A Different Read of the Gallup Poll

Recently, Gallup published a poll saying Half in Illinois and Connecticut Want to Move Elsewhere. This has garnered a few different responses.

The New Haven Register put it as Nutmeggers say higher taxes, cost of living forcing them to rethink living in Connecticut. They lead with

A lot of Connecticut folks are thinking seriously about moving out of state…

However, that does not appear to be what the Gallup poll is really saying. The question that Gallup asked was

Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?

Depending on my mood when asked that question, there is a good chance that I’d say I would like to move. If I had the opportunity to live comfortably in a nice house on Cape Cod, I’d probably move pretty quickly. Of course, that is very different from thinking seriously about moving out of the state.

In fact, when you look at the subsequent Gallup question of whether someone is even somewhat likely to move within the next twelve months, the 49% drops down to 16%, dropping Connecticut from being number two to just barely making the top ten.

The Register then gets its spin on the poll from the organization that lobbies for businesses in Connecticut.

There are a bunch of reasons, but cost of living and the cost of doing business are big ones, according to two state economists.

“Anecdotally I hear about taxes and the high cost of living and cheaper living in other places,” said Peter Gioia, vice president and economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. “Some of it’s from business people; some of it’s from non-business people.

When we look at the data from the poll, however, we find very different data. In fact, nationwide, 31% of people planning to move within the next 12 months is work or business related. In Connecticut, it is only 21%. Instead, people are looking to move from Connecticut because of quality of life and cost of living reasons.

The poll does not give more detailed information about this, so I looked at some other data. According to the U.S. Census, Connecticut has the fourth most expensive housing in the nation for home owners and the seventh most expensive housing for renters. So, if people are interested in keeping people in Connecticut, perhaps we need more affordable housing. Yet I suspect that the many of the people who are concerned about the cost of living are also concerned that their property values don’t get driven down by more affordable housing in the state.

The Register article also quotes Republican Candidate for Governor, Tom Foley, saying, “I am disappointed, but not surprised, because people are attracted to places where they see opportunity and can feel optimistic”

This, of course, begs the question of opportunities to do what? Some people may be attracted to the opportunity to make a lot of money and buy a lot of stuff, but others may be more interested in opportunities to enjoy life and nature and help those around them.

I don’t expect to move to Cape Cod any time soon, there are still too many opportunities to help people around me here in Connecticut, opportunities that Mr. Foley seems not to focus on.

Online Video Tools

The annual Weitzman Symposium is coming up and at work, which we stream live every year. So, I’ve been exploring where things have been going with online video. It seems like there are a lot of interesting developments.

In live streaming, I’ve used a bunch of different tools. I did a lot on QIK years ago. However, that got bought out by Skype and shutdown. A friend gave me a heads up to save the videos, but I believe I was too late.

Another live streaming system I used a bit was Ustream. This is what we use at CHC. I’ve always liked UStream and they continue to be reliable. They have new software for streaming, called UStream Producer. I’ve only used the free version, which does most of what I want. The paid versions, Producer Studio and Producer Pro add options like multi-camera support and audio mixing. Not much new there.

The other real workhorse in video streaming is Livestream. I’ve used this a bit as well. They appear to be the first of the serious livestreaming platforms to work nicely with Google Glass. However, they organize their content around events as opposed to channels like UStream does. I find the event orientation a bit clunky.

I’ve also kicked around Justin.tv, ooVoo and Bambuser. None of them really have been that compelling for me, so I don’t end up using them often. However, I did use Bambuser from Raspberry Pi, so that was pretty cool.

In terms of video conferencing, at work we use Vidyo. I’ve participated in various Vidyo conference calls, and it seems fine, but I never really got a chance to get under the hood, so I can’t say a lot more about it. However, at work on Friday, we took a look at zoom.us. I was really impressed with it. The free version is very powerful, and the paid versions are pretty inexpensive for the features they provide. It is interesting to note that key investors includes Qualcomm as well as Patrick Soon-Shiong.

The other software that I started playing with is ManyCam. This allows you to switch between different cameras on a PC, screen cast, and even do some funky effects. I used it for doing some green screen broadcasting going out into both UStream and Zoom.us.

So, any other online video tools I should be looking at?

What A Lark!

I listlessly deleted unimportant emails and paused to reread an important one. One of my coworkers’ sisters died. It was the second death of a relative of a friend that I received this week. I glanced at the empty walls of my office. Out the window, I could see blue sky. The cold rain had passed and it was sunny and warm for the first time in ages. There wouldn’t be much more productive work today.

On my way home, I stopped and took a brief walk around the Wesleyan campus. A group of students gathered on one section of lawn, perhaps it was a theatre class. On the labyrinth a handful of students stood in a semi-circle singing madrigals. On the grass around the labyrinth a larger group of students sat listening intently.

I had once sat on lawns like these, listening to friends perform. Those were care free days. Sure, I had my struggles as did my friends around me. I knew of the greater struggles in the world, but only abstractly.

In my senior year of college, one of the best classes I took was on Virginia Woolf; five hundred pounds and a room of one’s own. Of course that five hundred pounds, converted to current U.S. Dollars is about two thirds the price of a year at Wesleyan. How many of the students sitting on the lawn around the labyrinth had daddies who could provide them with the modern equivalent of five hundred pounds and a room of their own? From such a perch would they be able to see enough of the human condition to write great novels?

Yet it wasn’t A Room of One’s Own that came to mind as I strolled across the Wesleyan campus. No, the words that came to me were, “What a lark! What a plunge!” Yes, “Mrs. Dalloway said she would but the flowers herself.”

I thought of my friends who had recently lost relatives. I thought of the economic and health disparities in our country and the armed conflict around the world. “The war was over, except for some one like Mrs. Foxcroft … “

How does one hold all this in one’s mind, the beautiful spring day with the college students gathered around friends singing beautifully, the suffering of friends who had lost relatives, the daily struggles of the overlooked poor? Perhaps writing would help. Perhaps it helped Virginia Woolf, but was it enough?

I returned to my car and continued my commute home. Traffic on the Parkway was heavy, so I took the back roads. Switching roads and switching writers, I found myself on a road less traveled. Not two paths diverging in the woods, but getting off the parkway for the local roads. Yet, for me, like Robert Frost, that has made all the difference.

So now, I am home, having had a quick dinner. Next, I will head off to bed, for tomorrow will also most likely be another long day.

The Blocked Drainage Pipe

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. Another restless rainy night passes. It is foggy this morning, and I’m thinking about putting together a medley on Spotify of songs about wind and rain. Yet it was a busy day and I headed off to the long list of tasks in front of me. In the afternoon, the rain broke and it turned warm and sunny, feeling almost like summer.

Like many months, I’m starting off this one with the childhood invocation for good luck. April started off pretty sparse, but I’ve been managing to post more frequently recently. May is looking like a very busy month, with political conventions and various activities related to health advocacy. We’ll see if I can keep up my blogging. I’ll certainly have plenty to blog about.

When I got home this evening, I found the runoff from the rain washing out parts of the yard. I poked around and found the entrance to a drainage pipe that had been clogged by leaves. After clearing this, the water started draining much more nicely and the backed up water began to subside.

There’s probably a metaphor there, but I’m too tired to look for it.

Daddy's Girl

The clock radio awakened me from a disturbed sleep, and I stumbled towards the kitchen to make my daily oatmeal. I glanced in on my youngest daughter. She was fast asleep, sprawled out on her bed next to piles of stuffed animals beneath the posters of Dr. Who and puppy dogs.

They had predicted heavy rain, and the storm may have added to my restlessness, but it had never gotten severe, and we had gotten was very far from the devastating storms in the south.

With my bowl of warm oatmeal, I sat down to see what was going on in my friends’ lives. The first post hit me square between the eyes. “Daddy is gone.”

A story I had been following closely for two months had another big development. I had met Aliza several years earlier in Second Life and we stayed in touch on various social media sites. At one point, over the past few weeks, she asked for prayers for her father, and when people asked for his name, she said it was Myron.

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone else with the name Myron, but it jumped out at me, because it is my middle name. Now, Aliza’s dad, Myron, is gone. I read back through her journey of the past few months. I looked at the Throwback Thursday pictures of her and her father that she had posted, the view from her father’s hospital room. Aliza’s most recent post says, “I love you so much, Daddy. You always were and always will be my hero.” Bette Midler singing, “Wind Beneath My Wings” plays in my mind.

My family was never all that close. After my mother died, it has been my sister who has worked hardest to keep us all connected. A few months ago, my father turned 84 and right below Aliza’s post was my sister’s post about the independent senior living community she had found for my father. Perhaps 84 is the new 64.

This evening, as I write this blog post, my youngest daughter is taking a shower and I hear her singing along to one of her favorite songs. I glance at an end table with pictures of my two older daughters. One is now in Japan and the other is in Boston.

It’s still raining outside. Soon, I’ll go to bed, and tomorrow, the clock radio will awaken me to another bowl of oatmeal.

Syndicate content