12 January 2019

City Folk

Way back in 2014, one of these missives had this to say:
The Great Migrations, from farm to factory, in the 19th and 20th centuries, were based on unskilled labor moving to another unskilled labor.

That was old news, at least to me. What was inferred, naturally, is that same-for-same skill, but higher wage and standard of living, no longer holds. Clearly, the shitkicker states where all those displaced 55 year olds live can't reasonably send those 55 year olds El Norte. Simply obvious.

Well, an MIT economist has closely quantified the problem. Not too surprisingly, here's the lede:
For decades, workers migrated to big cities in America that promised abundant jobs and decent wages — in clerical offices in New York, at shipbuilding yards in Oakland, on auto assembly lines around Detroit.

Big, dense cities offered not just better pay for lower-skilled workers; cities offered them better kinds of jobs.

But, naturally
Workers, whether with a college degree or not, could long count on earning more in denser urban areas than in rural ones. Today, that pattern holds for highly educated workers — and has in fact grown much stronger. For workers without any college education, the added wage benefits of dense cities have mostly disappeared in Mr. Autor's data.

Neither the reporters nor the MIT economist offer a solution. I suppose to do so would get them labeled "God Damned Socialist!!", but the simple fact remains, it's either that or let the uneducated, unskilled, Trumpistas starve. The low skill service sector jobs in cities just aren't the step up for today's shitkickers the way factory work was for Okies and other displaced, or ambitious, farmhands in the early 20th century. It helps to keep one's eyes open. A great, beautiful wall won't help, either.

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