Well, I'm currently stuck on the edge of NEPA. I'm trying to get out but my finances have other ideas.
Yes, the "brain drain" effect and the provincialness are no secret. I see it in discussions all over the internet, the reputation is pretty far spread. Heck, look at all the state campaigns to keep young people in PA... everyone moves out looking for jobs, cultural opportunities, and good schools for their kids. Local government corruption is rampant. There are no jobs to be had, not even for skilled labor. They stick you at a couple bucks an hour above minimum wage and there you sit, just barely scraping by, year after year. It's been a year and a half since we got out and we're just finally catching up on all the debt from all those years of not making a living wage. I have no idea how all those poor unskilled laborers, the people frying your donuts and ringing up your groceries, survive. Yet that's what the vast majority of the people living in NEPA are doing.
I'm sorry that the thread got derailed, but I'm just commenting on what it is now. I've been here for almost 31 years now so I like to think I have a pretty good perspective. I've been poor, different, and an outcast for most of it.