Lion of the Blogosphere

Intranational brain drain

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy writes in a NY Times op-ed:

As one of my college professors recently told me about higher education, “The sociological role we play is to suck talent out of small towns and redistribute it to big cities.” There have always been regional and class inequalities in our society, but the data tells us that we’re living through a unique period of segregation.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 17, 2017 at 6:23 pm

Posted in Education

96 Responses

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  1. Sadly no one cares about this.

    ScarletNumber

    March 17, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    • Would you rather that I write more about Overwatch?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 17, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      • I don’t think that’s what he meant.

        SJ, Esquire

        March 17, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      • I learned from Paul Fussell is that sweet foods are prole

        You know what’s prollier than that?

        Waiting for the soda/pastries etc to go on sale!

        Yes, I do that.

        Rifleman

        March 20, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      • ^I put the comment on the wrong post.

        Rifleman

        March 20, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    • Well, to be precise, those of us who attended upper-level university and then fled for the sticks care. But there aren’t that many of us. A weird transition occurred some time ago, maybe 10 to 15 years ago, where people became became very uncomfortable living in anything other than larger metropolises.

      I believe telecommunications, and the decline of the academic-industrial complex, and perhaps the advent of a basic income guarantee, will help reverse this phenomenon. There are significant numbers of people who would prefer a slow-paced rural lifestyle but move to the city because they’ve been taught that that’s “the thing to do” to get ahead.

      SJ, Esquire

      March 17, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      • I think a piece of evidence for this, for example, are the significant numbers of professionals, like doctors, who do in fact move back to the sticks after finishing training (because unlike many other people looking for university level jobs, they actually can).

        SJ, Esquire

        March 17, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      • “the sticks” that have undeniable physical beauty (jackson hole, sun valley, etc) are very attractive to people to live year round in.

        Simba of the Blogosphere

        March 17, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      • There are no jobs in small towns. I have a somewhat decent job, but if the company I work for were to go out of business, I would have to move away.

        Stealth

        March 17, 2017 at 10:02 pm

  2. Hi Lion, I hope you can give me some advice to my problem.

    I recently started working for a software company that provides custom software to a media company(TV station actually). The software is pretty crap, and I’m constantly getting flack, eye-rolling, and abuse from the users because of this. Their abuse is tinged with their sense of self-importance — they seem to think that because they work in TV they’re value-creation, creative geniuses, and I’m just the incompetent IT moron.

    I enjoy programming, and I think that I’m pretty good at it. But this job is killing me.

    The software that I have written so far has been received well by the users. Maybe I should just keep doing that and making improvements to the existing software?

    anon@gmail.com

    March 17, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    • I guess you should try to find another job, which should be easy enough if you’re just a regular grunt in software.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 17, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    • Get another job. You won’t change your company.

      JW Bell

      March 17, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    • Yes, get another job. This job is detrimental to your health. But keep in mind, another organization might not be any better.

      E. Rekshun

      March 18, 2017 at 5:40 am

    • If he “just recently started” then he has a minimum amount of time he should stay with this thing before switching. I’d say a year.

      Not every part of a job is supposed to be fun. But dealing with difficult customers is a valuable skill you could pick up even if you dont want to continue to interact with them in the future.

      Lion o' the Turambar

      March 18, 2017 at 9:05 am

  3. This is so true. I live in Chicago and there are very few places nearby with any kind of equivalency. There must be 5,000 valedictorians who graduate from high school in the midwest every year. All of them will want to move to Chicago in 5 years. Who wants to try to be the best in Peoria? I know I didn’t.

    What happens in California or the East Coast where there’s lots of nice urban intellectual places to live. Do the kids spread out more?

    I will say that I do know some people willing to move to Milwaukee or Indianapolis but no one is moving back to Beloit or Terre Haute.

    Russ

    March 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    • Smaller towns don’t begin to appeal until you’re older and are looking for an area that’s not quite so “vibrant” and/or has a lower cost of living for what will hopefully be a retirement of a decent length. I was born and raised in LA. moved to the OC suburbs back in the 80s, and now my wife and I are thinking that a smaller town in the Sierra foothills, CA central coast, or maybe a place like Bend, OR would be pretty nice.

      Sgt. Joe Friday

      March 17, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      • Smaller towns do not appeal to any status lusting, liberal center, loyalist, long term. They move from an expensive LC to a lower cost one.

        JS

        March 17, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      • The small towns like Bend and college towns that attract high IQ people are not the ones suffering brain drain however.

        Pop

        March 18, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    • American cities are intellectual centers? C’mon!

      JS

      March 17, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      • For once (or is that twice?) I must agree with JS. American cities aren’t hubs of intellectual greatness.

        I think that Mr. Sailer might have something to contribute here. The so-called elites move to cities because they want to find marriage partners. They stay in the cities because they want their children to find marriage partners. They may not think it explicitly, but it it’s so.

        Anecdotally, I a college classmate of mine went to a small law school in the PacNorthwest, practiced law there for a bit, and then decided to work for the Atty General’s office of a western state that shall be nameless. He’s done damned well, and didn’t drive himself crazy in the process. The man is a total success in the HBD realm of things. He married his college sweetie (who was a babe), had kids, amassed property and a fair amount of personal wealth, and has kept his college body into middle age. No debt, sanity, health….at a certain age these things start to matter.

        If he had done the BigLaw thing, where would he be? Writing a blog, playing video games? Think of it.

        gothamette

        March 18, 2017 at 10:59 am

      • ouch @ gothamette

        unam

        March 18, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      • I think that Mr. Sailer might have something to contribute here. The so-called elites move to cities because they want to find marriage partners. They stay in the cities because they want their children to find marriage partners. They may not think it explicitly, but it it’s so.

        Completely agreed. My wife and I are highly-educated, and as I’ve said ad nauseam, we both wanted to get out of the city for a life of rural tranquility as fast as possible. However, even I, as much as I dislike the concrete jungle, I have to acknowledge that if I were to do it again, I would do essentially what I did the first time: move to a small-to-medium-sized city, screen aggressively for a woman who grew up in the country and is fond of the idea of moving back there, and then get out. I think in our era living in the city is probably an unavoidable interim step for anyone university-educated.

        SJ, Esquire (formerly Samson J).

        March 19, 2017 at 8:08 am

  4. I was aware of this. But I’m glad to see a small post on it. Something to consider is that cities attract talent from smaller towns and rural areas because it pays a lot more. But cities are not as conducive to having large families. So they sort of produce a dysgenic effect.

    destructure

    March 17, 2017 at 8:10 pm

  5. Once everyone is paid to play World of Warcraft, this won’t so much be an issue.

    PerezHBD

    March 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm

  6. Universities want to make students liberal so they can move to liberal high cost of living areas (childless atheists don’t reproduce much so they bid up the price of everything) and then claim their graduates make a lucrative wage premium over flyover proles. The proles, predictably, make more money in real terms and they have bigger families as well. It’s a scam.

    Legitimate highbrows who run the numbers avoid the universities and cities now. Inequality has been redefined so perversely that indebted idiots who live in expensive cities to work pink collar jobs are now the “upper middle class”, while skilled labor dropouts who started investing in a business early in life to live very well are the “working class” at least when that phrase isn’t being used as a euphemism for the underclass.

    The class system is so revolutionary now that it’s practically inverted and no one seems to notice.

    scald85

    March 17, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    • “while skilled labor dropouts who started investing in a business early in life to live very well”

      People successfully investing in business happens, but it is rare. Most non-college people wind up living loser lives.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 17, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      • America has run its course in its entirety, and all for nothing. Your journey from UPenn to a law student and then various non-legal jobs, post law school, amounted to nothing at the end of the day, which is the scenario for most Americans, post-baby boomers. And our elites who govern America have amounted to the same fate of redundancy. The average over worked American doesn’t live any better than an idle Southern European.

        JS

        March 17, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      • So many businesses are just temporary money laundering schemes that their failure rate is grotesquely exaggerated, and so many losers in the first place don’t go to college that it skews the demographics. Statistics are easily manipulated when they aren’t outright invented.

        scald85

        March 17, 2017 at 11:50 pm

      • Most of us live lives of quiet desperation.

        Daniel

        March 18, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      • Respectfully disagree. Non-college with an excellent Union career that supports my family in a middle-class lifestyle on the outskirts of Philly and my neighborhood is still God, Family, Country and Catholic Schools. Almost all men work in either building trade Unions or Police/Fire and very few went to college. 90ish percent white, lots of Veterans and lots of kids who have the option to go to college but would rather be a chip off the old block (myself included). I would say most people here have anything but loser lives.

        Roxborough's Son

        March 18, 2017 at 5:57 pm

  7. I’d be wiling to move to rural america if there were jobs that paid well there. It wasn’t an option for the first 20 years of my career, thanks to student loans. But our youngest will finish high school 5 years from now, and it’ll be an option then. I’d consider it. The one limiting factor is that legal work in the sticks is not very interesting. Personal injury, wills, real estate closings, simple contracts, general criminal defense, child custody disputes, incorporations — that’s pretty much it.

    Although it will seem counter-intuitive to well-educated urbanites, i’ve generally found the quality of LAWYERING to be fairly high in rural areas. The reason for this is simple — rural areas are small, and if a lawyer is incompetent, news travels fast. The rich farmer with 1500 debt-free acres, worth $5000/acre, isn’t going to trust his legal work to a moron. So the lawyers in the sticks are generally very capable. The problem is that they just don’t see much interesting, complicated work. They never get to test their skills to the limit becuase you just don’t

    You can raise a family in an urban area, it’s not that hard. But man, whenever we take a vacation from Los Angeles to Arizona or Utah, I always joke that we are taking a vacation “to America.” The wholesome culture of rural America, and the simple decency of rural Americans, is something that you just don’t find in big cities. We have roots here in LA but my family is from the Midwest and my wife’s parents are both deceased, so moving to a rural area will be an option for us. I’d definitely consider it. Rural America is a really nice place.

    Joe Schmoe

    March 17, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    • Although it will seem counter-intuitive to well-educated urbanites, i’ve generally found the quality of LAWYERING to be fairly high in rural areas.

      This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest; at least, I know my lawyer (and my accountant) are great. Doctors are like this too; oftentimes they’re very good because in small towns they have to DO everything so they get practice.

      SJ, Esquire (formerly Samson J).

      March 19, 2017 at 8:11 am

  8. Not everybody is meant for a small town. People of a certain type dominate small towns, and if you don’t fit in, you’re going to be very lonely.

    Stealth

    March 17, 2017 at 10:11 pm

  9. Yeah those high ivory towers must be thin on oxygen. Where is this guy from? Brain drain to the cities? That was the 1950s man. We have this thing called “commutes” now. All you guys who keep bashing proles ought to realize you city slickers are up to your eyeballs in proles when work lets out. Proletariat by definition means tenants who don’t own real estate. Trump and other Richer Rich, whether Nouveau Riche or married to Old Money can afford stratospheric real estate costs, but those lowly Cubical Rubes have to shell out over a Thousand Clams just for a few pitiful run down rooms in an overpriced project to live within ten miles of a Major Metro Area. Teri Hatcher famously quipped during “Lois and Clark” that everyone knew Clark Kent was Superman cause that suit and glasses didn’t hide his muscles, but the real mystery is how Clark could afford a palatial mid-town apartment on a Reporter’s salary.
    All the upscale workers with the fat salaries are living high in the burbs you outdated sociological pinhead. For the cost of renting a cheap studio near downtown, you can afford a nice McMansion in the Burbs. Telecommuting and computer jobs have made the farther out exoburbs way out in tree lined forest country a possibility for these college degreed six figure boyz and girlz, dude. You’re two or three generations behind the living conditions Today.

    Joshua Sinistar

    March 17, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    • It’s more about following the pussy. The pussy tends to live in trendy neighborhoods.

      Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lapdog

      March 18, 2017 at 9:00 am

    • The rich know Manhattan is the only place in America, worthy of real estate in an urban setting.

      JS

      March 18, 2017 at 10:59 am

      • Even the prole Donald Trump knows that!

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 18, 2017 at 11:47 am

      • The proles who voted for Trump were morons. The only people who voted for him with any ounce of reason, are the types who want to rid America of its undesirables, such as the readers on your blog. But it turns out that Donald isn’t ruthless enough for them. Any emboldened, radical leader would purge our mainstream politicos with a heavy hand, once and for all.

        JS

        March 18, 2017 at 12:27 pm

  10. And white kind of employment are these smart people finding in these urban oasis’s? Wall streeting, media, marketing, “art”, lawyering, “consulting”, internet crap. Useless value transference. Been there. No thanks. I would rather work hard labor in Nebraska than endure the pointless urban existence.

    Daniel

    March 17, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    • Agreed, and most American women are boring/parochial in the age of feminism.

      JS

      March 17, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    • the problem is nebraska women are fat

      gm

      March 18, 2017 at 12:02 am

      • Think of them as pleasantly plump, not fat.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 18, 2017 at 12:35 am

      • Lion is so sweet.

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lapdog

        March 18, 2017 at 9:01 am

      • I’ve never read the book, but there’s a passage from Bill Bryson’s The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America quoted in the Amazon.com review of it that I encountered when browsing a few years ago and has always stuck with me, when contemplating Midwestern women:

        “Iowa women are almost always sensationally overweight—you see them at Merle May Hall in Des Moines on Saturdays, clammy and meaty in their shorts and halter tops, looking a little like elephants dressed in childrens’ clothes, yelling at their kids, calling out names like Dwayne and Shauna. Jack Kerouac, of all people, thought that Iowa women were the prettiest in the country, but I don’t think he ever went to Merle May Hall on a Saturday. I will say this, however—and it’s a strange, strange thing—the teenaged daughters of these fat women are always utterly delectable, as soft and gloriously rounded and naturally fresh-smelling as a basket of fruit. I don’t know what it is that happens to them, but it must be awful to marry one of those nubile cuties knowing that there is a time bomb ticking away in her that will at some unknown date make her bloat out into something huge and grotesque, presumably all of a sudden and without much notice, like a self-inflating raft from which the pin has been yanked.”

        Hermes

        March 18, 2017 at 11:52 am

      • I doubt Bill Bryson would be allowed to get away with writing that today. He’d be charged with sexism and pedophilia (“nubile cuties”? “fresh smelling”?). LOL. He wrote that in the pre-obesity epidemic days. Now the girls are fat.

        Believe it or not the US used to be considered a well-dressed nation. Look at any picture of women in the 50s and you’ll see what I mean. There’s a professor at Notre Dame who is trying to reverse this:

        http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dressing-down-a-culture-for-refusing-to-dress-up/

        gothamette

        March 18, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    • ” I would rather work hard labor in Nebraska than endure the pointless urban existence.”

      Really? What kind of hard labor. Be specific. And what do you actually do?

      gothamette

      March 18, 2017 at 11:04 am

      • Gothamette,
        What percentage of your friends with children have left the City for the suburbs? Also, have any of them moved to lower cost locations in the Midwest or South?

        JerseyGuy

        March 18, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      • 1. That’s a good question. I would say 3/4s have left the city. Those who haven’t came from money & live in Brooklyn or Manhattan. A few have stayed in Queens.

        2. Most of those who left radiated out to Jersey, Rockland County or Long Island. A couple moved out west because that’s where life took them. That’s what happens Jersey Guy: life takes you places, and you go.

        But I don’t think in their cases it was simply a cost consideration. I think they went to grad school somewhere, found jobs somewhere, and that created the decision for them. No one said, “we’re gonna leave here for a lower cost place in the Midwest or the South.”

        gothamette

        March 18, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      • I don’t live in Nebraska right now. I live in Las Vegas Nevada. I 1) fix automobile brakes, 2) refinish stained and smudged concrete driveways and 3) getting ready to start fixing automobile air conditioning systems (taking a course on the subject matter right now).

        I became interested in fixing cars just recently. I’m too old to get hired by a dealership (no point in hiring a 55 year old dude, investing in training and such, when there is a 20 year old who can do the job as well and will be around a long time). I have to focus on things that 1) people need fixed right away. They really can’t wait any longer. 2) I can take all the necessary tools to their home and do the job there. 3) can be done by one man.

        You can put off brakes only so long. When the brakes are metal to metal, they have to be done.

        I am not exaggerating by saying that driving a car in Vegas is sheer torture without air conditioning. The weather accommodates for only 3 months per year. When the AC is not working you will spend your last dollar to get it fixed. It is that bad out here.

        As for the concrete refinishing, every driveway in Vegas is concrete. Every driveway gets fouled by oil drippings and other greasy deposits. These staines can’t be washed off with detergent. They can’t be burnt off. Both of the two just mentioned methods only make the problem worse by smearing and smudging the stain. 25% of the homes in Las Vegas are controlled by homeowner associations. EVERY homeowner association threatens the homeowner with fines if there are stains on the driveway. The harassment is ceaseless and it is fruitless to fight the homeowner association. I can grind off about 2/10 of a millimeter of the surface of the concrete and the driveway looks brand new.

        In New York I spent 20 years as an IT headhunter, and I hated every minute of those 20 years. Sure, I make less money (but maybe not, when you lose your heart for sales your income goes to zero) but the work is more fulfilling, I provide real value and I work when I want. Win. Win. Win.

        Knowing what I do now, I would tell smart, young men and women, get the fuck out of New York. Flee, and don’t look back.

        Daniel

        March 18, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      • @Daniel,

        I loved your comment. It’s the reason I read Lion. (No offense, Lion, but you have the most interesting commenters around, and you keep it clean. Bravo.) I have some questions.

        “) getting ready to start fixing automobile air conditioning systems (taking a course on the subject matter right now).”

        Isn’t everything computerized now? I have a cousin who is a car and gun freak (yes, Jews have them) and he bemoans the loss of the old non-computerized car.

        “(no point in hiring a 55 year old dude, investing in training and such, when there is a 20 year old who can do the job as well and will be around a long time)”

        That’s the excuse capitalists give, and I don’t think it’s borne out by facts. The 20 year old will leave quicker than the 55 year old. Society in general may have an interest in training youth, but the individual businessman doesn’t.

        I think the truth is that a 55 year old doesn’t want to be treated like a 20 year old and he can as you have, perceive niches that aren’t being serviced by the mainstream.

        I’ve been to Vegas & I know what you mean about the heat. I wonder if there isn’t a native building item that might be better than concrete.

        I agree with your basic point about NYC. Unless you are some kind of arts hotshot, it’s really a rat race. And the arts scene is basically garbage for rich patrons. Even the avant garde.

        gothamette

        March 19, 2017 at 11:47 am

      • I knew a Jewish girl in Phoenix who was into guns.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 19, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      • @Daniel: I don’t live in Nebraska right now. I live in Las Vegas Nevada. I 1) fix automobile brakes, 2) refinish stained and smudged concrete driveways and 3) getting ready to start fixing automobile air conditioning systems (taking a course on the subject matter right now).

        Good for you! Thanks for sharing. How many hours per week on average can you work and how much can you gross per hour doing 1, 2, & 3? How do you advertise? Do you have to spend much uncompensated time driving to and giving estimates? Do the tire and “Just Brakes” dealerships cut into your brake business?

        I’m petty handy w/ home improvement and have thought about different services I could do for cash and busy-work, especially after early retirement in a few short years. But I realize that I like working on my own projects on my own time; and sometimes you can get into a project and get way over your head. Plus the driving back and forth to Home Depot for supplies eats into any hourly profit. And a couple of nasty impossible-to-please customers would be unbearable. Also, all the Mexicans and unemployable ex-cons and alcoholics on Craigs List offering handyman services have driven down the rates.

        Yes, regarding driving w/o AC – FL is unbearable w/o AC in the car from April to November. It’s impossible to sell a used car in FL w/o AC. The AC on my ’01 Ford Taurus was no longer blowing cold. The nearby shop added refrigerant and I got another six months of cold air. Finally, I pumped some in myself w/ a $30 “AC Pro” canister and it’s been cold for two years!

        @gothamette: I loved your comment. It’s the reason I read Lion. (No offense, Lion, but you have the most interesting commenters around, and you keep it clean. Bravo.)

        Yes!

        E. Rekshun

        March 19, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      • I knew a Jewish girl in Phoenix who was into guns.

        Maybe she as trying to tell you something!

        Rifleman

        March 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm

  11. People have been moving from rural areas to big cities for the last 100+ years. In the early part of the 20th century it was to get high paying factory jobs. The automation in farming meant that many fewer workers were needed in agriculture.

    Today the best and brightest from across the country are migrating to technology hubs, Silicon Valley, Boston, Triangle park in NC, Dallas, … Wall Street has been a magnet for the best and brightest interested in different kinds of careers.

    Myself, I was born in Michigan. After college I went to California because that was where the jobs were. A year in Pasadena at an institute associated with Cal Tech, three years at a Northern Calif university and then landed in Silicon Valley in 1979, where I have lived ever since.

    In the first half of the 20th century Michigan was a magnet for people from all over the rural Midwest looking for a better life. In the 2nd half of the 20th century manufacturing jobs began to leave Michigan for cheaper locations, like the South, Mexico, Canada, Japan or Korea. Manufacturing jobs were lost to automation too.

    Technology is constantly changing. Industrial leaders rise and then fade away. Ford and GM were leaders in the early 20th century. Google and Apple are the leaders in the early 21st century. The one sure thing is that things will keep changing and the best and brightest will move to where they see the best future for themselves.

    mikeca

    March 17, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    • This is called “riding the income inequality curve.”

      map

      March 18, 2017 at 3:50 am

    • then landed in Silicon Valley in 1979, where I have lived ever since.

      I hope you bought some real estate back then.

      E. Rekshun

      March 18, 2017 at 5:48 am

      • I did, Bought first house in 1980, traded up a couple of times.

        mikeca

        March 18, 2017 at 11:29 am

      • I did, Bought first house in 1980, traded up a couple of times.

        Good move. Then, you’re certainly a millionaire.

        E. Rekshun

        March 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      • Landed in Silicon Valley sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie.

        gothamette

        March 19, 2017 at 11:47 am

    • Mikeca is right. This is nothing new.

      Rome had a million inhabitants at its height. Maybe more. They lived in 6 story buildings, had densely packed neighborhoods, rich and poor.

      Nothing new. But I’m glad Vance got a NY Times Op Ed out of it. He seems to be the liberals pet hillbilly.

      gothamette

      March 18, 2017 at 11:07 am

      • “Nothing new. But I’m glad Vance got a NY Times Op Ed out of it. He seems to be the liberals pet hillbilly.”

        Or like the liberals Jane Goodall.

        Mike Street Station

        March 20, 2017 at 11:21 am

      • LOL. I think Vance is a libertarian, or former libertarian. It’s funny how liberals love liberaltarians, um, libertarians.

        gothamette

        March 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      • “It’s funny how liberals love liberaltarians, um, libertarians.”

        Sure. Libertarians are like the cute little dogs that old women carry around. They’re basically harmless, and although they’ll bark sometimes, they are not taken seriously by other dogs or thought of as real dogs by other people.

        Mike Street Station

        March 20, 2017 at 1:53 pm

  12. SWPL nihilists move to big cities, get huge debt burdens, spend all their money on living the high life, have 0.7 children, and disappear into the cosmic dust.

    They are stupid people.

    jjbees

    March 18, 2017 at 12:54 am

    • Just wait for sennesence tech to really ramp up. Who needs kids when you are immortal!

      Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lapdog

      March 18, 2017 at 9:06 am

      • They are very narcissistic people! The typical response to asking about their “family plan” is “ewww children! I need my career then I plan to maybe have one- I’m freezing my eggs!” I really despise these haters.

        jjbees

        March 18, 2017 at 11:53 am

    • I don’t think it is even SWPLs. There are no blue haired feminists in my urban, while collar office. Many of my co-workers are just educated, suburban kids who moved to the City after college. It’s just really, really expensive to have kids in the City. However, I would agree with you that the entire living arrangement is nihilistic and unsustainable. Many of these urban economies are propped up by educated people delaying child-bearing years and spending money on upscale restaurants instead of children. Read stuff by Joel Kotkin. He’s basically a centrist liberal. However, his critique of modern “urbanism” is spot-on.

      JerseyGuy

      March 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      • I read one book by Kotkin, the Nine Nations of North America – it was OK, but totally outclassed by Colin Woodard’s American Nations. I read his columns occasionally. I have not come across his critique of modern “urbanism” – I guess I should read him more often.

        There is a semi-closeted group of older, mostly Jewish journos and academics, who are broadly centrist liberals, but you can sense their exasperation with the Special Snowflake left, and who are hip to the dysgenic trends of modern capitalism. I wonder what it will take to push them out of the closet entirely and turn them full David Horowitz, LOL.

        Sailer writes about these guys, very sympathetically. He’s a huge fan of Leo Jussim and Jonathan Haidt. That’s why I can’t put Sailer into the alt-right camp. He’s his own camp.

        gothamette

        March 19, 2017 at 11:51 am

  13. I don’t care for living in the city. I would hate living in rural area. For me, its all about the suburbs.

    wt

    March 18, 2017 at 3:37 am

  14. suck talent out of small towns and redistribute it to big cities.”

    Except, they’re not always so talented. During the early to middle part of the last century – the “Great Migration” – several million blacks moved from the American South to northern cities.

    E. Rekshun

    March 18, 2017 at 5:57 am

  15. I’m currently living in flyover after many years in a large coastal city. Like “SJ, Esquire” implies above, there is much less professional competition here. Still, I can’t get used to the prole culture and I don’t have family here, so after a period of accumulation, I can’t wait to move back to a bobo city.

    R P

    March 18, 2017 at 9:04 am

    • Why did you move there, for a job?

      The truth is that people who move to a certain area because they are sick of where they live (the blacks, the hippies, the Jewish feminists wearing “Nasty Woman” buttons and pussy hats*) are few and far between. You’ve got to have a damn good reason to move.

      I do intend eventually to move from NYC but I’d need to move to a place that has latte shops (so I can grouse about them), yoga classes (so I can boycott them), gelato (I eat gelato), and the usually liberal crap. In short, I’ll move to a place a lot like NYC, but less stressful.

      *This is a stereotype I put for effect. Right after the election, I saw a few “Nasty Woman” buttons but….I have not seen ONE middle-aged woman wearing a pussy hat. A few younger women. Not many of those.

      gothamette

      March 19, 2017 at 11:57 am

      • There is no place in the USA that is like NYC. It seems like everyone wants to live in Manhattan, or else a 600 sq ft closet wouldn’t command $2K in monthly rent.

        I found the natives of NYC to be realistic about their town than the transplants who move there, with their sense of entitlement and megalomania.

        JS

        March 19, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      • “or else a 600 sq ft closet wouldn’t command $2K in monthly rent”

        Where in Manhattan can you get 600 square feet for only $2000? I want that bargain!

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 19, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      • Washington Heights and parts of Eastern Harlem. I think apartments located in the heart of Chinatown also command a similar bargain price.

        JS

        March 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      • Why did you move there, for a job?

        Regarding “flyover country” – After grad school in 2000, I left the east coast (Miami and before that Boston) to take an excellent job at nearly $100K in downtown KC, MO. At that time, the cost of living in KC was probably about 25% lower than S. Florida, even more so now. I enjoyed KC and stayed a couple of years, but wanted to get back to the sun and year-round warm weather, and took a significant pay cut to return to FL. The move back to FL (and other factors) has had a negative impact on my wage growth over the past fifteen years, and I’m still making less than I did in KC in 2000. My FL real estate purchases have paid off handsomely though!

        E. Rekshun

        March 19, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      • Yes, for a job – lots more pay, easier work. I’m also a bobo so I too would like to live in a place similar to Manhattan. Maybe an SWPL enclave somewhere warm or near a beach like E. Rekshun.

        R P

        March 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      • That’s what I thought. Rational people – in real life – don’t just tear up roots because of things that annoy or bother them.

        gothamette

        March 19, 2017 at 9:06 pm

  16. I travel a lot, three to five times per year overseas and at least three times domestically. Because I live near Boston, I can do it with direct direct flights or with one connection. I would estimate that there are about 18 airports this good. It would be a pain to do it elsewhere, so I will continue to live here even though my neighbors are, as Nassim Taleb would say, of the “Intellectual yet Idiot” type (Hillary Clinton won 75% of the vote in my town.)

    WRB

    March 18, 2017 at 10:56 am

  17. This is an old story. My cousin from a small southern town got a full ride at MIT and ended up COO of a Fortune 500 company in the 90s and working in Manhattan. He told me there were more guys like him in similar positions than you might imagine.

    Curle

    March 18, 2017 at 11:42 am

  18. Lion,
    Thanks for posting this. I think one reason for this has been the prolonged adolescence of educated Westerners, especially in Blue States. My wife and I currently have one child and are looking to have one or two more over the next few years. Even with both of us making six-figure salaries, living in Blue State America with children is just too expensive. I can’t tell you how many of our friends with children are talking about leaving the Northeast.

    In fact, my wife and I are most likely leaving NJ this year and moving to the Upper Midwest. It will still be in a metro-area (not Chicago) but it is much, much more affordable. We’ve just grown tired of the day to day “Blue State tax” of living here. As so many millennials are finally starting to have kids (after a long delay), I really do think you will see a return of educated people to lower cost locations.

    JerseyGuy

    March 18, 2017 at 12:26 pm

  19. Someone mentioned loneliness. My impression is that most people are lonely, no matter where they live.

    People stare at their phones all day. Before smart phones or the Internet, television had a homogenizing effect on what average people everywhere experienced in their daily lives.

    Technology created shared experiences, but also false feelings of connection. You watched Johnny Carson every night and knew his every quirk, but he didn’t know you existed.

    It’s a lonely world now.

    SQ

    March 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    • You’re not lonely when playing Overwatch if you are lucky enough to get into a match where some people are using the voice chat (and not using it in bad ways). Maybe that’s why it’s so popular.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 18, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    • Only Americans are lonely. And I would assume East Asians with their inherent racial characteristics share a similar predicament, but for different reasons.

      Again, I already mentioned the fact that most American White women are boring prudes, which proves my point.

      JS

      March 18, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      • “most American White women are boring prudes”
        JS, I have seen you time and time again use the word “boring prude” and I am not quite sure you know what the word means. Unless you are telling me that you managed to find truly a series of women who were really prudes.

        white women can be a lot of things but “prudes” most are not. This is not the type of blog nor we are in a company of readers where we are going to be discussing in detail what that means. But from personal experience as well as just common awareness will tell you that american women , especially white american women are by no means “prudes”. now I have been only in Illinois and California, so unless rest of the states are somewhat magically different, your use of that sentence is coming close to announcing “everything in america is prole”. LOL 🙂

        wt

        March 19, 2017 at 12:30 am

      • Asian women are most likely to be prudes, especially Asian women born in Asia.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 19, 2017 at 12:33 am

      • Lion. Can’t comment on asian women from Asia as no experience or point of reference on them. I was pointing out that JS is wrong on white American women.

        Wt

        March 19, 2017 at 1:37 am

      • Prude is basically a French word that describes someone who is a stiff, inflexible, and uninteresting, because they adhere strongly to societal norms, which usually tread on conservatism. This is strongly marked of American women, because American society is more conservative than other industrialized, Western nations.

        JS

        March 19, 2017 at 10:18 am

      • The fact that I’ve seen very few American White women get into the rare book-selling business proves my point, in relation to the number of women from Western Europe, Nordic nations and Scandinavia.

        JS

        March 19, 2017 at 10:23 am

    • Sorry, I don’t buy it. It’s called social media for a reason. It’s never been easier to have a conversation with someone, anyone, at any moment of the day or night than now.

      FreddyG

      March 19, 2017 at 10:03 am

  20. America is different from many other countries because it is so big meaning that the sticks are far from the city.

    In England things are different. While top graduates tend to shift to London when the graduate after a few years very large numbers of them leave to live small villages or towns 1-2 hours away from London by train (which covers most of South East England). They get the best of both worlds – to live in a rural area but be close to the action if and when they want it.

    MarkyMark

    March 18, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    • Thank you for this comment; it supports what I had said above.

      England is different in many ways, some of them being that they do rural land management better than we do, and have an efficient train system. The first time that I ever visited England, backpacking in my 20s, I… wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but essentially I expected it to be PACKED. It’s a tiny country with twice the population of Canada, how could it be anything other than packed with wall-to-wall concrete and people? So, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that all you have to do is get on the train and it’ll take you through vast panoramas of rural idyll reminiscent of anything from Tolkien or C.S. Lewis – and they aren’t even that far from the city!

      SJ, Esquire (formerly Samson J).

      March 19, 2017 at 8:14 am

      • People have a very warped understanding of how many humans there are on this planet. You could literally fill every human on earth on an aircraft carrier.

        FreddyG

        March 19, 2017 at 10:05 am

      • The NYC Metropolitan area is one of the most crowded, but if you drive to the Catskills in an hour and a half and be in beautiful rural country.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 19, 2017 at 11:22 am

      • You could literally fill every human on earth on an aircraft carrier.

        What? No way, really? You sure you don’t mean “every human in NYC” or something?

        but if you drive to the Catskills in an hour and a half and be in beautiful rural country.

        Is it affordable though?

        SJ, Esquire (formerly Samson J).

        March 19, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      • No way can one aircraft carrier hold billions of people.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm


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