Americans aren’t quite as mobile as they once were; HWR, August 2

Dept. of TOO (Transportation Oriented Opinions): 

Nick’s is across the street from Los Angeles State Historic Park and both are a short stroll to the Gold Line’s Chinatown Station.

The Maron podcast with Gore is here; something to listen to whilst transiting.

Struggling Americans once sought greener pastures. Now they’re stuck. (Wall Street Journal)

We think a lot about urban mobility in this space. But I like to point out from time to time that mobility is really the story of American, with the Pilgrims climbing ashore at Plymouth Rock and generations to follow moving outward for better and worse.

The WSJ looks at the numbers and discovers that more Americans are staying in place these days. Things are expensive, good jobs can be scarce and it’s harder to pack up and leave.

It’s not just a problem for small towns. It’s a problem for the big towns where housing is too expensive to accommodate newcomers, so suggests the WSJ:

For small towns, mobility has always been something of a problem: When the brightest youngsters leave and don’t return, “brain drain” can be a drag on the community, even if it is a boon for the other cities they settle in. Now, the lack of mobility has become a drag on the entire U.S. economy.

“We’re locking people out from the most productive cities,” says Peter Ganong, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Chicago who studies migration. “This is a force that widens the urban-rural divide.”

Good article that also takes a stab at explaining how lack of mobility is impacting national politics. Also, this thought…there was a time when a lot of rock-n-roll was devoted to songs about getting out of that awful place…

Young Sourceniks who dream of hitting the open road for something better would be advised to also check out these two songs. 

Paris doesn’t need the Olympics (Citylab)

No city actually needs them, of course. Cities want them because of the prestige, good will (economic and otherwise) and the chance to separate a lot of visitors from their money. 🙂

Nonetheless, this piece argues that Paris’s ongoing transit expansion helped it curry favor with the International Olympic Committee (as did our region’s, I would argue). Citylab also suggests that Paris use the Games to help “regenerate” parts of the town that need economic development.

White sharks rebound in California (High Country News)

My close encounter with a shark (LAT)

Sharks are doing well off the California coast, thanks to environmental protections. So are many other species in California these days, even with a growing population of people. Obviously there are many species not faring as well, but let’s remember there are success stories, too.

Things to read whilst transiting: the NYT lists some other movies that have gotten even worse reviews than the Emoji movie.

Related thought: it’s hard to understand why T.J. Miller is leaving the great, great writing and acting on “Silicon Valley” — especially if he’s leaving to make movies like this.

1 reply

  1. Hey, cool – Eric Burdon was in Santa Monica just two weeks ago, performing at one of their Twilight Concerts on the pier. He did We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, among other hits.