So i just realized that we passed 2,000 views a short while ago. To get from 1,000-2,000 took less then 3 months which is greatly appreciated. Thanks for viewing and continuing to come back. If you have a topic you would like to see my cover then please feel free to comment. If you see something you think is wrong please comment. Again, thanks everyone.
In an interview with Piers Morgan the Exec. director of Gun owners of America said that he knew “states and areas where there are more guns are safer then areas where there are not” His portion of the interview consisted of the fact that if there was more people with guns in America that they wouldn’t become a victim. This seems to be a growing trademark for the people who are against more gun legislation and are wanting less restrictions. So the question really becomes is there actually a safe area with more weapons. Do more people carrying guns provide a safer community in general for everyone? As we know right now there are roughly 311 million people living in the United states and 300 million guns out there. The right to bear arms is a constitutional right as protected by the 2nd amendment. The real issue with surround the gun debate seems to be the massive amount of automatic weapons which are making it into the average families home. Specifically, the AR-15 which has now been used in 3 shootings and killed scores of people. The AR-15 is the commercial variant of the military issued M-16 which was discontinued a number of years ago. So do more guns and more gun owners make a state/area safer?
Wyoming – 60% gun ownership – 27.3% Gun related Homicides – 0.59 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 505,887
Alaska – 58% gun ownership – 45.9% Gun related Homicides – 2.58 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 657,755
Montana – 57% gun ownership – 71.9% Gun related Homicides – 2.31 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 926,920
South Dakota – 56.6% gun ownership – 31.3% Gun related Homicides – 0.74 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 770,621
West Virginia – 55.4% gun ownership – 50.8% Gun related Homicides – 1.90 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 1,812,548
Totals : Average 57.4% ownership – Average 45.44% Gun related Homicides – Average 1.624 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 4,673,731
New York – 18% – Gun ownership – 57.8% Gun related Homicides – 2.67 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 19,280,727
Connecticut – 16.7% – Gun ownership – 54% Gun related Homicides – 1.40 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 3,498,966
Rhode Island – 12.8% – Gun ownership – 61.5% Gun related Homicides – 1.48 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 1,079,916
Massachusetts – 12.6% – Gun ownership – 58.1% Gun related Homicides – 1.53 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 6,407,382
New Jersey – 12.3% – Gun ownership – 58.8% Gun related Homicides – 2.65 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 8,685,166
Hawaii – 6.7% – Gun ownership – 19.4% Gun related Homicides – 0.51 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 1,262,124
Total: Average 13.18% Gun ownership – Average 51.6% Gun related Homicides – Average 1.70 gun homicides per 100,000 – Total population: 40,214,281
Based on the numbers it seems pretty apparent that the amount of violence isn’t due to the amount of gun ownership in a state. The top 5 states who owned guns had a 44% larger average population of gun owners but the # of homicides related to guns was only 6% lower and only 0.08 lower per 100,000. The only real difference between the 2 sides if that there is about a 10 fold population difference. So the question is: Do more guns make us safer? The answer is slightly based on the number of the top 5 gun owning states compared to the lowest 6. There is a lower % of gun related homicides and ever so slightly a reduction in gun homicides per 100,000. The American average is 67% of gun related homicides collectively which means that the lowest 6 are also 15% lower then the American average and the Top 5 are 22% lower. Based on the numbers there actually might be a case (all be it small) that as the number of gun owners increases the crime decreases.
The are a couple things that I would like to know tho before I can say that this actually is a proven point for the pro-gun community.
– What is the difference without New York? -> Average 12.22% gun ownership (1% point drop), Average 50.36% Gun related Homicides ( 1.24% drop), Average 1.541 Gun homicides per 100,000 (0.16 drop), Total Population: 20,933,554
So the numbers change a little when we reduce New York state from the mix. All the number for the bottom 5 dropped by about a percentage point each time without New York. The bottom 5 and the top 5 in terms of population are now much closer with only a 2.5 X difference. The Gun related homicides dropped from 6% to 5% but the most interesting drop was the gun homicides per 100,000. This other number showed that the more guns there were the safer that people were (all be it slightly) but with these numbers it shows the opposite. The lowest 5 states are now 0.08 lower per 100,000 then the top 5 states (again only slightly) meaning that the less number of guns owners you have in state the less likely you are to die by gun. So it would seem that this myth is actually on the verge of being busted because of the reduction after New York.
– What would the numbers be if the Top 5 states had the same population as the bottom 5?
– How many of these weapons are the assault weapons which so much has been talked about?
– What would the numbers be for the bottom 5 states without the big cites?
It would be interesting to see the differences with those numbers taken into consideration. I find it highly likely that the Top 5 states numbers would rise significantly if it were to have a population base along the same lines as the bottom 5. I would call this a statistical tie in the terms between the top 5 and the bottom 5. The phrase “the states with the highest number of gun owners are safer” is really just not true. It is about the same as the states that have the lowest number of gun owners whose states have a significant population increase over the top 5. It will be interesting to see how many times that this phrase is used as it is coined by the NRA as their logo. There is a significant gun issue in America and it is a issue that is starting to spill over its own borders. Gun crime is on the rise in Canada of which many of the guns were brought over the border from the states. Together the countries will need to work together to stem the tide of guns coming into Canada and the drugs leaving for the states. We do not need to arm ourselves to the teeth to be able to combat the guns which are being brought over the border. We need to be able to educate our children and provide them a safe place to avoid gangs, drugs and the lifestyle so many get stuck in.
I state this in every blog I do when it comes to weapons that I don’t believe that Americans should be totally stripped of weapons. I believe that there are a number of uses of weapons that are legal, worth while and actually does something more then simply show off. When it comes to hunting, working (specific to the job) and at a range I could see the need for weapons. I could see assault weapons being used at shooting ranges (guns owned by the range and don’t leave) but there needs to be something done to reduce the number of guns Americans own. Assault weapons are simply overkill for the average citizen and should be the first thing to go along with 30 round clips. A ban should be reintroduced and made to stand for the test of time but also a program created to remove the purchased ones off the streets. Like the program in LA where people would get 100-200 bucks per weapons this could be an opportunity to make a dent in the 300 million mark. There is a place for guns in work, hunting and sport shooting but giving a gun to every joe blow is asking for trouble. Trouble that we have now seen in 3 mass shootings this year along with the 10,000 who died last year because of weapon related homicides.
Information for this post is from:
As many of you know an Aboriginal Chief in Northern Ontario is on a hunger strike to bring attention to issues facing aboriginal people and aboriginal issues. She is now in week 2 1/2 of this strike and will continue until she ends up meeting with Prime Minister Steven Harper. The strike started as a result of the changed to environmental protection laws in the latest ominous budget bill being presented by the conservative government. The bill will reduce the amount of lakes, rivers and waterways that are protected from more then 2 million to a much reduced number of 100-200. This is clearly unacceptable for aboriginal people as many live on the lakes and the hunting grounds around their reserves. They also feel that this is in direct confrontation with their treaty rights as signed by the crown. Now, I commend Ms. Spence for doing something that she believes in and willing to go as far as death to improve her people’s lives. There is a significant problem on reserves with housing, water, substance abuse, mental illness and education. All of these issues have to deal with location, population but most importantly the Indian Act which puts a large number of blockades in the way of aboriginal government. There is work to be done by both sides in order to improve the situation for aboriginal children and present generations. There will need to be movement by both sides and a willingness to work together as equals but that is the best ending to this issue. As it stands right now I see that there are too outcomes for the country if Ms. Spence were to pass during the hunger strike.
Option 1: Chief Spence hunger strike started a movement with Aboriginal members called #idlenomore. This movement wants to bring together aboriginal and non-aboriginal people to fight the changes proposed by Mr. Harper and address aboriginal issues. There has been a number of protests nationally which has brought a lot of media attention and focus to these issues. If Ms. Spence were to pass then this group could be fueled by the passing with anger and resentment. There is already a large amount of that between aboriginals and the governments from past dealings. This would likely lit the fire which has been growing inside many aboriginal leaders and aboriginal people. There has been talk that the Oka crisis will look like a small event after the blockades go into effect. There could be blockades of highways, railways, ports and it could bring the national economy to a much unwanted slowdown due to delays. In past recent dealings it has been shown that the police are unwilling to enforce the law unless the protests get unruly or becomes excessive. Just recently a bridge was blockaded for 3 hours which is in violation of the Highway Traffic Act and nothing was done. Knowing that the police will do nothing and that there isn’t the political will to force their hand the protests likely could go unchecked. While it likely could be peaceful for a while there is always the chance that tempers will flair and with a protest so large (nationally) its a guarantee that something will happen. If blockades aren’t the root taken there could continue to be a large national protests and lobbying going on for aboriginal issues. That anger and resentment could be pushed to lobbying and providing the legal backing to get aboriginal issues fixed through the courts if the government system doesn’t work. In the end of this it could either end up in a nation wide blockade or a stronger aboriginal representation in terms of lobby issues in Ottawa. This option I believe that the Aboriginal people come together and stick together in the fight for a better quality of life.
Option 2: The #idlenomore movement started when Chief Spence decided to start her hunger strike. Her decision was the fire that brought more people together to start fighting for aboriginal issues. If she passes there would likely continue to see that fire press on but it could dwindle with time. All movements need something to stay relevant and fresh; Chief Spence is the one getting a lot of attention for her cause and the #idlenomore movement. The media will eventually get bored after her passing and move on to different topics, finding media time will be increasingly hard and challenging. If Ms. Spence were to pass I could see the movement falling apart after about 4-6 months and losing the media’s attention after 2 weeks unless they do something massive. This movement is bringing attention to Aboriginal issues as well but there is also unions trying to bring their message into the fray which could complicate things and make them irrelevant faster. Like the Occupy movement who focused on a range of issues instead of one, the movement has died down and is almost completely irrelevant now. I believe that this option could occur but this option will likely see things change little on reservations. There will still be chronic underfunding and all the issues will substance abuse, water, education and economic development will still be there. This might be the option that the government is hoping for (likely minus the death portion). They probably believe that they allow a little screaming and hollering now but it will be over before it gets close to the next election.
I personally believe that the reservation system is broken. I have provided what I believe could be a alternative to what is occurring today in these 3rd world communities but I am not a decision maker or education in the different traditions of aboriginal culture. There is a blog post on my blog that people are more then welcome to look at and comment on. I hope that it doesn’t come to the point where Chief Spence will lose her life fighting for these issues which need to be addressed. There needs to be a change in the way that the system works and there needs to be a new, updated version of the treaties signed.
Obviously, these are just my opinions. One of these could happen, both or maybe none. I just hope that the dispute stays peaceful and stays between the 2 parties.
More and more guns in the US are under intense pressure to be regulated and reduced with the shootings of 2012. Shootings like in Aurora and most recently the school shooting in Connecticut have all taken aim at the massive number of guns owned by Americans but also the number of assault weapons that are now in average Americans homes. While I support the complete removal of the assault weapons from the average citizens house I believe that people should still be able to own guns. There are a lot of respectable, proper owners who truly care about gun safety and taking from them just isn’t right. Hunting is still important and weapons used for that purpose should be allowed to continue (all though not with Dick Chaney). Here are some stats which could be of interest to people and could really open some people’s eyes about guns and the violence that follows them.
– There are 89 guns for every 100 Americans.
– There were 12,664 murders in the US last year of which 8,583 were caused by firearms. This number is a decline from 2005 where there were close to 10,000 murders by firearm alone. The number of murders by weapon is 67%
– This is compared to the 550 murders that the UK had
Now there is a fairly sizable population difference between the 2 countries. US – 311,591,917 vs. 62,641,000 (4.97 X to get to US population) for the UK.
– On a comparable population base the UK murder total is 2733.5 or 1831.44 (using the 67% US number)
Canada is a country directly affected by decisions that are made in the US. There is a extremely long and unprotected border between us and we trade many things. One of the illegal trades that occur fairly often is the sale of illegal drugs for weapons. With the biggest potion of Canada’s population living on the US border it is easy to smuggle in weapons for drugs. There are much stricter rules in Canada when it comes to owning and operating a weapon then the US but the numbers should be similar right?
– In Canada there were 598 murders in 2011. With a population of 34 million Canada is significantly smaller then the US (9.1 X to get to the US population).
– This means that if Canada was the same size at the US in terms of population it would have 5441.8 murder of which 3646 would be firearm related (if we used the same numbers as the US)
In both these countries there is a significantly less ownership and availability of weapons. Both of the countries that were tested against are G8 and both have around the same standard of living as the US. The only real difference is the types of regulations available to the government bodies and the laws protecting citizens. For many police officers in Britain it is unnecessary to even carry a fatal weapon because of a low crime rate.
The NRA proposal to put more guns in schools and to put more guns into the hands of ‘good people’ is disheartening. We need real action to save the future generation and that comes with tougher gun laws and more restrictions. There needs to be education on the safety of guns but there also needs to be more mental health and substance abuse help for people. Its time to stop killing each other and be able to enjoy the freedom that people have.
In had been a week in the making but the NRA finally made a response to the shooting in Connecticut this past week. They believe that the only way to stop these school shootings is to put a good guy in a school with a gun. There answer to a gun issue is to allow for more guns but have a ‘good guy’ be behind this gun. Personally, I feel that this kind of response is completely irresponsible to the type of tragedies that have occurred in the past decade but also completely irrelevant. The NRA is showing its age along with the republican party that used to have the support of a majority white conservative population. This support has shifted with the increase in immigration and a shift in more moderate liberal thinking. The phrase “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to put a good guy with a gun in his way” will be one that sticks with the NRA for the future. The idea that putting police officers in schools because that will stop school shootings is backwards thinking. This recent shooting and many others were done by people who were delusional, mentally unstable and a officer in a uniform is nothing to them. If anything its an opportunity for the shooter to gain himself another gun and continue his rampage in greater numbers. While it might be worth while to have an officer in the Sandy Hook elementary school as the students return to show that they are safe its not the long term answer.
Assault weapons needs to be removed from home owners and they need to be melted down. No hunter needs an assault weapon to take down his game it is simply illogical; other then the shooting range they serve no purpose. This weapons were allowed to be owned in the US by the removal of the assault weapon ban by GW Bush. In that time there have been 3-4 high profile shootings with assault weapons including Sandy Hook and Aurora, Colorado. Banning these weapons and removing them would allow for weapons that were designed for military and police enforcement to stay in their hands. No officer should have to patrol a neighborhood thinking that the bad guy and all his neighbors have weapons that are stronger and more lethal then his. While there is room to allow them to be owned by shooting ranges for use only at those ranges, allowing the average civilian to have them for ‘safety reasons’ is madness. The weapon used in the most recent mass murder of children was a bushmaster .223 which is the commercial variant of the M16. The M16 is the military mainstay and is issued to all soldiers when they head out into the battlefield or overseas operations. This weapon was designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest period of time at the squeeze of a trigger. What right does a person have to carry a weapon with such destructive power around? A ban of these weapons is needed but what is also needed is a round up off all these weapons to make sure they get off the streets.
The NRA said that there should be a police officer in every school all over America. This idea was purposed and used in Toronto for the schools that have massive gang issues and poverty. While this has been deemed effective because of the reduction in violence it is also simply covering the problems and now showing it isn’t cost effective. Toronto is struggling with its budget to bring down the costs to get to a more modest 2.0% tax increase. One issue is the huge police budget which seems to continue to grow at substantial rates. This growth is from officers dealing with more social issues but also from side projects like policing Toronto’s schools. These costs will eventually force the police force to make a decisions on these cases and either stop this program all together or reduce it significantly. Police officers are not the answer to the gun issues facing the US it is the lack of rules and the availability of weapons. Reducing the types of weapons available to people and their availability is a huge and monumental task that will need to be undertaken to eliminate some of the 300 million guns in America. There will also need to be more investment into social programs like mental health, poverty reduction and others to eliminate the daily crime. The stuff that we hear about on TV but don’t blink and eye at because its just gang bangers killing each other. These crimes need to be stopped by getting these people out of the situation they are in and protecting the children. Having our youth kill each other off to supply the junkies and do their leaders work simply isn’t and never should have been allowed. We need to get these kids working, into schools and get them out from where they stand. Only when we have the proper programs available will we be able to save our youth and protect our children.
This is more of a rant then a blog. Its kind of all over the place and for that I apologize. To sum it up: Guns aren’t the answer, adding more guns to the mix is even worse. We need to reduce the number of guns available, make more social and mental healths programs available and stop these tragedies.
One of the issues that Tbaytel faces is that the population base of northwestern Ontario is small and the region size huge. The mismatch of people to size has made the area famous for hunting, wildlife, trees, lakes and other environmental adventures but as a telecom company it makes it almost impossible to cover. The rolling hills and the massive size of the landscape means that there needs to be a huge investment into towers to properly provide the service. Tbaytel has been around for over 100 years which means that they have had a long time to be able to build up their network and improve coverage. Even with that amount of time they still have spots where the coverage goes dark and its back to the days of LAN. Tbaytel is able to justify expanding into these regions because it promotes itself as a NWO telephone company. Other larger companies have tried to avoid this region like the plague with the exception of Thunder Bay and Kenora. It isn’t worth their time or money to invest in the region to connect the east and west networks. While Bell has stated that they will connect the region over the next couple of years by lighting up Highway 17 with their 4G network, it will remain to be seen if it happens. Thunder Bay/ Kenora becomes the battle ground for people to decide if they want to stay with Tbaytel or if they want to go to a competition’s offer. Continuing to improve the network and expand will be important for Tbaytel to reach new customers and supplement the income it loses to Bell/ Virgin Mobile.
One would think of possibly expanding west into the Manitoba region to tap into the Winnipeg market. That region right now is quiet but in 2013-2014 will be a battleground between MTS, Rogers, Bell, Telus and others as they launch their LTE networks and try to expand to cover more territory. The agreement with rogers will see them do all the heavy lifting when it comes to expanding the network west and east. Staying out of the battles between the big 3 will allow for Tbaytel to improve its own network and roll out more towers, technology and service. I believe that there is an opportunity to expand south to the USA.
Thunder Bay and Duluth are more then simply sister cities. The successful of one directly helps the other and the constant movement of people between the two would make it seem like they are much closer together. Duluth is around the same population size as Thunder Bay but they have some retail and service outlets that we cannot yet get in Thunder Bay. In turn there are some fishing experiences and attractions that they can’t get down there which is why they come here. The land mass is much closer then the time traveled would make it seem. If it wasn’t for a number of smaller towns the trip could be done in two hours. The one issues that many complain about between the 2 cities though is the terrible reception that mobile phones get after the border. AT&T, Verison, T-Mobile and others all provide service to this area but like Northwestern Ontario it isn’t worth their time to invest into the region because of cost. The tenacity to build where others wont and expand could make this a prime region for Tbaytel to move into. The distance between Thunder Bay and Duluth is around 305 KM which is about 50KM then driving to Dryden. The difference between the Duluth run and the Dryden run is the possible subscribers and population base to tap into. Between Thunder Bay and Duluth there are a number of smaller towns built around the coast line; together they form a population of 7343 including some of the best ski hills in the area. Lutsen while only a small town of 360 sees a huge amount of tourists from Northwestern Ontario going down to golf in the summer and ski in the winter. Its likely that the town triples in population when the tourists all flock to the area, this could be an important spot for Tbaytel to introduce some coverage to the area. In total, Duluth -Thunder Bay has 93, 608 people but adding in the Duluth MDA its over 373, 379 people. Basically in a 300 KM stretch the Duluth run could put all of Northwestern Ontario into 1 area. Tbaytel’s income of 170 million could easily be doubled if it were able to make a significant headway into these regions.
There would likely be some challenges when it came to bringing new networks to the Duluth region but it seems that the money could be there to make it worth Tbaytel’s wile. Depending on Rogers and AT&T agreement and a number of other factors the Duluth run could end up being one of Tbaytel’s best expansions to date. It could help fuel the expansion in Canada and help to bring new investment into Thunder Bay.
This is just what I think. What about you?
Governments across the world have moved after the recession to make their country the most attractive for businesses to come and invest in. They have believe that if they reduce the amount of taxes that a company pays that they will set up shop. Local governments all the way up to federal have moved to make their city/province/ country more attractive to big businesses with the theory that the savings will be passed on to consumers. This conservative theory that they money will flow to the top and they will spend creating more wealth while also saving the average consumer money has been tossed around for a couple of decades. This type of theory has been adopted by the conservatives and republican leaders and taken to a new level by those even farther right. One of the most recent and controversial tax cuts was the Bush era cuts to people making over $250,000 annually. Bush believed that if the government was taking less money that the rich would be able to spend more and invest more into the American economy. These tax cuts are now up for renewal and the new government is looking to use that money and take it into another direct. Closer to home there was much anger when the government reduced the amount that big businesses payed for services that the federal government provides. Cutting the tax on business was believed to be a great thing for investments and would help to bring a boost to the economy. While its believed that Ontario is a good place to invest because of its tax rate and tax system there hasn’t been the boost they wanted. Businesses are now sitting on billions in cash and unwilling to spend due to the uncertain economy but are still reaping the benefits on a cheaper tax system. I believe that it is time to change the way that we distribute the wealth.
I believe that the tax rate should be returned to where they were a couple years ago and then placed slightly higher to help pay for other cuts. The thought that a tax cut can help to reduce the cost of products for customers or allow for more staff is broken in today’s world. Many of the items we purchase today are built in developing countries like Taiwan and China. The cuts wouldn’t affect the factories where these products are made which means that the price to produce the item stays the same. The only advantage companies would have is they could purchase in larger bulks driving down costs but without the warehouse space they wouldn’t be able too. The idea that it could drive down costs would only affect the companies that have factories in the country and even then many factories fall under the industrial scale and wouldn’t receive a tax reduction. The idea that they would be able to hire more staff would have some merit behind it but the high cost of employing people in Canada is likely to keep that number to a minimum. Unless a company was able to significantly increase the amount that they pull in annually in revenue the hiring wouldn’t really make a dent. As of now the tax cuts have allowed companies to sit on growing piles of cash waiting for the economy to improve. This money would be much better used if the money was given to the middle/ lower classes.
The middle class and working class are the largest in the country and also have the largest purchasing power. The problem that has been occurring in recent years with government policy is that the middle class has been used as a cash cow. As more and more cash was taken from the middle class they have been able to spend less but have also accumulated more debt to sustain a lifestyle. As people have spent less and been squeezed more they haven’t been able to spend nearly as much as they were able to in years previous. This issue along with a desire to grow profits have sent factories and typical middle class jobs overseas. The squeeze has also forced many to accumulate debt to maintain the lifestyle that they were accustomed too. This squeeze helped to create the debt crisis of 2008 and has helped to change the typical Canadian thinking of saving first then purchasing. Spreading the savings to regular Canadians would help to reduce the amount of debt that average Canadians have taken on but it would also allow more people to be able to purchase more items. We said before that companies typically don’t expand without expanding revenues and profits which makes corporate tax cuts almost useless. As more Canadians are able to make purchases and spend more these companies would see increased revenue and increased profits. Allowing more people to spend would have a larger effect then giving to a small number and hoping costs come down. Building up the middle class again would allow for a more prosperous Canada and make it a more profitable place for businesses to invest in. We all know that businesses can only survive off of profits and businesses were thriving when the middle class was strong. Reusing the money to help the average Canadian would have a much greater affect for the economy in my eyes and rebuilding the middle class must be a job politicians focus on. One of the bigger issues is stability which is extremely important for businesses who want to invest.
If an economy is up and down and unstable it makes investing in the region hard. The risks need to be manageable when a company looks to invest and spend their money. The area also needs to be profitable otherwise its not even worth looking at. One of the biggest issues for companies is that the government spends like a drunken sailor in the good years and then cuts drastically when the slowdown comes. If the government was able to save for a rain day like Alberta did when times were good then they would be in a better place. Using some of the money that was taken from the corporate tax cuts into a savings account could help to provide that stability. Savings for a rain day and tackling the debt will be important for Ontario when moving forward in tough economic times. A important sales pitch to businesses could be that they are looking to the future and making sure that recessions and depressions don’t affect Ontario nearly as badly as the rest of the world. While the tax rate wouldn’t be the same as other jurisdictions the safety and lower risks could be more important for a number of companies who are looking to invest in new areas. We should expect less from all levels of governments for the near future but if we can properly prepare for the future we can make sure that we are ahead in the coming years.
Debt management, improving the middle class, stability are all things that the government needs to focus on getting done. We need to stop living off of credit and move to a more affordable lifestyle.