Some of my Facebook friends are bicoastal sanctimony city-dwellers who work in venture capital (is that actually work when they underperform the S&P 500, on average?). One of them recently explained what’s going on inside her head:
I struggle with caring about [the vast swath of middle America that’s suffering].
Do we owe people good jobs in their hometowns? I’m not so sure. I think we probably owe people jobs, but it’s a bridge too far to owe them jobs they can get with no education in their hometowns, only because of the historical coincidence that their fathers had them. The jobs are there: you just have to learn programming (which you can do free, online) or do shitty low-paying work, and you may have to move. But no one really gets the job they want where they want. I don’t have it.
And all my sympathies are with immigrants. I see them as the best people, the least entitled people. It is hard to move. But they move for the jobs. They move to countries their family doesn’t live in, where they sometimes don’t speak the language, with little money, and they work hard. (This is much harder than the move from West Virginia to Brooklyn.) They often sacrifice their lives so that the lives of their offspring can be better, and they often accomplish this. I wish middle America had more of this gumption, which is deeply American.
So in the end I believe in open borders, the economic value of living closely with others, and that sentimental ideas about our hometowns belong in Faulkner novels, not our economic policies.
One thing I found interesting is the description of the struggling fly-over Deplorables as having “no education”. (Can’t fly over Midwestern Deplorables on Virgin America anymore. Who says that the elite are not suffering too?) They spent 13 years in what is pretty much the world’s most expensive K-12 system. How did they come out with “no education”?