Monday, April 17, 2017

Why Americans have stopped moving

Americans are stuck. Locked into our jobs, rooted where we live, frozen at our income levels. More than at any previous point in our history, we’ve stopped moving — whether moving up the income ladder or packing up a truck and finding another home. We’ve grown ossified, rigid.

The flip side is that we’re stable. If we weren’t so content, we’d be more willing to gamble, to shake things up, to start a new firm or join one. Maybe we’re fine where we are. But maybe this period of stasis cannot last. Maybe it even portends a period of massive disruption.

In “The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream,” economist Tyler Cowen presents an X-ray of societal sclerosis. This isn’t merely another exercise in nostalgia, a sentimental yearning for a bygone era (when, for instance, crime and pollution were higher, people were highly likely to marry someone who lived within five blocks and you would buy an album containing 10 lousy songs because you liked one track). Something has changed in the American character and in the American economy, and the two seem to be reinforcing each other.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe because the American Dream has been destroyed

Steve said...

Yeah, "content!" Like gagged, blindfolded with hands and feet tied up makes you "content" to stay where you are.

I get it....NOT!

Who the heck comes with this crap?

Anonymous said...

Maybe because all politicians at all levels are bought and paid for

Anonymous said...

Poor people are stuck where they are. People with money are moving out of high tax states at record numbers. Do some research instead of believing everything you read.

Anonymous said...

2 reasons I can't move. I wouldn't be able to find a comparable home to the one I have for the money I'd get from selling my home. And I wouldn't be able to sell it! If I could, I'd be on my way to Delaware as we speak.