March 16, 2017

"The sociological role we play is to suck talent out of small towns and redistribute it to big cities."

Said the college professor, quoted in the NYT op-ed "Why I’m Moving Home." The op-ed is by J.D. Vance (author of "Hillbilly Elegy").
For two years, I’d lived in Silicon Valley, surrounded by other highly educated transplants with seemingly perfect lives. It’s jarring to live in a world where every person feels his life will only get better when you came from a world where many rightfully believe that things have become worse. And I’ve suspected that this optimism blinds many in Silicon Valley to the real struggles in other parts of the country. So I decided to move home, to Ohio....

17 comments:

Steve said...

Let's think about illegal immigration the same way.

M Jordan said...

Vance is returning to his home state of Ohio but to Columbus, not Middleton. Big difference. Columbus is university-ville. Plenty of nice restaurants, hipster culture there even if it be in Trump-friendly Ohio. I guess his is a half-step back home.

I'm not sure how to fix the Middletons or the Lowertons. My old hometown ooh southern Michigan now has houses for sale for $20,000 ... and those are the nice ones. I could never move back ... but Ann Arbor? Maybe.

tcrosse said...

It's good to remember where you came from. It's also good to remember why you left.

John Borell said...

Living in Ohio (Toledo), let me say, M Jordan is spot on. Columbus is not really Rust Belt. So careful patting yourself on the back.

AReasonableMan said...

Vance is trying to set himself up for a political career so it is a career driven decision to move to Ohio.

AllenS said...

Wouldn't this be similar to -- if you were from Wisconsin, and decided to move back... to Madison?

Virgil Hilts said...

Good for him. Though I think what's happened in parts of Ohio and the upper "midwest"* has less to do with brain drain than the inevitable loss of some types of manufacturing to cheaper foreign supplies. I grew up in Lincoln NE and despite the brain drain (which I am part of) both Lincoln and NE are doing pretty well and are run far much better than the cities and states run by the so-called educated elites. I would rather move back to Lincoln than live in San Francisco, NYC, Chicago or L.A. I am pretty sure if we took the leaders of those cities and put them in charge of Nebraska, they would ruin it.

Michael K said...

It's hard to believe that Janet Napolitano was governor of Arizona. The state is slowly recovering.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I'm from the same area in Ohio as Vance. Giant, abandoned auto assembly plants and huge empty fields where the NCR plants used to be are the reason that people aren't doing well there, not a brain drain. Though I don't agree that de-industrialization was inevitable.

These buildings no longer exist.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=YI1awDXz&id=F2DBB744E8369C99E9EA1AB8243CE370F8D5F157&q=ncr+dayton+picture&simid=608030245089710014&selectedIndex=4&ajaxhist=0

By the way, those building existed right next to the University of Dayton.

Auto Assembly Plant.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=KdR4idQE&id=B7C909181FB391FCE0A21B35A7A3A30414A05E29&q=auto+assembly+plant+dayton+ohio&simid=608008692937458727&selectedIndex=10&ajaxhist=0

Ron Winkleheimer said...

In fact, near the fields where NCR used to be located, just off the UofD campus, there has been a lot of development in the last few years. Upscale eateries (often chain like Panera) that cater to the University's students and staff. Few of the local people from adjoining neighborhoods patronize them however, they can't afford to.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

If they ventured over towards the abandoned auto plant, university affiliated individuals would find a locally owned and operated diner, but I doubt that they would wish to since the menu consists of items such as chicken fried chicken and biscuits with milk gravy. The green beans are definitely not farm fresh. I suspect that they may be canned and I would not recommend them.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

In addition to providing gainful employment, the NCR corporation operated what amounted to a country club for its employees. Here is a picture of the pool.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=X8XpLoB1&id=F6B173EE400C9683A6D9D0226FA292AF8982177B&q=dayton+ohio+ncr&simid=607995962672742475&selectedIndex=24&ajaxhist=0

AReasonableMan said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...
In addition to providing gainful employment, the NCR corporation operated what amounted to a country club for its employees.


The decline of these companies is a national tragedy.

Yancey Ward said...

Since when is Columbus, Ohio small town America? It has a population of almost 900,000 people. Hell, it isn't even Cincinnati small.

Luke Lea said...

Cincinnati is a nice town. Beautiful site, reasonable real estate, compact, and with a 16 block area that looks much like midtown Manhattan (complete with Jewish food!). It was once a cultural mecca.

Yancey Ward said...

Seriously, this would be like someone writing about the difficult decision to move to Palo Alto from San Francisco. I would take his article more seriously if he had chosen to live in fucking Cleveland rather than Columbus.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Schitt's Creek contains within itslef all the wisdom here, and more.

I never like Levy, but he was in a bunch of stuff I have seen. Now I like this. What gives?

What gives what gives what gives???