On Nebraska (from the comments)

Seven-year Nebraskan here: Nebraksa is a well-governed semi-socialist polity effectively managed by competent antihero big businesses). This is all largely based out of business-Mecca Omaha. Business/govt relations are rather close. Governor Ricketts is brother to TDAmeritrade founder Joe Ricketts, Warren Buffet weighs in on the Omaha mayoral elections [1], real-estate taxes go to schools, [2] etc. There’s a tremendous amount of business/professional culture to match, and also a hometown/togetherness ensuring academia and healthcare are well-provisioned. CWT guest Ben Sasse best demonstrates these qualities. This comes at a cost of stopping taxation arbitrage -> eventual taxing of the burbs (Omaha annexing the wealthy Elkhorn suburb was the most notable political fight), the gradual Omaha-ization of Nebraska. Smaller counties struggle, and indeed some younger friends tell stories of their county struggling to keep the lights on when Bass Pro Shop dropped the store there. But one thing is certain – Omaha marches on.

Omaha has an effective moat (a business-only, low-arts town w/ awful weather) against a more radical political activist crowd that might ruin the flow of Omaha. Other companies are taking note – Google is building a new data center here, for instance.

This is all deliberate. Put yourself in enough fancy enough Nebraskan rooms and you will hear about how this is done – scholarships, targeting double-income-no-kids (DINKs) with things like dog parks, regular hosting of brief entertainment to draw crowds (CWS and Olympic trials) but not enough to draw the worst types of audience (drunk NFL fans). Omahans accordingly have an eagle eye for their city – ask them about Conagra’s HQ move and they will spend half an hour explaining to you how they were wronged.

Alas, the signs of Omaha experiencing larger business-town problems are sort-of on the way. For one thing, Omaha businesses were notably less woke when Trump was elected, and far more woke now, reflecting a greater influence of federal politics/topics, although it is hard to tell whether our businesses influence politics or our politicians influence our businesses. For another, the typical issues of more prominent cities are here – WestO, NorthO and SouthO are three different entirely towns divided by race/income pretty clearly. First National Bank of Omaha holds the original copy of the Louisiana Purchase, which ought to be visible to the public at a museum if you could ensure that BLM rioters wouldn’t destroy it. (Un)fortunately, the LP is hidden at the top of the building in a high-security office…

The real problem that Omaha faces is that while SF’s top guns are in their early thirties-fifties, Omaha’s leaders are in their early seventies to late nineties, and there is no guarantee that the next generation is up to the task. Culture changes when new people come in with new ideas, and there is no guarantee that Omaha’s next generation doesn’t ruin it for everyone.

I do find it odd, and perhaps a little too prescient, that some Omaha employers fitted their employees with emergency preparedness plans/WFH gear shortly before the pandemic, but this isn’t the point. The point is that Nebraska is an extremely intriguing place. The fact that there are only this many comments suggests MR audience does not take Nebraska seriously enough.

[1] https://jeanstothert.com/warren-buffett-endorses-mayor-stothert/
[2] https://omaha.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/effort-to-revamp-nebraska-school-aid-ease-property-taxes-ends-for-now/article_98379cde-8b68-11ec-be12-affd05439f05.html

That is from Harvey Bungus.


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