I'd like to invite you to ponder this guest contributor article. John has followed our Twitter for some time and offers some good food for thought, even when we don't agree. His thoughts here really resonate with my desire to see us, as a society, place less emphasis on money and things. He was gracious enough to share his thoughts with us on the blog. - Sam
John Ballard, Guest Contributor
This Axios link is a hand-wringing response to the reluctance of people to pursue "better jobs" by relocating from poor areas to more prosperous environments. Presumably more prosperity for some means more prosperity for all.
Economic opportunity isn't enough to get people moving anymore. And less mobility could mean the wealthy areas of the U.S. continue to accumulate wealth, while the poorer areas will remain poor because people are less likely to move for better jobs and companies are less likely to move for cheaper labor. (emphasis added.)
Three years ago, I thought it would be a low point and I thought we would turn the corner," Yun said. We haven't — and it's clear that we don't know all the reasons yet.
The economy is booming, but Americans still aren't moving.
Think about it. When your only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail. For economic analysts the only measure of assets is finance. However, other variables such as family, friends, customs, history, faith and ethnicity figure in any decision to relocate from one place to another. Non-financial factors are also part of that decision.
The most compelling drivers are
Money is an inescapable part of the decision, but what is the price of leaving family members needing personal care, transportation to medical appointments and just occasional contact with others? How much is it worth for children to escape bullying, discrimination or unsafe trips to and from school? When a baby comes, how will daycare (or staying home) affect the family lifestyle?
The list is endless, but the greater point is Jefferson's point that "mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by altering the forms to which they are accustomed." The decision to relocate to a more prosperous place is literally a revolutionary idea.
Migration within the borders of any country is interesting but not revolutionary. Populations all over the world are essentially the same. Most people want to stay where they are born and reared, even in places others consider dreadful environments -- temperature/climate extremes of arctic or tropical places, promises of mass disaster (volcanoes, floods, earthquakes or "tornado alleys"), areas long dominated by corruption or political conditions too powerful to resist.
Reading this link I am reminded, once again, of the false promises of money and financial security. Part of happiness is knowing when enough is better than more.
John Ballard was born and raised in The South . He’s a veteran, a retired cafeteria manager and non-medical caregiver, and a blogger. He’s a self-identified ‘old fashioned liberal’ but he has offered this piece for publication as common ground to stir some thought and conversation across the political spectrum. This article also appears at his blog, Hootsbuddy’s New Place John resides in Canton.
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Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire