Road conditions and cost of living

Keep in mind the former is an index—a numerical representation of categorical data—and therefore quite subjective. It is therefore more important to find experts whose judgment you trust in this matter, whereas cost of living is purely quantitative and can be trusted to anyone who can use Excel. There are a couple of studies I threw out because they ranked Michigan’s roads better than Minnesota’s, which is laughably untrue.

Road conditions

Cost of living

It appears these are inversely related, with high cost of living also predicting bad roads.

Road conditions are, to my mind, an excellent indicator of existing social capital (in the state’s recent history). Building and maintaining infrastructure requires a reasonably non-tribal government (concerned more with administration than identitarian demagoguery and spoils) as well as a large working class that is reasonably functional.

Cost of living is a pretty good indicator of cosmopolitan social cachet. Areas with low cost of living tend to be low social class with a lot of working class whites effectively integrated with African Americans. Areas with high cost of living tend to be classier where minorities are more mixed and there are more Hispanics who speak very little English, who furnish the labor force. These areas may have more diversity in some cases but they are more effectively segregated, having stark lines between the classes (hence “classy”). It is inversely related to religiosity, so that states where working class people go to church also have a lower cost of living, lower class, and better social integration.

I expect that this inverse relationship is the opposite of what is found at the national level, where borders much more effectively delineate tribal boundaries rather than mere preferences.


About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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2 Responses to Road conditions and cost of living

  1. White Guy says:

    Another way to scan lots of data on this, got to the various state’s DOT websites and look at annual expenditures for roads, and then you can look up the total road miles there are. Now granted this doesn’t take into account the differences between gravel roads and multi-lane highways but it will give you a start. Road construction and maintenance is pretty standardized throughout the US. (Also look over at the FHA, or ASCE, someone might have already quantified this for you)

    If you really want to have some fun call around down at TTI (Texas Transportation Institute), I betcha there is an Aggie somewhere who has a spreadsheet of all of this…

  2. Heaviside says:

    Roads are statist. I pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to subscribe to a drone transportation service. Each morning dozens of drones arrive at my balcony and attach themselves to VELCRO® strips surgically implanted all over my body. This way I can avoid using any public infrastructure whatsoever! If you weren’t poor, you’d do the same.

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