Sunday Apr. 20, 2014
Comments on:
Housing, utilities remain below most cities while health care, groceries still rank high
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  Newest First
By Kokanee on 02-19-13 @ 3:11 pm
20 up | 4 down

I am so confused by this article?? We are still a state where 14% of pop. falls within poverty
guidelines,many of the jobs listed as of today are at minimum pay for the occupation listed.

Someone help me translate 5% higher food costs into actual numbers. I know many people that are
working for payday to payday wages with no margin for errors/unexpected costs. This article
seems to be written as a feel good for the chamber. I do not feel this accurately portrays
average Joe/Jane Montana
By spartanmt on 02-19-13 @ 4:23 pm
15 up | 3 down

whew, good to know i’m not alone in being totally baffled by these stats.  cost-of-living is
below the national average by 3%, but how does that compare to the average flathead valley wage?
i mean, if our cost-of-living is 3% below national average, but our wages are 30% below
national average, that doesn’t sound so good.  and why are only the top 20% income earners in
the country included in this study?  maybe someone with a statistics background can explain the
logic here…
By mentalward on 02-19-13 @ 7:34 pm
15 up | 3 down

I also have a problem with these cheerful cost-of-living graphs that I see trotted out from time to
time, so I decided to do a little digging.  I pulled income numbers from the Census Bureau
( and did some comparison.  Bearing in mind that math is not my strong
suit, this is what I found.

-The Median Household Income Nationally was $50,502.
-The Median Household Income for Flathead County was $45,588.

This means that Flathead is 10.2% BELOW the National median.

It seems to me that while this graph shows Cost of Living as being 2.6% below national average, the
low prevailing wages in this area results in an actual Cost of Living that is actually pretty high around
here.  It does at least bear out how I feel at the store: Below Average Wages + Above Average
Grocery Prices = Headache
By Red Green on 02-19-13 @ 7:45 pm
10 up | 1 down

I suspect kokanee is close to the target calling this a “feel good"piece for the chamber.

This data can be interpreted numerous ways.  In fact, if you gave this raw data to 12
statisticians, you would very likely get at least 13 different interpretations.

Cost of living is just one side of the coin…...the other side being value/quality of goods. 
For me, living here is worth a LOT more than I’m paying to live here.  In general, I don’t
find the prices for most goods and services to be significantly more than most other
places I’ve lived or visited.  Quite a bit less in some cases.

Seriously!?!?  you’re living in this incredible beauty and you’re going to complain about
what might be a couple of hundred dollars a year difference between here and a lot of
other places not even approaching the quality of life here?  Zoom out a look at the bigger
By mooseberryinn on 02-19-13 @ 9:44 pm
9 up | 13 down

Just put it this way - The rest of America is in really, REALLY bad trouble, in numerous ways.  Here in
the Flathead valley?  Well, we’re slightly better off.  Or - Inflation and the “cost of Living” is crushing the
U.S., but here we’re not quite crushed yet.
By mentalward on 02-19-13 @ 9:59 pm
17 up | 2 down

“Seriously!?!?  you’re living in this incredible beauty and you’re going to complain about
what might be a couple of hundred dollars a year difference between here and a lot of
other places not even approaching the quality of life here?  Zoom out a look at the bigger

@ Red Green: I will agree with you that we are blessed when it comes to natural beauty, and that it
-and a host of other intangibles- contributes significantly to the quality of life here.  This is the best
place I’ve ever lived because of those things, and I’ve lived all over the country.  There is a cost to
this, though, and it’s more than a couple hundred dollars a year.

As an IT professional, I could come close to doubling my salary by living elsewhere.  I know that
people can live happily in most places if their minds are open.  And while the surroundings add so
much to the quality of life here, as a parent with obligations to my family I’m also keenly aware of
how much my financial situation takes away from it.  Life is a balancing act, and Montana offers
more than enough to need to be propped up by a misleading spreadsheet.
By Mark W. on 02-19-13 @ 10:17 pm
13 up | 6 down

Want to make a million bucks in Montana?  Come with 5 million.
By Kokanee on 02-20-13 @ 2:14 am
9 up | 4 down

Having been through several bust’s and boom’s here I can say the scenery makes thin soup. I also
can say my empathy has grown for those who have moved here in good times only to have the bottom
fall out. With that said there are many ads every week of people leaving this valley and selling
every thing they own just to do it.

I also say that the people that comment here have more education and possibly a little better
off finacially therefore perhaps more insulated too take a long term financial hit. Just my two
By Fast on 02-20-13 @ 5:44 pm
5 up | 6 down

I came with millions and I still have them by not investing in Montana. It’s is great place to live year round.
Also the government in Helena is working on a bill that will allow us to keep are road kill. I guess I will just
have too put a giant steel bumper on my RangeRover and a meat processor on the roof.
By bopho on 02-20-13 @ 8:28 pm
11 up | 3 down

Rich Texas Oil and Gas people are investing plenty in this state.  Legislatures come pretty cheap in a
state like Montana and the returns can be quite large.
By corsair1945 on 02-20-13 @ 8:46 pm
10 up | 3 down

An obvious propaganda piece by the chamber of
commerce; I’ve seen food prices skyrocket for the
past year.  I find it very hard to believe these
By mooseberryinn on 02-21-13 @ 9:36 pm
3 up | 7 down

corsair1945 - Don’t put much credence in these stats.  It is all relative.  Simply put, the cost of living is
rising much faster elsewhere.  It may take a few months longer, but soon enough, we all will be
adjusting our standard of living downward, putting off purchases, buying cheaper brands, etc.  It can be
done, but it makes life more difficult for the young families.  Sadly, the worst is still yet to come.
Kellyn Brown
Kellyn Brown18 Apr
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Dillon Tabish
Dillon Tabish18h
KALISPELL, MT: You'll find the box in a brick building filled with history. Skateboards, pizza, clocks & ties #THTH14
Molly Priddy
Molly Priddy18 Apr
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Tristan Scott
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@tristanscott *Billie Joe
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