A funny-sad back-and-forth appeared in the pages of the Hartford Courant last month.
It started when one Christopher Edge wrote into the letters section to say he had had it and was moving out in a tirade entitled “Farewell, Connecticut.” More positive residents then chimed in with their support for the Nutmeg State. “Running away is not the solution,” chided one Patricia Karwoski.
But what problems could Edge possibly be trying to duck by bailing? Who would run away from Connecticut in the first place? It seems a state not afflicted, a lovely, hilly green hamlet nestled between Boston and New York. It has a low crime rate. It has stellar schools. It has the highest per-capita income of the 50 states. It’s home to Martha Stewart and America’s best pizza, for God’s sake.
Edge complained primarily about the state’s political incompetency and its “freeloaders.” But there’s a much deeper malaise afflicting Connecticut and its angry letter-writers. While there is great wealth, there is stagnant growth. Along with high incomes has come increasing poverty. Amid those million-dollar mansions, the middle class has eroded.
In short, Connecticut has somehow managed to become both the richest and worst economy in America. And what’s worse, America has started to look more and more like Connecticut.