If competition is too hot in the city, take your skills to a grateful market in the country.
It seems like a historical constant, the educated and "privledged" (holders of monopolistic patents, charters and licenses) have historically abused their specialized knowledge to further self-interest and personal agendas. Attorneys have typically - but not always - been the holders of these special priveledges.
Rural North Carolina is a living example. There are few highly educated people here. Public dialogue on civic issues is muted. Communities see high utility and transaction costs, while property taxes are nearly non-existent. Corruption is rampant and accepted.
Think of it this way - most of the public schools are quite poor - much lower in quality than in the Midwest or New England (even holding income constant). Education dollars are spent support higher education for the children fortunate enough to experience a good secondary education - but few people will find that education in poor rural areas.
Various specialized tax breaks and country club privledges really do separate the haves from the have nots.
It's amazing how classist rural society truely is. And the difference boils down to a lack of education more than anything else (more than money). Actually there is one thing that supports the difference - a lack of concern - a lack of desire to improve the education system. Frankly, this mystifies me.
What does this mean for the investor and family finances? If you choose to do so, and you have specialized knowledge, you can make a killing down South. Think of it this way - how many CPAs, attorneys, physicians, chiropracters, electricians, plumbers, hvac engineers - any kind of craftsman - how many are there in the rural south - the answer is never enough. I pay big city rates for these rural practicitioners who live on rural costs (cheap). They do very well.
As North Carolina becomes increasingly more populous and inundated by educated outsiders - mostly retirees and business people from the North, there will be increasing pressure to eliminate the corruption and special priveledges of the educated elite. Many of those retirees will also be looking for more sophisticated professional service providers - now your market has doubled!
You will have to put up with the corruption and lifestyle, but if it works for you, you'll have the opportunity of a lifetime.