M I left "rich" Connecticut for Raleigh. I have friends here from Darien, Westport, Avon, Simsbury, Somers, CT, and Somers, NY, I know people who have moved to NC from Dover, Manchester, and Hamilton, MA, Kennebunkport and York Harbor, ME; and, Franklin Lakes, Bernardsville and Basking Ridge, NJ. None of these places are shabby, rundown, or mediocre and the people aren't poor shleps. "No one" would leave these places is just false. Paying higher taxes for great schools, public libraries, parks, or even "social" programs that help poorer areas of our towns or in my case, in nearby areas of Connecticut is something people don't generally resent unless there's a perception of waste. There is discomfort paying for what some perceive as giving handouts to people who won't help themselves, that's not unique to these places.
People from "poorer" areas of Connecticut, the parts that voted for Trump in northern and eastern Connecticut, absolutely don't like paying taxes for social programs until you take them away but even they are happy to vote for politicians who will spend money on expensive schools and other public infrastructure and facilities, like senior centers. People from the towns around the cities, like Hartford or Bridgeport, look at them with disgust because they are filled with the working poor, immigrants, rundown places, and people on public assistance and they blame "government" without knowing the root causes of the problems. It's not "government" alone. It's also the private sector, which moved jobs out of the cities making them less accessible to poor workers and with the jobs, the tax revenues that once paid for great schools, parks, and other public infrastructure.
Government is run by all of us. The employees working in government can't make decisions unilaterally without the approval of the people we elect. They are the final arbitors. Would the people who left pay higher taxes to replicate the amenities and services of suburban Connecticut? I would, for schools, parks, programs for kids and seniors, and education and transportation for the working poor and lower middle class. NC cities and towns are relatively new...what happens as the infrastructure ages?we already can't afford to build the transportation infrastructure we need to accommodate our growth, who is going to pay for crumbling miles of roads if we keep sprawling outward? The decision to build cities inefficiently isn't "government", it's us. We elect the people who won't make the hard decisions and won't say no to fiscally wasteful growth.
In the Triangle, I hear the most hypocritical stuff coming from liberals, like my own neighbors in my Durham neighborhood, made up of people from around the world, highly educated, making great incomes who don't want more density and change, but complain about the lack of affordable housing and the loss of farmland to sprawl. The same people who complain about traffic but won't fight for transit-friendly land use and design. People who demand economic opportunity for poor neighborhoods but don't want gentrification because we the people don't want higher density housing or to change our tax structure to reflect the efficiencies associated with maximizing existing infrastructure vs the fiscal inefficiencies associated with sprawl. Our road funding mechanisms literally reward cities and towns for land use and design decisions that contribute to creating more vehicle mile traveled (VMT).
Basically....we are the enemy of better cities and places regardless of where we were born, our income, education, etc.. I wish the professionals hired to work in government would speak up more since many of them know the solutions. Unfortunately, they are more silent than not because they have to temper what they say to avoid disagreeing with anyone. They have to appear neutral.