On the job front, yeah, people have little understanding of how hard it can be to find reliable and stable work. Work is a privilege, and small companies, which folks stated was the best thing, don’t have the capital reserves to pay for support people with high-value skills. That leaves you with big corporate gigs, which can be soulless and heartbreaking, as you state.
A great example of this is John Grisham and how he talks about lawyers and billables and making bank doing mindless things with his characters. Accounting is similar to that.
As for living costs, living in red and rural areas (which I chuckled because I walked to work in San Jose and hailed cabs when I needed more) is very much more expensive, and the choices are limited.
E.g., Point example internet. Internet is what pays my bills and makes me money. You know what I have to pay per month to maintain a 50/50 5G connection. $807. It cost over $10K to get the antennas and gear worked out with the vendor.
There was DSL supposedly maintained by Verizon and Frontier, but not really. Before that, I had to use 5 DSL lines to maintain availability and some semblance of performance.
In another area, the only choice was putting a T1 in at $474 / month. Yep, 1.5/1.5 … living the fast dream.
Then food selections and the car aspect. 25 miles in one area one-way. On a hot day, you better take a cooler if you don’t want your ice cream to be a liquid mess and milk … well, it was only good for 3–4 days due to the heat since, in essence, you kept it in room temperate for 45 minutes.
Health choices are poor, doctors and hospitals, etc.…. It isn’t easy. There is a running joke. Does the farmer have a heart attack at his house or field? He is dead even if you call 911 … good luck.
The harsh reality is both parties have outsourced this country since the 1990s. I have seen this even work out with, for example, companies in Europe with an American HQ. One country had great worker protections, but the company was dying and needed to shed costs. They couldn’t, so they laid off the US and another EU country because they could and when the Nordic country couldn’t perform and couldn’t produce, he went straight to bankruptcy and stopped paying money to the EU country.
Life is hard, and people presume so much when in reality we are all racing to the bottom and fighting for a shrinking pie; instead of saying “stop,” let's figure out how to make two pies and make sure those that don’t have to get the 2nd pie and we make sure things are equal so the 3rd pie we have balance.
Nope … We can’t have that.
If you are ever curious, in the 1950s into the 1960s, Cleveland was set to usurp NYC as the USA's financial and manufacturing powerhouse. There is a fed reserve building there, but what happened was race riots, political and social strife that straddled the 60s and 70s, that led to redlining, gerrymandering (not GOP, mind you, if that blows your mind), and white flight. The flight was so bad that they did a survey about 6 months ago and mapped the Cleveland county (Cuyahoga) and found segregation was even worse now than before Stokes was Mayor (Black person in the 60s). This was with federal oversight! The other kicker the prisons (city-run and by minorities to boot) were so bad that the FBI and other federal organizations would refuse to release prisoners to the jails in the county because they felt it was the equivalent of a death sentence (and for some, it was ….) no water or toilet paper.
Why? The city promised to be an outsource vendor to the county jails and took in more than they could handle and couldn’t afford to pay jail staff at sub <$10/hr.
Public work, controlled and maintained by the public … hot toxic mess.
This is America.