I visited Tulsa a few months ago to just check it out. I enjoyed it greatly. The Tulsa Gathering Place is absolutely unreal for a free public park. There is enough going on there to make it a worthwhile place to move to for a few years. A considerable amount of very high end architecture and art there.
I am doing a multifamily development with similar (not nearly as generous) relocation incentives tied in through a medical district. Very interesting way to move the needle and encourage shifts in living. For most cities, this is a much cheaper way to approach affordable housing as well.
Two students in my graduation class got accepted to Harvard, and others to MIT, U Penn, and Duke. They have gone on to become successful tech entrepreneurs and professors. The graduating class after my year had 4 students accepted to Stanford.
Non est ratio ad gustum ... Über Geschmack lässt sich nicht streiten ... Les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas ...
There is a reason why almost every language has an idiomatic expression to express the same idea.
Tulsa may be a great place for you, it may be a not so great place for you. But dismissing an idea based on no real experience and innate prejudices is pretty stupid.
I think the state of education in our state is a pretty big problem, but there are nationally ranked high quality schools like you said, Jenks, Union, Norman.
Oklahoma senior from Jenks High School accepted to all 8 Ivy League schools
Sarah Cameron boasts a long list of extracurricular activities, including academic clubs and an impressive tennis career. Now she can brag about her eight college acceptance letters, all to Ivy League schools.
If there was an article about paying remote workers to move to SF, you'd get the exact same thing. I mean, obviously the specific complaints themselves would be different, but you'd still get the same rough tone and criticism.
I have a lot of fond memories of the place, but returning there after 25 years completely shattered my romantic childhood feelings. The city was not doing great when I lived there, but it felt far worse now (husk comment earlier). You want to know where MAGA came from? All you need to do was live in Tulsa 25 years ago and compare it to today: the rust and rot. The place is sprawling; you’ll need a car. Summer is oppressively humid against biking. It is far more diverse than it was, but I have doubts about the true level of comforts minorities (all stripes from ethnicity to political) feel. I felt somewhat insulated from religion with Unitarian parents, but the prevailing religion runs strong here. I don’t think they’d accept me if they really knew what I thought today. Infrastructure is laughably in poor shape. My father tells me corruption/nepotism/patronage still drives most appointments in OK civil service. I recall fondly of the — can’t believe I am saying this — sweet smell of crude oil refinement from West Tulsa that permeates the entire town and ambient sounds of the pump jacks (yes, sporadically in the neighborhood).
Food is certainly better than what it was. Folks in their early 20s seem to be pushing for more. I actually had a respectable bowl of ramen there. Growing up, there were two Chinese restaurants only. That tells you a lot!
I always appreciated how direct the people were — zero pretense or two-faced behavior. A lot of small talk. You’ll have to be OK with the provincialism. Miss the intense Thunderstorms a whole lot.
My parents were not especially political or conveying of class or social consciousness. I recall a few trips to Arkansas when I was young and crossing the border from OK into AR and wondering what the hell was wrong with that place. It seemed like that much of a step down.
Tulsa has — or had — it’s quirky charm. Everyone knows about the South Park episode about that Mexican restaurant Casa Bonita. Well, guess what, that one in Colorado it parodied is based on an original in Tulsa. Also: in that same strip mall (yep, you’ll love Tulsa if you love sprawling one-story drags of strip malls), there was Starbase 21, a store dedicated to Star Trek franchise paraphernalia, which I think closed recently (sadly). Let’s not forget the world’s largest McDonalds in Vinita that spanned an interstate. These days, the place feels dreadfully big-boxed.
I am a parent now. While nature access is OK (not great but not terrible), certainly faster to reach than in the Bay Area (sorry), I would be concerned with the schools. They have been starved to death and the school day largely cut to four days.
I realize this won’t satisfy anyone’s claims for empirical remarks, but it is just the perspective of someone who knew the place intimately and returned recently. My feelings are textured.
Financial relocation incentives don't appear to be anything new, but the alternatives never seemed to ring any bells for me. Hard to pin down precisely, but I think part of it was the fact that a lot of them were asking you to settle down in what might as well be the frontier in terms of urban density and amenities, or maybe the city in question was a burnt-out husk of its former self (a different kind of frontier almost), or maybe the incentive wasn't so much cash as much as loan assistance or some other thing that doesn't sound as sexy.
Looking at the website, pretty obvious that they're not asking me to settle in a small town or a burnt-out husk of a city. Despite my biases against Oklahoma, I get the sense that this is a pretty exciting place to be. On top of that, the incentives actually seem very practical. It's cash, plain and simple.
I like it, if you couldn't already tell.
> Looking at the website, pretty obvious that they're not asking me to settle in a small town or a burnt-out husk of a city.
In reality Tulsa is somewhere in between a "small town" and a "burnt out husk of city".
> Despite my biases against Oklahoma, I get the sense that this is a pretty exciting place to be.
It is not.
Its main benefits are being cheap and not super cold.
Just because this website says it is exciting doesn't mean it is. They are throwing money at the issue of a brain drain and lagging economy.
Tons of people who "went to school in Tulsa" don't live there now because it is the opposite of exciting.
What would you do?
As a joke, I'd say that the actual choice is between a less populated burnt-out husk of its former self, a heavily populated burnt-out husk of its former self, or some degree of truly nowhere.
People are super friendly and contrary to what so many of you mistakenly believe, not judgmental. Gay couples live openly and happpily here. I've never met a racist or seen anything racist; indeed, nearly half of the houses on my block here in the affluent side of town are either black or mixed-race families. Kids play in the streets together every day and they can walk to the bus stop without the parents worrying about an Uber driver running them over.
I hope that someone here takes Kaiser/Tulsa up on their offer and reports back. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
It's not fair to apply that stereotype to Tulsa without going there and checking it out, but I think it's a reasonable concern.
Overall Rank Out of 50: #43
Health Care #48
Crime & Corrections #34
Fiscal Stability #22
Quality of Life #17
Of course, getting fresh tax revenue etc may be important towards getting those various things improved, and Tulsa might be significantly better than the rest of the state.
Oklahoma is a bit more balanced on population than Oregon.
I bet your number includes a few people in Washington if it’s the official Portland metro area one.
Edit: Also great public school systems and pretty low cost of living.
If Oklahoma / Tulsa BBQ is in the top-3 that might make up for a few of the deficits.
So if BBQ is your criteria, consider Tennessee?
source: I'm from Kansas City, went to school in Tennessee and Texas, now living in NC.
(not sarcastic, I'm just a clueless foreigner)
A barbecue could refer to an outdoor grill, but I don't think that's too common in the US. More often, it refers to a party held outdoors in which food is grilled, usually burgers and/or hot dogs.
As you’ve implied, if you’re cooking the meat yourself in your backyard then you can do any style you want. I believe “true bbq” can be considered more time consuming than just throwing meat on a grill, and would involve the use of a smoker and perhaps other equipment. It’s not just grilling meat.
Since good barbecue often takes years of experience, 16+ hours to cook, and produces more food than a small family can eat, it's a cuisine that is frequently outsourced to restaurants. So the kind of barbecue which dominates an area really has an impact on the kind of barbecue you can eat in that area, unless you've got years of experience, hours of spare time, and either a big enough family or enough freezer space to cook your own barbecue regularly.
If you're religious, right-wing, and don't care about having outing options, then Oklahoma is the place for you.
California is a lot more Red than you think.. I've seen tons of Confederate flags here (which doesn't even make sense).
I have family members who are openly gay and I know places in Northern California I would _never_ take them.
I also know of areas around the North along the coast where you can end up in a fist fight if you're an outsider especially from the Bay Area. That's less a red vs blue thing and more of a "I don't want outsiders in my town" vibe.
If you go where the tourists aren't going you'll encounter some interesting things.
I'm sure there are places like this in NorCal, as you attest, and I haven't encountered them because I go mostly to the places where tourists go (while I tend to avoid the most popular tourist destinations in the state, my travels have still been for camping purposes, which means the places I go to are not strangers to outsiders).
But the mere fact that I can live and travel in the state without encountering this kind of stuff is precisely the point. In Oklahoma, there is prejudice anywhere you go, even the towns and cities.
(In fact, the main group of people in Oklahoma whom I remember being inclusive towards me were actually rural / very-small-town farmers)
I'm curious if others in the tech crowd are considering the same. If you are please post your story. It would be encouraging to see other interested this offer. Heck we could be neighbors.
Let's assume this experiment works, and they draw 200 high-wage tech and creative class workers to the area. Over time, a community forms, startups are launched, and investments are drawn to the area. Quality of life improves, and it draws more of these workers and there's a sort of multiplier effect that transforms the area.
IMO Dallas and/or Austin would be a no-brainer but the cost of living has shot up dramatically in the past few years. But in the end, I guess you get what you pay for.
I liked Oklahoma when I went through there. I spent a few years kind of wishing I could live in Oklahoma. I am a homebody who spends a lot of time online. I need a few decent places to eat and shop, but I can kind of make my own fun.
I mostly don't understand complaints that a city is "boring." I mean, if it has 500 people, okay, I can see that. I need a certain amount of city fabric. But I don't really get it when that gets said about big cities. Tulsa is 400k people.
Related to this, I wonder what the born&raised locals would think of this incentive. (gentrification?)
No it didn't.
In a property tax state, my taxes are entirely dependent on the property market, regardless of how much or little I make. When there is a budget shortfall the bureaucrats juice the millage rate. Property re-assessments go up, rarely down. And if you owned property for a long while you pay less in taxes than someone younger and on a lower salary.
What a complete and utter lie. What hole are you pulling these "facts" from?
> And if you owned property for a long while you pay less in taxes than someone younger and on a lower salary.
You mean, someone retired and unemployed vs. someone at the peak of their career?
Man...you are projecting so hard, it's palpable.
Don't accuse others of lying when even a modicum of good faith points to them simply holding opinions different from yours.
In this case, they are also right. At least under the assumption of taxation linear to property value.
Thats because richer people tend to spend less (as a %) of their income on housing. I hope that's intuitively obvious: making minimum wage, you're likely to spend 40% or 50% of income on rent. At the other extreme, the Bill Gates of the world spend about a Pentium III rounding error of their income.
It's the same with every other consumption taxes. Often, the first $100,000 in value or so are free. That helps a little, but only for the balance between the poor and the middle class. It's almost impossible to adequately tax the super-rich within this framework.
Drive around on some Houston roads sometime... One time my bumper got popped off by a pothole.
Some place to retire I guess.
Better to work in Vancouver without a state income tax and then shop in Portland without a sales tax.
The area around Lake Chelan is nice but it get super hot in summer. Not Arizona or NM hot, but nearly.
But even north of I90 (eg grand coulee) is scrubby. It isn’t bland, I meant that this was the area’s best appeal.
I can see this remaining a quiet movement. If it's successful I can see states competing for people the same way they compete for tourism (or on the last page of the travel brochure: "You came, you saw. Want $10,000 and are willing to relocate? Call XXX")
I would appreciate it if both things become a trend.
Actually the only ad they really have is a "now leasing" sign with a phone number near the entrance.
What I see is ... a whole lot of drinking-related activities. "Experience" Oktoberfest, "Toast" at lots of bars, "Hang Out" at lots of other bars, "Brew" more beer. I wonder if this is more a reflection of what's in Tulsa, or who their target audience is.
One thing to note, the state income tax rate in Tulsa is 4.44%, so if your business makes $100,000 a year in profit, expect to pay around $4,500 in state taxes. I live in the great state of Tennessee with zero state income tax, and I'd much rather be in Nashville than Tulsa.
The downside is five snowy days per year and eleven above 100 Fahrenheit, and occasional cases of scary spinning sky triangles. This rules it out for me.
Even if it wasn't, people tend to overestimate crime.
I've been thinking of a hybrid remote work environment where we just have lots of remote workers that live near each other and can co-work say 2-3x per week - meetup for coffee or have mini hackathons say 1-2x per quarter.
If the housing assistance wasn’t tied to a specific apartment complex I’d seriously consider it though.
Just relocated back to my home state of California and my wife and I are already planning to leave when the lease is up.
At least it's an interesting coincidence to me. Not that I ever watch TV or anything.
What are the thresholds in the US before people start saying something's a city?
I think this is a really smart move, but not enough. Most remote employees, well, the ones they want to attract, make good money. 10k frankly isn't much, especially to uproot and move. Tulsa isn't really near anything, nor does it have a fallback job market. Speaking for myself, maybe 30k or a free small house could convince me, not 10k and a possibly discounted apartment...
No you have to move at the very least.
Glad to see this initiative by Tulsa.
Tulsa's initiative here is really, really good. It doesn't matter if you want to live in Tulsa, specifically (fine! don't move!), and it doesn't matter if the incentive is high enough to make it Worth It to You Personally.
What matters is that somebody has figured out that the dynamics of the Amazon HQ2 bidding war (roundly critiqued elsewhere, but I'll leave that for another thread) apply to individual remote workers as well --- in other words, potentially to basically everyone reading HN.
Quit whining, and start celebrating. Get this in front of your own city. Show them that there's an opportunity. It has never been a better time to be in software.
Now I'm trying to find a reason why subsidising young, educated, upper-middle class professionals is morally defensible, considering there are still millions of children in the US alone growing up in poverty and chronic food insecurity.
I understand the cash flow may end up net positive for Tulsa when/if people end up staying. But that's not guaranteed. In fact, this is a self-selected group of people defined by exactly their willingness to move when there are opportunities elsewhere.
And there's the risk that it just sets of a competitive race-to-the-bottom. I guess we'd all like our taxes to be cut in half. But US tax rates are already extremely low.
The sort of targeted tax break for a very specific slice of the population also feels...icky? It's no longer progressive taxation with everyone contributing according to their means. It's "I'm young, single, and work with buzzwords. Therefore I don't pay taxes." (10 years later: "I have children and my wife is sick. They know I can't leave and my tax rate quintupled".
Edit: just noticed it's privately financed, undercutting the meat of my complaints. But only until some other city uses public money to keep up.
Whether they succeed or not, it's impressive they came up with this rather than throwing tax cuts to corporations.
I think you would be doing yourself a huge favor to block social media and news sites on your browser and focus on what you can improve in your own life and in your neighborhood.
The United States is a democracy, and the Constitution was framed with the expectation that citizens have the right and even the duty to be both locally and federally involved.
If someone's mental health is at risk, I'm right there with you - throw out Twitter and see a doctor. But being angry at the federal government is just about as American as a cheeseburger, and it's not useless. Demonstrations work, anger works. If for no other reason than so kids 20 years from now don't ask "and everyone was just ok with that?"
I appreciate you're trying to help people but I disagree with your prescription. It whiffs of "your actions don't matter, peasant."
People don't react well to outsiders coming to their home and telling them how they should live. Just ask all of the states receiving large numbers of California refugees.
As a city dweller though, I think my city(not Tulsa, no worries) doesn't need more single 20-something Internet-or-other remote working desk jockeys. My city needs mothers with young children to use its parks and waiters to staff its restaurants. Also artists to give people better things to do with their leisure time than "hang out at bars". Initiatives like this essentially show our cities have stopped being about local culture, community, and people from different origins choosing to share a way of life and are now just places where people who live in the Internet can look for sex partners and pizza delivery. It's incredibly sad.
No silver lining in Tulsa.
I can cite many anecdotes of folks who have tried living in different environments and fled due to (lack of) diversity and the political culture. These pitches and comparative analyses should give it due consideration.
The opposite is far more common. White Flight is not just the name of my Bee Gees cover band.
In 1921, a white mob killed hundreds, and white police officers flew planes firebombing 35 blocks, in the first use of air bombing in anger on American soil.
Part of me is happy to see that they're so desperate for business that they're pulling this.
> We created Tulsa Remote to enhance Tulsa's talented and successful workforce community by bringing like-minded, bright and driven individuals to the city for community building, collaboration and networking.
George Kaiser is a billionaire that lives in Tulsa and San Francisco. I have lived and worked in both of those cities myself. I have a much better quality of life in Tulsa. The prospects of owning a home and being able to raise a family in San Francisco are frighteningly hard compared to Tulsa.
Because short of that, 100 years is roughly two or three generations, and that’s a short time to change the cultural composition of a town’s wealthy layer.
It's in my opinion one of the very few example of a recovery after such events.
I came across the "Black wall street" event of Tusla a while ago, and in comparison I don't get the impression that anything was really done to in reparation or even to change the course of things, almost the opposite.
To not be too personal about how shitty I feel it is, from the wikipedia:
> In the end, no one was convicted of charges for the deaths, injuries or property damage.
> A group of influential white developers persuaded the city to pass a fire ordinance that would have prohibited many blacks from rebuilding in Greenwood.
> No prosecution took place of any whites for actions committed during the riot. The city settled into an uneasy peace, and decades of virtual silence about the events began. It was not recognized in the Tulsa Tribune feature of "Fifteen Years Ago Today" or "Twenty-five Years Ago Today".
To address the "people living today are innocent" part, it's not a matter of being part of the crime or not, but wether the Tusla culture is tainted by its past or not. And to have a culture change, there needs to be recognition, reflection and rejection of past issues, with a strong will to compensate and overcome. Is there any of that?
From the outside, I'd wager Oklahoma wouldn't still have an active branch of the KKK if there was such a dramatic shift.
Meanwhile, I was called a n lover as a child in South Carolina because I had black friends. This is early 2000s, mind you.
Judging an entire population on the sins of their father is just another form of baseless prejudice, like racism, so I don't support it. But deep red America is full of racists. You shouldn't judge a person until you meet them, but there's a reason I left the deep South for San Francisco. I was just tired of the fucking racism, man.
To the topic at hand - an influx of tech workers is probably awesome for changing the cultural zeitgeist of a place like Tulsa, and given that it's a major metropolitan area it probably is far removed from the culture of the 20s, or the surrounding rural areas. But it ain't San Francisco. It's an entirely fair concern, to have to deal with racists there.
Why would you move from one place to another place to be a remote worker for a third place? This would make more sense if there were businesses in Tulsa which needed more workers.
Tulsa has made an offer, that you aren't interested does not mean Tulsa is desperate.
- most places who beg for workers of any kind are really boring
- I don't ever want to live somewhere where I'd feel like I'd have a really hard time finding a new job if my current job fell through
- since I'm remote, and travel a lot, access to nonstop flights to almost anywhere is a massive convenience
These kind of programs can probably be a great deal for a very narrow slice of remote workers, the freelancers who are at a stage in their life where a big house and yard and easy access to Costco is more important than arts and culture and nightlife and being able to pick from 2 nonstops to LA or London every hour. And thats OK.
The only catch is probably whether the cities who are offering incentives to family-minded remote workers who don't care about the big city amenities can offer school districts and parks and stuff like that which is important to that audience... "Tulsa" doesn't exactly have a brand that makes me think of it as a place to raise a well-rounded child with diverse educational and extracurricular opportunities, but that could very well just be a branding problem.
Diplomatic. But you know the answer.
In terms of big-city amenities, arts, culture, nightlife, etc. it definitely beats the South SF Bay area on all fronts except cheap, delicious Asian restaurants. But it can't compete with LA, SF proper, DC...
You can also expose your children to experiences like having horses, which is harder in cities, but contributes to well-roundedness in a variety of ways. You can even go to the museum in the morning and go ride horses in the afternoon because getting from A to B is easy.
That being said, it is a pretty conservative place, and it's a long way from anywhere that's not (outside of college towns), and it's a long way from anywhere that looks different except the Ozarks. You'd probably be fine as a non-surfing liberal atheist except dating could really suck. Life could also be pretty hard for various ethnicities and other sorts of minorities, but less so than most other places within a thousand miles.
In my experience with many of these places though, a lot of the problems are with the mindset, both of the city itself and of individuals who kind of fall in line.
You can move to a big coastal city and feel the energy of the place--movers moving, shakers shaking--and it's kind of true but it can be very hard to tap into that energy unless you're already connected and have a fair amount of disposable income. If you want to do things, make things, start a business, paint, build boats, join a band, or whatever, it's a lot easier to do in a place where you can afford a garage and not live 40 min outside the city, and where you aren't slammed just trying to pay $3000/month in rent.
If you want to be an active participant in arts, music, crafts, etc. it is generally easier to do in a place like Tulsa or Salt Lake City. You'll have more time and perhaps more income, and networking is pretty easy when the networks are small. You may or may not outgrow the scene eventually. The downside is that people spend a lot of time bitching about how nothing is going on in their small scene or small city and how it'd be so much better to be in a big city with the famous people in their field, and this can be demoralizing to the more sensitive or inexperienced.
However if you want to be a passive participant, a spectator, then it's probably better to be in a city where you can go from gallery to gallery and drink wine and gossip, or if you have the cash on hand to see the luminaries in your musical genre of choice play every Friday night.