Why Is My State THE Best?

My state, Massachusetts in the USA, tops the list of all fifty of them based on sixty separate indices:

Overall Best States Rankings | US News Best States

This explains why Massachusetts, ranking No. 1 in education and No. 2 in health care, occupies the overall No. 1 spot in the Best States rankings. And it …

Excerpted from the above link:

Some states shine in health care. Some soar in education. Some excel in both – or in much more. The Best States ranking of U.S. states draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens. In addition to health care and education, the metrics take into account a state’s economy, the opportunity it offers people, its roads, bridges, internet and other infrastructure, its public safety and the integrity and health of state government.

More weight was accorded to some state measures than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people. Health care and education were weighted most heavily. Then came the opportunity states offer their citizens, their crime & corrections and infrastructure. State economies followed closely in weighting, followed by measures of government administration. This explains why Massachusetts, ranking No. 1 in education and No. 2 in health care, occupies the overall No. 1 spot in the Best States rankings. …

The so-called pinko state ( a name that MA is called, although I never met a commie here) has a robust economy way better than the federal government and any other state. It does better in a lot of other areas, too. Why?

Here are some thoughts on the matter:

It’s all about priorities. Are we going to collectively enrich the war effort to help global corporations take over lands and resources in our own countries and abroad to drive money into the coffers of the top one percent or are we going to try to lift all people in our domain so that they don’t fall into poverty and despair? (Guess about where MA stands on the question.)

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I know that this disparity between the rich and the poor people is simplistic and basic as a view of the overall picture. Yet it seems to have some limited merit since it shows our values and intentions. It also shows outcomes in an indirect way. Likewise it shows our sense of the value that life has.

Who is worthy? What, amongst other species, is worthy? Who or what deserves our help? is it just a dog eat dog world instead?

In relation to this enquiry,  a position that I can’t stand is:

so·cial Dar·win·ism
noun: social Darwinism
  1. the theory that individuals, groups, and peoples are subject to the same Darwinian laws of natural selection as plants and animals. Now largely discredited, social Darwinism was advocated by Herbert Spencer and others in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was used to justify political conservatism, imperialism, and racism and to discourage intervention and reform.

Social Darwinism – Wikipedia

The term Social Darwinism is used to refer to various ways of thinking and theories that emerged in the second half of the 19th century and tried to apply the evolutionary concept of natural selection to human society.

Jul 27, 2017 – Social Darwinists held that the life of humans in society was a struggle for existence ruled by “survival of the fittest,” a phrase proposed by the British philosopher and scientist Herbert Spencer. Herbert Spencer.

Social Darwinism – Ohio History Central

Social Darwinism. … Business owners utilized Social Darwinian beliefs to justify monopolies. John. D. Rockefeller, president of the Standard Oil Company and an Ohioan, once contended that “the growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest.”

by J Bergman – ‎Cited by 11 – ‎Related articles

Julian Huxley and H. B. D. Kittlewell even concluded that social Darwinism “led to … of capitalist monopolists such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller.

… How disgusting a view! In MA, we would fight it tooth and nail against it, but why? Why would we do so?

Okay, people before me in the state of MA thought about the good for the social whole. So for example, they built this outcome, the Quabbin, amongst many other sorts of benefits serving all people. And let’s face it, this stance surely beats out the social Darwinist model that the lowest of the low should be deprived due to whatever flaws and shortcomings that they may possess. After all, the shortfalls are often ones existing through no fault of others’ own, such as a lack in the financial means to get a quality education on account of having been born into and growing up in poverty or with the” wrong” caste, or with a perceived undesirable skin color according to the majority of people around them.

All the same and despite disparity, my state manages to largely provide for ALL. Here’s this nearly perfect example:

Quabbin Reservoir – Wikipedia

The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest inland body of water in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and was built between 1930 and 1939. Today along with the …

Water volume‎: ‎412,000,000,000 US gal (1.56 …
Surface area‎: ‎38.6 mi² (99.97 km²)
Location‎: ‎Massachusetts‎, US
Average depth‎: ‎51 ft (16 m)

The Christian ethic, as also exists in many other religions, is to lift up others rather than to punish them for their failures, including for a minority their having an attitude of laziness or hopelessness. … If they are lazy or hopeless — train them to not be so through, for example, job corps., which we also have in our state. … So we are pretty cohesive societally and ideologically here in this state, which is the reason that we can do a 40,000 person march in Boston against hatred and in support of social justice.

And here’s what we get  for our unity — one of the envies of the nation, along with our other myriad benefits existing much beyond just our water supply. Yes, here’s our Quabbin, made for the benefit of ALL and with an eye on future generations of citizens for a water supply,. This massive project took about ten years to build and put in existence. it was a hugmongousand grueling undertaking involving death for some workers, and it is one of the envies of our whole nation. Just look at our fresh water supply:

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Yes, we have water and land in MA on the scale that most people wouldn’t believe and smart-thinking people came together to build much of it
as a man-made endeavor:

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This is my local world. Is it like yours? … I don’t want to rub anyone’s nose in a possible difference wherein we supersede them in benefits, but we also have Wheelabrator plants here that turn our garbage and trash into energy and use the ash to build concrete blocks that are constructed for myriad uses: Fixing the Waste and Garbage Problems (Sort Of) – Countercurrents . … You want what I have — the envy of the US nation regarding the 50 states and the chief jewel in the crown of my country? Then stand up, just one person in each location wherever you live, and fight like all get out as we have done for generations in MA! Yes, fight for your right to live like this way that we here do!
Now, I think that I have an idea about one of the reasons that we are so successful in MA in terms of providing universal health care (including dentistry), high quality education overall despite variance, robust infrastructure, housing for all (even if in shelters), food banks that work on the scale needed to catch all in need, subsidized child care programs for the needy, Medicaid and CHIP on a strong level,  an impressive capitalistic model, a higher minimum wage than the national average and so on. It is because we people here have a culture that grew out of the cradle of the American Revolution.

Yes, the American Revolution started right here in MA. It is the place where people got fed up and the oppression by others was forced to be stopped. It was where people chose to band together and fought together from all walks of life to bring universal goodness for us all. (Are people around you fed up enough to do the same action?)

Remember the Tea Party and Paul Revere’s ride? … compliments of MA because we are fierce to protect our own!

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In that way, we are like the social democratic Scandinavian nations and that orientation still latches hold on us. It’s a cultural “thing” wherein we lift the social whole as we know that we could have pockets of failure, misery and unrest with which to deal as the alternative condition.

We learned our lesson well for centuries, apparently. I’m sure that many people here remember the words:

Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.  – Abraham Lincoln

Accordingly MA did really well during the time of the Underground Railroad in protecting lives of the maligned slaves. The people here in MA never looked down on the escaping slaves as being undeserving of aid or less than human.

Likewise, Abbie Kelly Foster, a Quaker (a member of the Religious Society of Friends) in MA, protected the life of a slave catcher in Worcester, MA at the time since some people wanted to lynch him. She stood her ground since the model is to protect and aid the welfare of all! She shielded him with herself — her frail little female form against the angry rabble-rousers.

Who was Abby Kelley Foster? | Worcester Women’s History Project …

Abby Kelley Foster (1811-1887), born into an ordinary Massachusetts Quaker family, became a leading nineteenth-century abolitionist and women’s rights …

You think that her Quaker husband wanted to control her or the money that she brought into their marriage as was his legal right during their time-period? Think again if you do. After all, he was a Quaker-man totally infused with human rights regardless of gender, skin color or other differences used to control so-called underlings, such as wives.

Apparently he wanted a strong equal partner in life. So here’s what he got:

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I can deeply relate to her and her husband since I grew up in a fostering Quaker family. Accordingly when I told my parents that I had an inner conviction that I MUST do something (support anti-war efforts, support a leprosy colony in the Philippines, support the marches in Selma, Alabama against racism, and on and on, they listened and aided me in my chosen tasks Yes, the enabled and empowered me.)

They also fostered my sister, who turned out this way: The Good Sister, A Model For US All!  People didn’t “mess with” Abbey in the same way that they don’ t cross my sister. Trouble if you do so! (Watch my sister directly confront the brutal teens in this account at the above link.)
Abbey generated the same reaction from her Quaker husband as I have toward my sister: never to buck her leading regarding social justice. So Abbey’s partner did all that he could to enable his wife and help her to grow into all that she could be … as our parents did for my sister and me.

…The movement to protect when it came to the abolitionist movement was pulsing strongly in MA in the way that today as, seemingly, nearly everyone is still standing up for each other here in MA despite economic variance and other factors that could drive us apart and malign others perceived as dissimilar to us. Yeah, because we are “Boston Strong,” which is the same kind of strong that Abbey and her husband had and my family, despite that my parents are now dead, still has. In MA in general, we tend to proactively carry messages and ways of being forward that enrich us all.

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Does anyone want to be like Jesus or the alternative religious icons that they follow? Then they’d better get like the good Samaritan and like us here in MA or else they are a sham. … Support all as we do here in MA or go follow vile ways of denying others. It’s fundamentally an either/or choice in the end. … Choose. Be like Abbey, me, my sister and MA overall or not, but know that lots of us will stand against you if you turn out to be in the “rotten” way of being. We will always be there to contest you. …

Concerning my 40,000 MA marchers, people like Abbey Kelley Foster, my sister and me, as well as the others who stand against the status quo across the world– does any one think that they really can stop us when we’ve honed ourselves century after century to buck the system in place?

All considered, MA reflects some of my deepest values. I want nobody marginalized, nor left without support to fend for himself. This alternative is frankly intolerable and I loathe it out of my deepest sense of ethos:

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I want to be inclusive. So do many of the MA citizens, So we  will stand for you regardless of your skin color, your religion, your economic status or other variables that could drive us apart.

Fortunately, I live in a state wherein many agree with my view. Otherwise much contention would arise as it does in other parts of the USA.

No, you will not see something like this next image in my state and I’m sorry if yours, regardless of where you live in the world, is inadequate so as to be indifferent to this sort of homeless misery happening. Know, though, that people can choose universal betterment or reject it from happening. They certainly can do so in the way that MA people have pumped forward our values in rejecting passive viciousness or indifference by the society of the sort that this poor homeless woman exemplifies.

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The fact is that MA doesn’t have 80,000 people living in the street of whom at least half are mentally incapacitated as is the condition in LA, CA. Are we perfect here in my state? No, but we sure as heck don’t have this horror:

Mental disorders keep thousands of homeless on streets – USA Today

Accordingly, it is a recommendation that others copy our model in MA if they want myriad improvements to accrue wherever they live. Why — it need not even be on the state level. It could simply be on a small community level!

Join USA determined Revolutionary forefathers, inwardly strong Abbey, my fearsome sister, me and so many more! Just push improvements forward with force and inclusively as we do in MA! … Trust me: Benefits can accrue and maybe even your state or region of the world can beat us out in benefits that we enjoy in MA! (I’d like that since it could even set a new standard beyond ours in MA!)

Sally Dugman is a writer in MA, USA.


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