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Heather Long, Washington Post, January 2, 2018: America's forgotten towns: Can they be saved or should people just leave?
This WP article by Heather Long caught my eye because we have extensively discussed/debated solutions to America's declining small towns in this website. And like our discussions, Long doesn't seem to present easy solutions, but rather addresses some of the ideas being bandied about by politicians and economists.
Long makes one observation that appears to conflict with what I have pushed in the past: the need for migration from declining cities to more prosperous cities. What Long notes is that people are not migrating and the biggest reason, especially for young people, is because of "fear of the unknown". In the America that I grew up in, migration was a fact of life, and we just took it for granted that after leaving school we would be leaving the nest forever as we pursued our job prospects in cities unknown to us. Somewhere along the way that mentality has changed.
Long cites solutions from economists like Joseph Stiglitz who is advocating transforming these towns from manufacturing towns to green or "high tech hoodie". He sounds a little bit like Hillary Clinton. However, the ultimate solution to force people to leave, she says, may lie in Trump's policies. "Scaling back welfare, especially Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance and housing subsidies might force people to finally move."
The article is interesting reading. I am no longer offering solutions. People only believe what they want to believe, and hey I just noticed that Trump has had a big jump in his approval rating from the low 30s to 40 percent. There you go.