Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cheapest Places to Live: Fort Smith Perspective

A few weeks ago I wrote about Fort Smith receiving the dubious distinction of being one of the Cheapest Cities to Live in the United States.

It seems some in Fort Smith including City Wire reporter and blogger, Michael Smith aren't too happy with the recognition.

The Kiplinger report which bestowed the honour was quoted as saying, "Housing, grocery and transportation costs here are well below the national average. And compared with the most-expensive city on our list, New York, everything in Fort Smith is a bargain."

However, Tilley points out that being one of the cheapest places to live may not exactly be a 'badge of honor' worth wearing or publicizing. He states, "we can’t cheap our way to a better economy".

Tilley suggests that rather than promoting, 'Cheap Property' that the residents of Fort Smith lobby their representatives to shoot for recognition as a great place to live and to set a goal to be on Kiplinger's '10 Best Cities for the Next Decade' list.

Although local businesses do appreciate low labor and operating costs and an econo my where everyone gets more bang for their buck, Tilley says improving the regional economy by adding jobs and higher paying jobs in particular will create more opportunities for all and make Fort Smith a desirable place to live for better reasons.

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