The Trump Problem (the real one)

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Chad
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The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Chad » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:24 pm

This is a good article highlighting the divide between Trump supporters and everyone else. This is definitely what is happening in my hometown.

https://medium.com/@Chris_arnade/divide ... .klrv48b78

So, how do we fix this legitimate problem?

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Ego
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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Ego » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:54 pm

Interesting article. Back-row towns changed right under the residents noses and they played along by shopping at Walmart and Home Depot. Now they want the 5-and-dime and Mr. Smith's hardware store back. They want to go back to the way it was....before. Won't happen.

We Americans, both front and back row dwellers, are incapable of wrapping our minds around the fact that some problems are unsolvable. We think there must be a solution, we just need to find it. Well, there is no large-scale solution for this problem. It is only going to get worse. Sad but true.

The only micro-solution is for individual adaptation. Adaptation requires a willingness to change. Unwillingness to change is the thing that kept them in their home town in the first place.

If you want to get to the front row, you've got to stand up and move. The front row will not come to you.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by BRUTE » Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:31 pm

Ego wrote:are incapable of wrapping our minds around the fact that some problems are unsolvable
+1

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by ffj » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:19 pm

We can start by dispensing with the dumb labels for one. And stop trying to psychoanalyze what motivates a Trump supporter because at the heart of it is a patronizing view that we need to fix them. Remember, Trump is a bad man, the article states, and he is trying to scapegoat entire segments of our population. But this article isn't. :roll:

Sorry for the rant but these types of articles accomplish nothing.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Dragline » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:39 pm

Good article. But fix? There is no fix that does not involve the oldest of American fixes that was guaranteed by a unification of states and the Constitution. You can MOVE.

You may think I am being facetious, harsh or even cruel, but the article correctly identifies that the winners and losers of this Fourth Turning have already been defined, like Fourth Turnings past. I do not think they are dumb, but merely find themselves on the wrong side of the history that Lincoln reminded us "we cannot escape". The same thing happened during the Civil War, although thankfully its much less bloody today. But the people on the losing side who did the best were the ones that picked up and moved somewhere else and started over. The ones who didn't really never recovered.

This time is not different. These communities will not recover and will continue to depopulate and become more impoverished without massive government intervention, which they are sworn against publicly, although accept privately and individually. Except that the losers won't realize for another six to eight years in my estimate that the die has been cast and the war is over. Some never will accept it and will be bitter to the end.

This will get uglier and may involve additional incidents of domestic terrorism

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by workathome » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:40 pm

Almost as bad as those Brexiters. Very deplorable. How dare they oppose globalism.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Dragline » Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:08 pm

Do you mean globalism or capitalism? They are the same thing in this context. These people require massive government intervention to sustain their way of life, and mere protectionism is not going to fix their problems, because protectionism only protects jobs that already exist -- it does not create new ones.

So should we give them handouts so they can keep on keeping on? I would actually be very sympathetic to that, but have trouble helping people who refuse to admit that the reason they need help is because they cannot compete in a 21st century economy, but instead claim that "other poor people" are causing their problems and they can't move because their family always lived there and that's some kind of "tradition" I am supposed to respect.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Sclass » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:46 pm

Ego wrote: The only micro-solution is for individual adaptation. Adaptation requires a willingness to change. Unwillingness to change is the thing that kept them in their home town in the first place.

If you want to get to the front row, you've got to stand up and move.
Dang Ego, you had me pretty bummed out before you said this. So true. Adapt.

I am so sick of the decades long Bill Moyers series about the people in the Midwest who lost there manufacturing jobs at GE and Briggs and Stratton and wallowed around in their self pity about being booted from the middle class. They keep tracking down the same family and ask "where are they now?"

http://billmoyers.com/episode/surviving ... n-economy/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/ ... -families/

Adapt. But perhaps that's difficult for those in the back row.

Edit - aww man I just watched the last video in that series. That was sad. Those people have issues. Maybe they cannot adapt. But maybe they should accept then that they can be booted in and out of the middle class. I guess it bothers me because I saw little things wrong here and there...so they're poor, but they have better furniture than me. They also had newer cars. They ate a lot of meat for poor folks. There were little inefficiencies I saw. It wasn't very ERE. While I felt bad watching part of me had to dig deep for the sympathy.

I tried to think of all the ways I'd invent my way out of that mess. All of them required capital. It was impossible for them to hold on to anything. They steadfastly held on to their middle class lifestyles (homes) even when they had cashflow issues.

Hence unwillingness to adapt. It's pretty dark thinking of what happens to organisms that don't adapt. I took a great anthropology class about that. I don't think Trump can help.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by BRUTE » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:32 am

Dragline wrote:protectionism only protects jobs that already exist -- it does not create new ones.
this sounds good, but brute thinks it's wrong. if trump built a literal wall around the country and raised tariffs on everything by 1000%, surely that would make local workers more competitive and create jobs for them at the cost of everyone else?

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:14 am

Makes for a nice narrative that is easy to digest on a modern attention span. It's just an extension of Democrat attempts to shame anyone who doesn't support them. They've been painted as uneducated, racist, xenophobes, nazis, etc., so might as well just bundle it all under the poor hopeless loser label. My hometown is the definition of one of those communities that has been a loser over the last 40 years. Yet I am sure that once again they will support the democrat as they have going back to Kennedy with Reagan being the only exception. The city where I live now, coincidentally about the same size as my hometown, has been one of the clear winners over the last 40 years. I'm sure Trump will win here by a solid margin (though I also expect Johnson will make a respectable showing all things considered).

I guess it is a matter of which scapegoats one wants to choose: the wealthy, Wall Street/corporations, and the Russians; or low paid non-American workers, terrorists, and professional politicians.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by ducknalddon » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:25 am

BRUTE wrote:
Dragline wrote:protectionism only protects jobs that already exist -- it does not create new ones.
this sounds good, but brute thinks it's wrong. if trump built a literal wall around the country and raised tariffs on everything by 1000%, surely that would make local workers more competitive and create jobs for them at the cost of everyone else?
Other countries would reciprocate, they would introduce their own tariffs, the net result is we would all be worse off.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by ducknalddon » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:26 am

Even if you could bring all the manufacturing back to the US you would only get a fraction of the jobs, this is what modern manufacturing looks like.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:03 am

I think this debate is reflective of just how much our culture has become locked into the salaryman perspective. Therefore, the only possible solution to living in a place where there are no jobs is to move. As if jobs are like buffalo that have moved to greener pastures. Also assumed it that the only path to a job is through the educational system which favors front row students who are some combination of intelligent and docile. The perspective that everybody likely to vote for Trump is a back-row student is very informed by NYT/academia elitism. It does not account for my 76 year old friend who grew up on a hard-scrabble farm with 12 siblings and is now worth something like 50 million and was recently spotted reading "Les Miserables." (Amusing to me note would be that my Trump-voting friends describe and/or justify my stance as being "like a Canadian" or "like a Native American.") In a way, the current debate could be seen as a conflict between those who are under-educated relative to their IQ vs. those who are over-educated relative to their IQ. Since humans who are badly behaved are the most likely to be expelled from the academic system, and boys are far more likely to be badly behaved than girls, and IQ is well-correlated with productivity, but only IQ combined with docility is well-correlated with productivity under direction of other...

Anyways, I'm likely not doing a very good job of explaining, but this is the line of thought I've been developing ever since I had a lightbulb moment when my son jokingly mentioned Ted Nugent as a possible running mate for Trump. You guys all might want to start watching your back. First they came for the urban black man. Then they came for the rural roughneck cowboys. Then they came for ...?

Along these lines, one thing I noted was that the only thing both candidates seemed to agree on was some plan to expand subsidies for child care expenses. Follow the money. Down goes the patriarchy.

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Chad
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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Chad » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:33 am

This was disappointing. Most of the responses weren't exactly constructive. Others were unhappy people are trying to figure out why this is happening. Hardly, a negative to search for truth or the "why" of it.

Yes, they definitely need to move, adapt, etc. But, how do we get them too? Because, if we don't, then they will be a problem, which, as Dragline noted, could include domestic terrorism.

You could give everyone a guaranteed basic income, but for many of these people they would view that as welfare and still be unhappy.

Another option is to make their lives more miserable to force them to move/adapt faster. Of course, that's not a great idea.

We could also provide "carrots" to encourage them to change, but I'm doubtful that works either.

I asked this because there doesn't seem to be a great answer and was hoping someone else had come across something.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:34 am

The point I was trying to make is that what the article asserts may be *a* problem in some places, but it's not *the* problem everywhere. I think if you want large numbers of people to be satisfied with the established political parties (their dissatisfaction propelled candidates like Trump and Sanders, and on the surface the "problem" in the article is supporting Trump) then the political parties have to change and with them the government. That will involve breaking up the almost mob-like construction inside the beltway. Perhaps somehow separating the flow of money from it's protection under the umbrella of free speech and imposing term limits on Congress and maybe even SCOTUS would be a start.

In terms of some folks being left behind while others prosper, I don't think there's an easy fix for that. Certainly not one that is universal. It's harsh, but people need to know they own their own personal decisions. I think that in our efforts to understand causes and create the most level playing field we can we've erred in encouraging too many people to believe too much of what happens to them is due to the faults of someone else, leaving them too inclined to look to the gov't (as opposed to the mirror) for opportunity. Capitalism does not guarantee outcomes, and some people are better at it than others.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by ffj » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:25 am

@Chad
I think it would be helpful if you would define the questions you would like a discussion on, as the article makes a lot of assumptions.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:01 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:In a way, the current debate could be seen as a conflict between those who are under-educated relative to their IQ vs. those who are over-educated relative to their IQ. Since humans who are badly behaved are the most likely to be expelled from the academic system, and boys are far more likely to be badly behaved than girls, and IQ is well-correlated with productivity, but only IQ combined with docility is well-correlated with productivity under direction of other..

and

Down goes the patriarchy.
This is good. Really good. I'm stealing it. :D

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by jennypenny » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:07 am

I'm not sure there's an answer to the problem of economic dislocation. Individually, there are things people can do. The structural problem isn't as easy to solve. We can say people should move, but to where? There are 10 'regular' people for every 1 manufacturing job left in this country. That won't be solved by bringing jobs back because (1) automation is taking over manufacturing no matter where it's located, and (2) in the US, we are not healthy enough for the rigors of factory work anymore. There has been an increase in service industry jobs. Unfortunately, they don't pay as much and are also being automated at an alarming rate.

One possible solution is to limit the workforce. We could fund social security and force people to retire at 62. We could limit work hours so everyone has part-time employment. We could offer tax breaks for married people if only one spouse works. We could raise the minimum age for employment to 18 or even 21. A limited workforce would drive up wages. It would drive up prices, too, but probably no more than a UBI or massive welfare.

The education system needs to change so we can revert back to an apprentice/self-employment model instead of an industrial model. I can't see that happening and it would take a generation to take hold anyway. I suppose large-scale public works projects are also a possibility since our infrastructure is failing and needs to be rebuilt, but resource depletion would eventually stall those projects. Otherwise, the only answer I see is a UBI or targeted welfare programs. Maybe welfare programs could be structured to pay people for positive behavior, like losing weight or community service, or we could increase SSI payments for people who maintain health or fitness standards, surrender drivers licenses, or volunteer in hospitals or schools. I'm just thinking out loud, but if we're going to have to increase welfare in size and scope then I'd like to see it used to offset other costs or risks.

----------

Personally, I don't get the stereotype in the article because I don't view those 'Trump supporters' any differently than the urban poor who tend to support Clinton. They are just more recently disenfranchised compared to the urban poor who got hosed during the last turning. Isn't Trump's shtick the same kind of angry rhetoric that came out of the cities in the 1960s? No one asks why the urban poor don't just move or get a better education (maybe they did in the 60s?). I don't think it's a question of race either (or not entirely) because there are white urban poor as well as black rural poor who've been left behind.

More men than jobs -- particularly more single men -- always spells trouble.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by C40 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:08 pm

With more and more automation - of both manufacturing and service jobs, we are moving to the next level of capitalism - where more and more can be solved with capital, and thus the jobs/tasks/problems that require employees are shrinking. To "win", you either need the capital, or you need special skills to solve problems/to do things that can't be done with capitol investment.

If we keep going to next levels of capitalism, is there anything that the masses can do to "win" besides changing the rules away from capitalism?

Individuals can do the following:
- Build up capital themselves
- Build special skills that capitalists still pay for
(Or, I suppose, more specific individual solutions involving creative small business and marketing)

But the masses can't all do these, can they?

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by jacob » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:24 pm

This isn't really a Trump problem. It's a systemic problem that goes back three decades or so. It's not just the US either, it's most of the OECD countries although the US tends to be the basket-case here.

Trump has just been exceptionally good at capitalizing on it thanks to his reality TV skills and experience. He's an expert on this. Note how well he did in the primaries and with his base. It is, however, similar to when Hillary talks about "good paying jobs" (not sure whether she means good paying-jobs or good-paying jobs, it's really a toss wrt this problem anyway, neither are viable in a form that's digestible by those who need them).--Both wings are pandering and taking political advantage of a systemic problem. Obviously, Hillary is not nearly as good at that by a long shot wrt this issue.

This isn't a stupid or a not-stupid issue---stupidity is another dimension entirely; I'll get to that. Thinking of it in evolutionary terms, it's more of a dinosaurs and mammals problem. Specifically, there's a widening gap between "professionals" and "not-professionals". The last few decades have vastly benefitted professionals. Now professionals have certain values. First and foremost, they're rather mercenary. What mostly matters is career opportunity. They're willing to move away and stay away if it means personal gain. Professionals have agency. It used to be that people would automagically become professionals by "going to college". That's not really the case anymore. The college-credential has been diluted. People don't increase their IQ by spending 3 years in college. College mostly provides a different perspective on the world. Expecting anyone who goes to go pro is asking too much.


At heart, it's, therefore, a redistribution problem.

There are a few ways to redistribute:
1) Welfare - Politically unacceptable in the US. Those who need it are too proud to accept it.
2) Good paying jobs - Economically impossible in the US. Those who need it aren't going to become professionals and these are the only good paying jobs left.
3) Moving back in with family or having 3+ room-mates- We're seeing this more and more.
4) Disability payments - And so, here we are.

Those four are essentially "career" issues as in "how does one make money".

Now to deal with "stupid"... this being essentially a consumer issue or a "how does one spend money"-issue.

This is where many, especially from an ERE perspective, look at the dinosaurs and see way too many stupid decisions that lead to wasting money and should be "easily fixable if only..." And one can add the Dunning-Kruger challenge on top ... because those who need an intervention the most are incapable of realizing it, because, hey, they managed to buy an SUV on credit and they're eating steaks for dinner while you're riding a bicycle and eating rice and beans. Incidentally, waste happens in the professional class as well. People making $250k are perfectly capable of blowing money. IQ and rationality or wisdom doesn't necessarily go together and if it wasn't for those six-figs, the stupid of some high-earners would be quite visible too.

How to fix it?

Nationally? I don't know ... I don't think this is a problem that can be solved with policy. It's conceivable that policy can nudge the problem towards a solution but it's really a cultural problem (which is why this hits harder in the US than in e.g. Sweden) and even then it's really a technological question as the technology is moving too fast for most people to keep up.

Locally? That's another matter entirely. The answer is one person at a time ... and very slowly ... and only when people are ready for it. Individuals don't tend to be able to perceive a solution until circumstances are such that they're ready and capable of seeing it. People need to hit rock-bottom, have an epiphany, or hear the solution from a specific person at a specific time. Then maybe, yes, they can move figuratively or literally. I see examples of this in my circle, but it has taken many years [of self-inflicted damage and counterproductivity] to get to that point.

I think what one can do is mostly make it [subtly] known to one's circle than one does indeed hold the keys to such a solution. Then wait around for 5-20 years.

If nothing else, this problem is auto-correcting if you wait long enough (1-2 generations). Either it will fade or there will be a revolution. It is just the way of things.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Chad » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:38 pm

Trump has just been exceptionally good at capitalizing on it
Yeah, that's why I qualified the title with (the real one). Trump's candidacy was created by this problem. He definitively didn't create it. It existed before him and will exist after. It is extremely difficult to solve, as you noted. The difficulty is why I asked. I can usually theorize some type of solution or at least find a somewhat realistic solution someone else is proposing. In this case, the cupboard is basically bare.

Waiting for a revolution doesn't seem the best idea, but as I noted I can't find a better one right now.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:03 pm

I just listened to this short 9min podcast from Scientific American about the Nobel winner for autophagy.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/podc ... autophagy/

The process is a healthy one and I believe is a good metaphor for what needs to happen to Trump supporters. So maybe no solution is the solution. Let nature run its course.

I've also been watching the news about Haitians stuck in Tijuana, trying to get across the border to the U.S. A few got in on emergency refugee visas. Refugees like them are generally taken to the inland part of the county, an area that is also the local stronghold for Trumpers who, in turn, seem to be struggling to gather enough savings to relocate to their own promise land (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas) . Their contrasting attitudes toward their living situations must be interesting.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Dragline » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:22 pm

Be careful you do not lump "Trump supporters" in this manner, as most people who support Trump simply do so because they dislike Clinton. Her supporters are the same. See http://www.people-press.org/2016/09/21/ ... and-trump/

What I think we are really talking about is people who essentially live in the past or suffer from some version of what I like to call the "Golden Era" fallacy. P. Zimbardo's "Time Paradox" book and related research on this are highly relevant.

In the modern context, this includes virtually every kind of population you can think of that attaches an inordinate value to the speck of land they are living on or town they grew up in -- whatever keeps them rooted. This includes some of the Trump supporters, some Native Americans, some urban populations and many impoverished communities in just about any country you can think of. IMO, this is why immigrants or migrants in any society are generally more successful on average than the natives -- they don't suffer from this kind of limiting nostalgia that has them looking backwards for answers or looking for scapegoats to blame, instead of looking forward or to their own capabilities or opportunities.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:13 am

Dragline wrote:Be careful you do not lump "Trump supporters" in this manner, as most people who support Trump simply do so because they dislike Clinton. Her supporters are the same. See http://www.people-press.org/2016/09/21/ ... and-trump/

What I think we are really talking about is people who essentially live in the past or suffer from some version of what I like to call the "Golden Era" fallacy. P. Zimbardo's "Time Paradox" book and related research on this are highly relevant.
I would tend to agree, and note that both candidates have a sizeable core that exist to varying degrees in that category. It's just that the prevailing narrative bolstered by the corporate media conglomerates is that Trump's are the "deplorables" and Clinton's are the unfortunate and innocent victims of the evil enemies of Progressive-ism. Maybe what's different this time is the explicit playing of this "card" by the republican candidate at a moment the constituent audience is exceptionally primed for it.

I thought of myself in this context and I appear to have a foot in both worlds. On the one hand I've moved three times to keep my "career" up. On the other, except for a short time in the Boston area, I've stayed in each place as long as I could and further, my ER plan is to return "home" (both to my literal home town half the year, and for the other half to my figurative home in the Northwoods where part of my heart has resided since the first moment I visited it). I seem to be pretty good at turning either/ors into both/ands when it suits me. I do know that one thing that holds some people back from being itinerant career mercenaries isn't so much a patch of ground or nostalgia, it's ongoing bonds with family and friends. That was the case with my sister for whom jetting across country to pursue a better paycheck was not sustainable. Ultimately it is those bonds that are pulling me back. I suppose deep inside I've always viewed where I live for the sake of work a temporary arrangement, myself a visitor in the communities I've lived, and expected some day to return, even before it became the official plan.

Maybe it's a conflict between the nomadic and tribal facets of our past. The former kept us moving to find adequate sustenance, but the latter meant that for the majority, virtually everyone you knew moved with you, so your social structure remained intact even though geography changed. Probably hints at why immigrants tend to settle first with others of their own culture and often a goal is to be leading the way for families to follow.

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Re: The Trump Problem (the real one)

Post by Dragline » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:53 am

This study is from 2008 but I believe is still accurate (article is first link, study itself is second):

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2008/12/ ... eres-home/

http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-conten ... -29-08.pdf

What's startling about it to me is that over half of Americans have only lived in one state and about 37% never even left their hometowns. Yet, this is something we celebrate culturally and get all romantic about in any number of popular tunes and memes. It's really a terrible thing -- we should be celebrating and romanticizing people that get off their butts and "Go West" -- or at least go somewhere.

From the study on page 6, the people who have the highest incidence of staying put are (1) male; (2) white; (3) have a high school education or less; (4) are not the poorest, but have median family incomes in the $50-75K range; (5) live in the Midwest; and (6) live in rural areas. What would you guess the correlation between these metrics and current voting preferences is?

"Rural residents are the most rooted Americans. Only a third
of the people living in U.S. urban neighborhoods and
suburbs say they have spent their entire lives in the same
place. That compares with 48% of Americans living in rural
areas.

The sharpest difference between movers and stayers is in
their level of education. Americans who relocate are far
more likely to hold college degrees. Three-quarters of
college graduates (77%) have moved at least once,
compared with just over half (56%) of Americans with a
high school education or less. This likely reflects the greater
demand for college graduates in the national job market,
coupled with relatively few job opportunities for college
graduates in some hometowns, especially those in rural
areas."

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