of our experiences and thoughts....  good luck finding your place!

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Too much worry about catastrophic collapse

I really don't believe we (at least in our lifetimes) have to worry about no trucks, no fertilizer, no water.  Remember we are not out of oil and technology and infrastructure doesn't just disappear over night.   What will happen is things will change, food and other necessities will be prioritized over luxuries.  I have no doubt that people will figure out how to keep food and water flowing.

What I believe we need to worry about is the potential several months of chaos while things get worked out if/when we have a currency crisis.  You, your family and friends want to be in a position to avoid the chaos by having prepared before.  You want to be in a position to help others and be part of the solution.  During the chaos it will be dangerous as many people will not take it well that their lifestyle is radically changing.

So, I don't see hoards of people swarming from the cities to the countryside.  After all, most people have no survival skills and wouldn't have a clue what to do once they made it outside the city.

The only way I see a real catastropic failure is if we have some type of Carrington event - then all bets are off.  Even then food and water would get priorities - just a lot more chaos for a lot longer.

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Central Texas?

ohu812 wrote:

We have been traveling for the last 2 years looking for THE place.

[. . . ]

Texas.... free state... booming economy along I35 corridor (for now).  Hill country is a little more laid back.  Need a deep well, rainwater collection works 35+ inches, food production year round with a greenhouse,  solar is excellent, thermal mass building is "known"  and used for cooling.  Geothermal coils can be used for cooling and dehumidification.

While ohu812 didn't indicate he/she had found Texas to be THE place, it was the only place in his/her post  that got some good "press." Whew...I've been reading the entries on this forum every day waiting for someone to say something about Texas as a potential "landing site."

I live in San Diego and although I love this city, I see the writing on the wall and I've been exploring my options...even options in other countries. After lots of exploring and thinking,  I have 90% settled on the Austin area (peripheral counties) and the lack of discussion about Texas on this forum has me a bit concerned. Does anyone think Central Texas could be a good choice for relocation?  

Even considering the brutal summer heat and very real water issues, I still find the Austin area desirable. Yes, part of the reason for me is that I have family there, but other than that, I have found there are many liberty-minded folks homesteading (small farms, chickens in the backyard, etc) in Central Texas. Land in the counties surrounding Austin is cheap and some counties have few restrictions. The potential water resource issue is my only really big concern but there are alternative methods for capturing and utilizing water that may overcome those issues. 

Anyone care to chime in about Central Texas?

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Poet,

...thank you for this. Impressive research.

Regards

BOB

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ditto

yes Thanks Poet!

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Central Texas

As a resident of Central Texas for most of my life (5 years in Tucson for grad school, 6 in Colorado Springs for early career) - Austin area (surrounding) is a pretty great place.

1)  It does get hot here (so do other places).  You know how you should keep food at 70 degrees or cooler for long shelf-life?  That's not so easy without air conditioning.... It's Jan 19, and it will be 65 deg F tomorrow...

2)  We are in a bad drought here (I have become rather fond of drinking water in my life).  Gardens don't produce as well as, say, Vermont... Lakes are down (see http://www.lcra.org/water/drought/index.html

3)  The Austin area is becoming very (very..) polarized - and I'm sure like most everywhere else, politics and beliefs about the role of government are complex throughout the demographic.  I like the concept of the Prius car - but down here - if you want someone who really believes in freedom - talk to someone with a pickup truck with a little mud on their boots...

In Austin, you can have - at the same time - a chic set of folks who run hedge funds and keep chickens (they say - "Keep Austin Weird").  We also have lots of "sheeple" in Austin proper. In the surrounding communities close to Austin, the attitude is notably more "freedom minded" - but its still purple as far as politics goes. Head about 50 miles out from Austin in any direction, and the "Thank you Mr. Obama, but I don't need your help...and try not to ruin the country while you're at it..." becomes more prevalent.  

Land is getting much more expensive.  Those who can purchase property outside the urban areas either have done so (I did years back) - or are actively looking now.  Most folks will agree (as I'm sure readers of this site will concur) that our current economic model is not sustainable.  Different people will have very different views on whose fault it is, or what should be done (monetize the debt or austerity) - but most agree that "This doesn't end well...". 

A topic of conversation with my friends here is "How many out of state license plates did you see today?" The answer is always "A lot...".  I have a good friend who is a realtor who tells me that houses are selling like hotcakes.  The paper reported that 60,000 people are moving here each year.  I believe it.

I don't plan on leaving.  Even though gardens don't produce like the beautiful pictures you see from Vermont, etc - I'll take freedom.  It seems that Texas is one of the last bastions of freedom in our union. 

If you would like to know more about Central Texas (from an suburban / weekend rancher / engineer prepper) - send me a message here on the site...or I'm happy to check back with the thread.  

There are a lot of other great places in the country (Lots of good cases made for areas in the preceding posts..).

Thanks for all of your contributions to the site - you never know who reads these - and you may be helping someone out.

maceves's picture
maceves
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2010
Posts: 279
thoughts from the fall line

from here on the South Carolina/ Georgia border....

We are already seeing a resettling of retirees from Florida because of storms, insurance costs, and climate change.  It's really hot here in the summer, but so is Florida.

Our "low country"  and our swampy coast is expected to be lost to the ocean by the end of the century, with a few high places, like Savannah, staying up out of the water.  I would assume that some lower land that is dry now would turn into swamp as the ocean rises.

The fall line makes a big difference in the character of the soil.  The ancient ocean bottom has left the coastal plain sandy.  Higher up,  the soil is clay that can bake adobe hard in a drought.  You have to add in a lot of organic matter to make it work for you.

Water is a big problem in some places.  The last few years have been drought years, and in some places farmers are getting water from every source they can, including pumping from rivers and pumping up from the aquifer.  That aquifer does replenish  when there  is a lot of rain--but that has not been in the last few years.  I am near the Savannah River and our huge Clark's Hill Lake----Atlanta has had its eye on it for a while, but still has not been able to negotiate water from here.

If you go far from town you will be in the land of Bubba and the redneck conservatives, Bible belt and all.  That is not for everybody, and they would probably be glad you stayed away if you didn't want to get along with them.  

Like Wendy said, they can be good neighbors.

Different towns have different personalities.  Here in Augusta its all about golf (the Master's) , medicine (the medical complex), the army (Fort Gordon), two nuclear plants (SRS and plant Vogel), a university (they are fighting over the name right now), and the services that make all that work.  Land near this town is priced rather high, so farming is not cost effective, but if a sleepy southern town is your style, then there are plenty of them a

short drive away.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1844
Strategic Relocation: The Film (Full Version, HD)

Strategic Relocation: The Film with Alex Jones, InfoWars (2:24hrs)

Yes, this film may sound alarmist and you will find it has talk of conspiracy, the New World Order, etc. And it's 2 hours and 24 minutes long. But main interviewee is Joel M. Skousen, author the book Strategic Relocation (now in it's 3rd Edition), also The Secure Home, The Survival Home Manual, etc.

I think it's worth watching if you're seriously thinking of relocation.

jzjm9MJFSA8

Poet

Oliveoilguy's picture
Oliveoilguy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 29 2012
Posts: 408
South Central Texas Works for Us

Glad to answer PM messages about specifics of this area.

Bheithir's picture
Bheithir
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 2 2008
Posts: 21
Relocation

This is a good area if you want like mind people, but as for sustainability, I'm not so sure. I lived in North Augusta SC for 12 years and still have friends there who farm. I started out at Ft Gordon and worked at SRS for quite some time. I do not live there now for many reasons, nothing that is a deal breaker for me, but I did find somewhere, IMO, that is better for me.

I grew up in Livonia Michigan and went into the Army in 1984. Ft. Gordon was my first and only duty station. Stayed after I got out and got a job at SRS. government needed to cut back so I took a buyout and went back to Michigan for work. Lived in the suburbs of Detroit and way out in  a small town founded in 1835. Millpond and all. I could walk to town easily. Moved back to suburb of Detroit, but was actually closer to. Ann Arbor. Had well, septic and a generator hooked to the houses breaker box with plent of fuel, during the Blackout of 2003. This showed me how vulnerable infrastructure was/is. Didn't like Michigan rules. The DNR is real pain if you want to do stuff with your land that they disapproe of. Have to get a permit for everything. Income taxes were OK and sales taxes are OK.

After 9/11 I went back into the Army. got to live in Savannah, GA area, St. Roberts MO, Las Cruses NM. MO isn't too bad. I like Savannah, but water table was very high and hurricanes are big threat. Rules vary depending on local. I moved to Nashville, TN in 2009 after I got out again. Nice city. Not too big (Detroit Area) and not too small. (St. Roberts) Bigger than Augusta and Savannah. Rules are about the same in Davidson Co/Nashville for building permits and all, but still restrictive. Williamson and Maury Co south of Nashville, same thing. I currently have a place less than ten mile from the old Saturn plant and like it. Lots of farm land etc. The real deal for me is the property I own in Stewart Co TN. I put a 1300 sq/ft cabin on some land and the only permits I needed were the septic and electrical. I kind of have gotten around them both, legally through loopholes that I found. Good Sherrif and low population. 493 sq/miles.

Low property taxes. Lots of water and good farmland. Bring the RV to camp at the Land Between the Lakes (LBL) and check it out. Minuses maybe. Very close to Ft. Campbell. You need a motor vehicle to go anywhere and while there is no state income tax, sales taxes are 9.75%. You could do your shopping and such in KY and pay 6%. This is close to Amish, but not mixed in with them in Christian and Todd county KY. Jobs? Ft. Campbell if they are hiring. In a freeze right now. Jobs in Clarksville TN, but since everything is just about supporting the Ft mostly service industry. They are there, but you have to search. I live where I do because of a job. If SHTF, I go to Dover, if I can make it. since it's paid for I am going to retire there soon.

signalfire's picture
signalfire
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 18 2009
Posts: 34
Regarding 'bugging out'

Keep in mind we are now in the beginning phase of Kunstler's Long Emergency; just the unemployment rate, the real numbers being hidden, is proof of that.  Many, many, over 55'ers and under 30-ish can't get jobs or are very underemployed.  They are all now either combining forces with friends or setting up their own businesses (either legal or illegal, like here in the Emerald Triangle), or both...

I live now in Southern Oregon and much prefer it to  my hometown of upstate NY; better weather by far, enough rainfall to not have to worry about that, calm, quiet, relatively mild winters, and abundant cheap housing choices.  It's incredibly easy to grow things year round, there's no bugs, and humidity during the summer is low. We're also in a pocket of the lowest average windspeeds in the country which makes heating during the winter a cinch (rarely gets below freezing for more than a few hours, a few times a year).  

Just as an FYI, I had occasion to talk to an old timer here who said that during the Depression, so many families were living off the land that they decimated the deer and elk populations; to repopulate, elk had to be brought in from the Rockies.  Anyone thinking they can bug out of NYC or anywhere on the East Coast and 'go out into the country' should be aware that there are already people in the country, they all have guns, and there's not going to be enough food to go around.  If we get hit with a CME or EMP, the Mad Max scenario will last a month or so, and the die off to the tune of 60-90% of the population will be attained by the end of the year.  There's just too many people, many are already ill or immune compromised, and hardly anyone knows how to take care of the most basic of needs anymore (yes, I'm talking you there with your thumbs on a little electronic toy....). 

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 169
true effect of government bankruptcy

If you look at Poets data map for the effects of loss of government benefits, it does not include what happens in a rural county if the ag subsidies are lost or cut.  The comment was made in an earlier post that most farmers do not eat what they grow, but buy food just like the rest of us.  Rural America is more likely to experience a severe downturn in the event of a government default that more populated areas.  Rural residents are often those who don't do well in denser populations so there may be more danger in an isolated rural area than in a town.

We all agree that growing food is important. Next to water it is most necessary.  So to have enough space to grow food is helpful, but to have a safe community is essential to keeping food, shelter etc in place.  Kunstler's thoughts on this are essential to planning where to live.  I, as a southerner, think that his sweeping rejection of the south is probably more a cultural bias than a true indicator of whether one would survive in a post carbon ' southern' world.  Good friends and family connections where you live take time to build.  I would advise anyone looking to find a better place not to ignore or minimize finding a local culture that allows you to not only feel comfortable, but to thrive in community.  Wherever we are when Uncle Sam finds his wallet empty there will be tremendous strains on the fabric of the community...then we will find out if our community's threads are strong and well woven.

Oliveoilguy's picture
Oliveoilguy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 29 2012
Posts: 408
City Folks are Pretty Much Screwed

signalfire wrote:

Anyone thinking they can bug out of NYC or anywhere on the East Coast and 'go out into the country' should be aware that there are already people in the country, they all have guns, and there's not going to be enough food to go around.  If we get hit with a CME or EMP, the Mad Max scenario will last a month or so, and the die off to the tune of 60-90% of the population will be attained by the end of the year.  

Signalfire....I agree with your assessment. The only "Bug Out" Plan that might work is to bug out now and start preparing.

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