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Columns

March 31, 2009

On the Right Side: N.Y. could learn from other states

What a difference 950 miles make.

Anita has been researching potential areas for retirement and came up with a pretty intriguing option: Winchester, Tenn.

To be honest, her search was somewhat biased due to her being such a garden and landscape enthusiast. (I would use the term fanatic or addict instead.) She was excited by the fact that we would be moving from something called a zone 4 (bad?) to a zone 7 (good?). I think it has something to do with growing seasons.

I admit she did 95 percent of the work (I was more interested in the tax and political environment), and I have learned long ago to trust her judgment.

I should qualify that previous statement so as not to include political persuasions, as she is at the other end of the political spectrum. We learned long ago not to discuss politics, which is one of the reasons we have been married 38 years.

So, last week, we took a trip to Winchester. We were both impressed. The difference between liberal New York and conservative Tennessee is dramatic, but first, the weather.

While upstate New York was suffering with temperatures ranging from the 40s during the day to the teens at night, Winchester was experiencing temperatures ranging from the 70s to the 50s, a huge plus for me right there.

The cost of living in Tennessee is very low. It is the third-lowest state in that category. In contrast, New York is the fifth highest. As a matter of fact, 18 of the 21 states with the lowest cost-of-living statistics were states that voted Republican in the last election.

Tennessee, for example, went 57 percent to 42 percent Republican. In contrast, 24 out of 29 states with the highest cost of living were tax, spend, borrow and waste states that voted Democrat.

You could probably list them yourself. As a matter of fact, the top 13 out of 14 states with the most expensive housing markets and the highest cost of food also voted Democrat.

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