People are leaving because we are too conservative

I have known for a long time that many of my friends have not only left this state because of money and opportunities, but one of the main things I often hear is “The place is just too damn conservative for me.”

Increasingly, people are congregating themselves geographically and along educational lines, said Rachel Sheffield, a senior policy adviser for the committee. Highly educated people, who tend to hold more liberal viewpoints, are concentrating themselves in cities in California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., she said. Conservatives, meanwhile, are tending to stay in more rural areas. The two groups are interacting less, Sheffield said, which is exacerbating political divisions.

“If you’re not interacting with people with different political viewpoints, then you are less likely to have a face to go with differing viewpoints; that could lead to seeing different political viewpoints as connected to this unrelatable group that you never talk to and it’s easier to demonize people you don’t actually know,” Sheffield said.

I actually think Sioux Falls was less conservative in the late 90’s. Just look at the utter failure of the SD Democratic Party. I think after Tom Daschle left the Senate and GW Bush came into office, we started driving way north on the redness, and of course, Trump has made things even worse.


#1 Ogre Rants on 08.29.19 at 9:16 am

My daughter was the top of her class at LHS. Went out east to school and probably will not come back. I expect the next one to leave also, a national AP scholar with an ACT of 33.

#2 l3wis on 08.29.19 at 9:45 am

I have often thought the SD GOP loves the fact that the smart people leave. Young, intelligent kids normally have more liberal and diverse views and want to get paid what they are worth. The SD GOP likes them dumb, they can control them better, pay them less and trick them in to weird work arrangements and agreements (right to work state). They have succeeded.

#3 D@ily Spin on 08.29.19 at 10:05 am

What disturbs me is the corruption and autocracy in government. Citizens are naive and ignorant in this regard. There’s a brain dead faction of call center and services employees. They’re so busy trying to scratch out a meager existence they have no time to examine how much freedom they’ve lost. I’d move but I use the VA hospital here. It’s one of the best in the country. I bank and purchase out of state except for fresh vegetables. Without participation from the enslaved population, it’s the only method for me to revolt.

#4 Conservative Here on 08.29.19 at 10:51 am

I love how everyone tries to paint Conservatives as uneducated dumb country bumpkins. Just because have an underwater basket weaving degree does not make you intelligent. I would argue in many cases your a dumb @ss for not getting a degree in something that adds value or can land you a real job. This is a classic example of how Liberals tend to view themselves as smarter and above everyone else. I say keep that trend up, it only shows arrogance and THEIR true lack of diversity. No place is perfect and SD is no exception, lots of room for improvement. I would argue all these places Liberals love to move to are crime ridden and very expensive. We may not have high paying wages but, things do not cost as much. SD is a great place to live, especially Sioux Falls and I guess if its SOOO bad why are you here. This is not one of those if you don’t like it leave comments, it is an honest question. Why don’t you move to Omaha or Seattle? If you look at people everyone across the globe and throughout time, humans are tribal. People tend to want to be around others who have the same values, culture, language, religion, etc. So it never ceases to amaze me when people bitch non stop about Sioux Falls or SD as some horrible, boring, and uncultured place to live. If its so bad and your miserable, move dude!! My only complaint about SD is that the weather can really suck but, its a trade off I guess.

#5 l3wis on 08.29.19 at 10:55 am

I have often said that SF is an oasis compared to the rest of the state. I have contended that probably about 40% of SF residents are moderate to mildly liberal. Once you leave it’s boundaries it’s whackadoodle lah lah land. Also, did you even attempt to read the entire article? One of the reasons they are leaving is because there are NO jobs in their field or very few.

#6 l3wis on 08.29.19 at 10:57 am

I have a second cousin who has a doctorate in Food Sciences, I think she went to school for like 12 years and continues her education. The only job she do is teach at University and she is employed by one of the larger public university’s in the country. My point is, SD refuses to diversify it’s workforce.

#7 matt johnson on 08.29.19 at 11:53 am

How many individuals with doctorates in food sciences do we need in SD we definitely need to diversify our work force; the same could be said for the star of the article- lots of call for language nerds; educated does not mean smart; how many times have we heard about medical doctors who cannot manage their finances?

#8 Conservative Here on 08.29.19 at 11:57 am

The point about refusing to diversify it workforce, please expand on that as I don’t “think” we are REFUSING to expand our workforce. This is a philosophical difference in the 2 of us, my guess is you want government to help do something to spur other industries to come here. I am not sure thats always a good idea as businesses have chosen not to come here for various reasons. While I do agree that once you leave SF its a bit different I would not call it whackadoddle land. I think that statement is the point I tried to make, Liberals tend to look down at folks not as cultured and from the big city. I think this is a mistake and people in this country should be more thankful and understanding of our rural folks, they feed us and I am forever thankful for the role they play. This is coming from someone who is born and raised in Sioux Falls so my “rural” experience is slim to none but, I recognize the vital importance these folks play in our life. I think there is always room for improvement but, SF has reached its peak in my opinion and some of our growth has been bad for our community. Your point about your cousin is an excellent point, she has a doctorate in a field that has LIMITED opportunities in general but, wanted to stay in SD. So my question is if your goal was to stay why didn’t you pursue something else or why didn’t you go where the job is you went to school for as this appears to be a limited field. I am not knocking her choice but, I think its perplexing. I think our education systems across the country do a VERY poor job of educating our kids on WHAT jobs their field of study and what the odds of getting a job in that field will be and where those jobs are. My daughter is a sophomore in college I remember going to her Freshman oreitation and the school said 70% of college grads dont use their degree. I am not surprised and many are worthless. Critical thinking skills, problem solving, ability to work in a team, and communication skills are more valuable than 90% of the crap you learn at a university. I say trade schools are better options most of the time unless you want to be a Lawyer, Doctor, Engineer, etc

#9 scott on 08.29.19 at 11:59 am

just got done doing some online shopping. i couldn’t find the “south dakota lower cost of living” discount button.

#10 l3wis on 08.29.19 at 12:12 pm

I don’t think they look down on people, they just leave. So maybe conservatives should asking ‘why’? I think government can get involved thru legislation that makes it easier for diversified businesses to set up shop here. I don’t think we need to expend tax dollars to do that. Take Hemp for instance, 40K products are made from hemp. If we just had a handful of those industries in SD it would make a difference. While Hemp is good for the farmers, it’s even better for jobs. Just think of the hundreds of industries we are passing up because we won’t even allow people to process it here? This is what I mean by ‘whackadoodle’. Our own governor doesn’t even know there is a diference between Hemp and rec Mary Jane. She is our governor!

#11 Conservative Here on 08.29.19 at 1:03 pm

Scott – Your “south dakota cost of living” discount button is stupid as sh!t. The cost of living in SF and SD in general is one of the lowest costs in the country, do some homework before making such a comment. To add on, instead of shopping at Amazon and making a Billionaire even more wealthy why don’t you buy from local stores and support local business. This thought process is not a Conservative or Liberal point its common sense, support your neighbor when you can.

The Hemp thing is dump @ss sh!t as well. You can make so many products, its good cash crop, has medicinal purposes. It can replace plastic products, the need to cut down trees, etc. Noem is a fool on this one and the ONLY issue she has in her back pocket is it will be easier to grow weed in SD because the plant looks similar but, that only goes so far with me. I am against recreational MJ and it should be STRICTLY regulated for medicinal purposes. This is something I think all residents in the state would probably get behind and I think if failed the veto proof vote by 1 or 2 votes. Hopefully we can try again soon

#12 rufusx on 08.29.19 at 2:06 pm

Hey conservative over there: “our farmers feed us” is a lot of hogwash. Are you aware that only about 4% of the soy and corn production (I.E., that vast majority of our ag production) in this state goes into any form of food product? Of course not – because you, being a city person, have no ACTUAL knowledge of how our rural economy works. What you “believe” about rural SD/America is pretty much the MYTH you have been indoctrinated to believe in. So, there you go – ironically proving the point about conservatives and their relative “brilliance”. Donlt care if you call it educated smarts or street smarts – your beliefs exhibit neither. Go ahead and parrot some “conservative” talking points and call your ability to memorize and repeat “smart” all you like. THAT ain’t what it is. Clever, perhaps, as an alternative descriptor, as in isn’t it clever how that crow uses a stick to push a button on the other side of a screen that’s too far away for his beak to reach. But smart as in able to think through the various potential outcomes of variable actions before performing any of them? Nope. BTW – an MD is the EASIEST terminal degree (doctorate) to obtain. There’s a lot of cleverness and pattern recognition learning involved in being an MD – not a lot of contemplative thinking. Second easiest is the JD (Jurist Doctorate/attorney).

#13 rufusx on 08.29.19 at 2:08 pm

More misinformation on your part – SD’s cost of living ids NOT “one of the lowest”. It is actually pretty much right in the middle. Again – your “beliefs” are not founded in fact.

#14 rufusx on 08.29.19 at 2:12 pm

Current COL list: Lowest to highest – SD is #27.

#15 l3wis on 08.29.19 at 2:33 pm

Ruf, thanks for grabbing that, I was going to dig it up, becuz I had read at one time we were about average. I can tell you that SF cost of living compared to say Aberdeen, Mitchell or Watertown is a lot higher, and our taxes (especially property) is really high. You can also get a better apartment for the same in Omaha. The problem is that the market in SF is controlled by the developers/bankers/realtors and contractors. They charge what they want to because they have zero regulation on them. Not sure if I told this story before, but I had some friends build a beautiful $300K house in Brookings. They priced the same house (same plans) in SF and it would have cost them $500K. How is it that there is a $200K price difference 40 minutes to the North? Think about it.

#16 Conservative Here on 08.29.19 at 3:37 pm

First and foremost I never said Conservatives were brilliant I simply stated what Liberals think of us. While what you say about corn and soy only being 4% going into food, it doesn’t change the fact that any food I consume derives its raw material from some type of farm product. Milk, cheese, eggs, meat, bread? I would surmise these all come from some sort of farm. I personally get my eggs and meat directly from Farmers and I try to buy, if I can, Farm to table products. So yeah I guess I still believe my food comes from Farmers and I try to buy local, so once again from a local farmer. So if its a farmer in SD or a farmer in California, some farm is providing me food. For the record I am not parroting any “talking points”.

As far as cost of Living, I will eat crow on that. I have seen numerous items that show SD as being one of the lowest cost places to live. This one surprises me. I do agree Scott that the cost of a house in SF (we have discussed this frequently) has gone through the room lately but, when I compare it to other places it seems a lot cheaper ( not other parts of SD but, Omaha, Minneapolis, etc”)

#17 Once They Leave, Many of Them Never Return on 08.29.19 at 4:12 pm

Many young people have seen first-hand the struggles their parents have experienced trying to make a living in South Dakota. As a single parent, I worked three jobs for 26 years just to survive in SF.

My daughter had the opportunity to earn an under-graduate degree on a Presidential Scholarship from the University of Minnesota, and then went on to earn a masters degree in Washington, DC.

She has worked in DC., NYC, and is now living in the SE. This is where she is building her professional network. I think she probably will never return to the Midwest.

Why would she?

#18 phatty on 08.29.19 at 4:24 pm

I don’t think it’s all that hard to figure out why the house cost more to build in Sioux Falls than Brookings. Maybe look at simple supply and demand rather than blaming it on “the man/developers/contractors/etc”. There’s a far larger demand for housing in Sioux Falls than there is in Brookings. It’s funny that you think contractors control things in Sioux Falls. I could name at least 10 “well-known” house building contractors in Sioux Falls and I would dare to bet there are more than double that that I’ve never heard of. Same goes for the rest of the entities you described. Collusion works far better when those 2 or 3 entities rather 20-30+.

#19 anominous on 08.29.19 at 4:41 pm

when the coasts get flooded after putin nukes the north pole with his kanyon torpedoes, all those smart hippys will come crawlin back to SD

#20 scott on 08.29.19 at 4:51 pm

south dakota also comes in at #2 on the list of highest health care costs. something no one in this state wants to talk about since we’ve whored ourselves out to sanford. the nuns should be ashamed too.

#21 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 08.29.19 at 5:21 pm

Its white fear, or white flight, at a national level instead of at just a metropolitan level or area.

It explains why far too many farmers are still in line with Trump. I hate to say it, but they’re most likely staying in line, because they are confident that they have a racist in the White House even if their crop prices and markets are collapsing.

All of this is further fueled by the collapse of the American middle class over the last forty years, which for the most part was, or is, a white middle class in collapse; which then causes that group of people to entrench and look for cohension through external conflict, and with that external conflict being the a combination of fear and blaming others for your declining situation.

I hate to say it, because I say it often – maybe too often – but much of this could be solved with a restoration of the American middle class for all – regardless of race – through a restoration of wages and an end to the growing maldistribution of income in this country, that has been happening for the last forty years.

How do we do it? Well, we need to start re-enforcing anti-trust laws in this state. We need to hike capital gain taxes in this country; and we need to pass legislation at either, and/or, the federal and state levels requiring all job postings to list the potential pay, so as to stimulate a wage inflation in this country and especially in the northern plains states.

We must also throw-out the window the idea that supply-side economics works, because it doesn’t. It merely further empowers the few.

So there needs to be a rebirth in this country, which empowers all; and that will only be achieved, when we sincerely address the financial needs of the middle class, the working class, and the growing working poor in this country.

#22 LJL on 08.29.19 at 8:09 pm

Just another example of click bait.

No thanks

#23 D@ily Spin on 08.29.19 at 9:58 pm

There has been a predominant California and Colorado transplant immigration here. It’s only a matter of time before conservative Republicans get shut out. There’s a blue state on the horizon. I’m anticipating a SD Supreme Court case relative to constitutional irregularities for Triple Check. Minimally, some will not be re-elected. Potentially, some will be labeled and have to move to Illinois where Autocracy and Organized Crime will always prevail.

#24 Blasphemo on 08.29.19 at 9:59 pm

ESG: 1000% with you that job postings should be required to list the pay scale being offered. Thanks for asserting that.

#25 hornguy on 08.30.19 at 12:40 am

Didn’t grow up in South Dakota, don’t live there now, but did spend five years working in Sioux Falls between 2007-13. These comments are pretty much perfection in terms of describing why I never had regrets about leaving.

South Dakota’s problem is that too many South Dakotans are so reflexively parochial and feel compelled to defend the stupidest things because that’s how they’ve always been.

That South Dakota doesn’t have a state income tax, or its much-ballyhooed low cost of living, serves to draw, almost exclusively, low-wage employers looking for low to moderate-skill workers. South Dakota can’t produce – or retain – educated workers in sufficient numbers for businesses who need those workers to ever feel comfortable making capital investments there. They’ll just locate in Omaha, or the Twin Cities. Land costs are higher, labor costs are higher, taxes are higher, but they know they’ll have access to talent.

And frankly, it ain’t that much more expensive to live in downtown St. Paul than it cost me to live out near 73rd and Cliff. Relative to wages, Sioux Falls’ cost of living sucks. Property there is grossly overvalued. Scott is dead on there.

You guys tolerate this cabal of developers and dirty credit card money in exchange for the most trivial crap. Lords and peasants in Sioux Falls, and nothing in between. And the lords have the peasants saying “yeah, well it’s good enough for us, if you don’t like it, maybe you should leave.”

Too many suckers in South Dakota, and not enough backbone.

#26 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 08.30.19 at 1:24 am

“….the nuns should be ashamed too.”

Bahahaha….. What is it with their interest in creating waterfall landscapes? What does this have to do with health care? Isn’t this money spent that could be used to lower our overall health care costs?

Have you ever noticed, when a future King or Queen of England is born, that the paparazzi wait outside an unassuming brownstone building with a simple door entrance, which is right in front of the streets sidewalk, – when waiting for the Royal family to exit the hospital – after the new Royal has been born and is being brought home for the first time?

Personally, I think that if an unassuming building is good enough for a Royal family, when it comes to the birth of a future King or Queen, then it should be good enough for someone from South Dakota, too. Why do we need these grand buildings, a Pentagon for basketball, and a golf tournament? If you ask me, it’s all money wasted and should be used to keep our health care costs down instead.

#27 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 08.30.19 at 1:54 am

“I have often thought the SD GOP loves the fact that the smart people leave.”

l3wis, you nailed it with that comment. In South Dakota, if you ask too many questions, you are called a “Trouble-Maker.” The SD GOP likes “Team Players” (“Leadership Teams?) and your not a “TP,” if you inquire.

The SD GOP runs this state, and they run it like a corporation from the top down. Like a plantation owner actually, where the SD GOP allows the educated slaves to escape so the un or under educated can remain enslaved.

The SD GOP’s attack on our university system, where some are demanding that our professors be “Fair and Balanced,” is merely a tactic to destroy reason and uplift GOP nonsense to a level of dubious relevance, and further demonstrates the SD GOP’s attempt to dumb us all down for their own pure (Pierre?) interests.

The SD GOP are like that controlling parent, who won’t let you date girls, or won’t tell you that your aunt and uncle got a new house or car, or that you can borrow money to go to college, or they will tell you that DisneyLand is too far and expensive, when really your parents are just too cheap to take you to DL.

The SD GOP are no fun. They are merely feudalists masked as libertarian capitalists. They are merely in it for themselves.

#28 kurtz on 08.30.19 at 9:00 am

South Dakota is struggling to keep white workers, infrastructure is crumbling, industrial agriculture is failing, South Dakota churches are girding for gun violence, meth is replacing alcohol as the state’s drug of choice, Pierre’s culture of corruption and rape violence threaten open government, socialism is quietly replacing free enterprise, pheasant numbers are dwindling, environmental degradation is increasing, wildlife are being exterminated to make way for disease-ridden domestic livestock and exotic fowl, jails far outnumber colleges, ag bankers continue to enslave landowners and the state’s medical industry monopoly operates without scrutiny.

Little wonder young people are fleeing South Dakota in droves. Unless your Social Security pays your property taxes you’re just another greasy, grimy grudznick groveling in the gore and grinding out every greenback you can grab.

#29 Conservative Here on 08.30.19 at 9:38 am

Wow, these comments on here are truly astounding. Some I agree with, some I do not. It does feel like many hate this state and SF. The question is why do you all live here if you dislike it so much! I am not saying this to be a jerk or be that guy that says you dont like it leave. I really do ask why the hell are you here. Why are you not moving to another place that is so much better suited for you? SD IS NOT PERFECT FOLKS. I am perfectly happy here personally, I make a reasonable living, I think its a good community, and generally pretty safe. I think our property taxes are out of control! I think Sanford has entirely too much say in this state! I think our City Government is corrupt as hell! I also don’t think these types of things I laid out or NOT unique. I control what I can control and I vote for people who I think can make a difference. I am trying to be more self educated and aware of what is happening in my community. I know Scott and I disagree on many items but, this blog is my best source for truth of what is really happening locally. Its easy to spot a problem, we all see them but, its hard to come up with solutions because everyone has a different take on how to solve them. Hell I have even toyed with the idea of running for City Council but, I don’t think I have the demeanor or patience to put up with the BS that occurs. I even joked with folks I spoke with about running that at a bare minimum I would just vote NO on spending any money on anything except infrastructure. The rest in my opinion is unnecessary and I don’t THINK it really boosts our local economy, all it most of the crap we build brings low paying jobs and needs to be subsidized to even stay afloat.

#30 rufusx on 08.30.19 at 10:15 am

Con over there. Probably about 50% of your food comes from OUTSIDE the US. Almost all of your fruits and vegetables, almost all of your sea food, and a great deal of your meats. OUR farmers mainly (85%) produce monocultural crops that are used for purposes other to food. If the good ol’ GOP hadn’t squashed required COO (Country of Origin) labeling – EVERYONE would know this. But as stated in the OP – it is the GOP’s deliberate intention to keep the general populace as UNIFORMED and UNEDUCATED as possible – to encourage the formation of political beliefs on MYTH – not fact.

#31 rufusx on 08.30.19 at 10:20 am

So here’s the thing about the relevance of Cost of HOUSING – Let’s say the cost of housing in California is DOUBLE what it is in SF for the equivalent house. Thing is – wages in California are also DOUBLE what they are in SD for the SAME work. So – you pay twice as much for your house – but since you also make twice as much – you have TWICE AS MUCH LEFT after making your house payment. It’s SIMPLE MATH. Which is, of course a challenge to the rural SDS mind – which only considers cost – not income – and not the difference between the to. It’s PROPORTIONALITY – which is evidently TOO HARD to thinlk about. Just the kind of folks the SD GOIP loves. Can’t think beyond one tree in the forest at a time.

#32 Moses6 on 08.30.19 at 1:54 pm

Wow were cheap well my two of my kids have six figure incomes and they dont leave here.They also have been able to buy properties,Just admit South Dakota is a= cheap in wages.

#33 D@ily Spin on 08.30.19 at 3:03 pm

Something most people don’t know is there’s full reciprocity into MN universities. It’s cheaper tuition for a SD resident than for MN resident. On average about 20% cheaper and far cheaper than Augustana. U of M has more degree programs and is more recognized nationally. If you’re thinking of moving, wait until your kid graduates. Student cost of living is cheaper in MN. There’s no tax on food or clothing. There are more outlets and more sales. University stores are not ripoff prices.

#34 D@ily Spin on 08.30.19 at 3:14 pm

MSP has a phenomenal mass transit system. I’m looking at a condo in a high rise that’s at a train station. It’s one stop from MOA, one stop to the Airport, two stops to the VA Hospital, and 4 stops to Twins/Viking games. It’s perfect for a retired veteran. Yes, there’s state income tax but I have enough deductions to not qualify. If Triple Check doesn’t pass, I’m outta here. I’ll leave my townhome as just another AirBNB.

#35 D@ily Spin on 08.30.19 at 3:22 pm

Don’t worry, I’ll come back uncompensated at my travel cost to testify or give a deposition in any case against the City of Sioux Falls. Part of my testimony will be that I left because the city is an unconstitutional autocracy.

#36 D@ily Spin on 08.30.19 at 3:46 pm

autocracy meaning: 1. government by a single person or small group that has unlimited power or authority, or the power or authority of such a person. Cambridge Dictionary

Daily vs. City of Sioux Falls (SD Supreme Court 08-2478) proved the city is unconstitutional. It’s been used numerous times to get cases dismissed. The city now plays games because they know they can’t win in court. Lack of conformity has prompted the need for dozens of employees in the city attorney office when there were 3 less than 10 years ago. Being legal costs less because the lawyering is abbreviated, practical, and (indeed) ethical.

#37 ''Extremely' Stable Genius" on 08.30.19 at 4:02 pm


You ask why? Because it is what is called “a love of the land.”

#38 Beer Jew on 08.30.19 at 4:28 pm

We can echo what you said about why people leave South Dakota: Better jobs, better opportunities, better pay. The conservative slant didn’t help matters, but we sure noticed how damn conservative Soo Foo really is after leaving. The fact is that larger cities have more (and usually better) opportunities. The larger cities also have their less appealing charms–taxes from hell, high real estate, crime, traffic, etc. We lived many wonderful years in Sioux Falls, but we’re sure glad we didn’t have to stay there.