Sunday, January 27, 2013

Have College Degree, Will Travel

If you're hoping for something positive when New York Times columnist David Brooks references Flint, you're bound to be disappointed:
The highly educated cluster around a few small nodes. Decade after decade, smart and educated people flock away from Merced, Calif., Yuma, Ariz., Flint, Mich., and Vineland, N.J. In those places, less than 15 percent of the residents have college degrees. They flock to Washington, Boston, San Jose, Raleigh-Durham and San Francisco. In those places, nearly 50 percent of the residents have college degrees.


  1. The 'librul, 'loony,' 'leftist,' websites I frequent refer to Brooks as 'Bobo.' I'd venture a guess that he's never been within miles of any of the places he mentioned. He's a privileged, legacy, wingnut, authority-worshipping, cocktail-weenie-eating, 'Beltway' pundit and nothing more.

  2. Has he ever heard that doctors and lawyers actually practice in those cities, and many returned to and stayed in their hometowns, including Flint? Sure, they might live in Fenton and Grand Blanc, but they're still around. Maybe he doesn't regard people who aren't journalists and politicians to be "elite" enough.

  3. The following link shows the average IQ range of various occupations. Although IQ has fallen out of favor for predicting life success, as a Flint native and continuing nearby Michigan resident, I am personally offended that Mr. Brooks thinks that all the "smart" people all leave Flint and the state.

    The 10th, 25th, 50th (median), 75th, and 90th percentiles are shown for each occupation.

    No offense to Gordon (well I guess college professor saves him), but I don't see "Journalist" or "Politician" listed. Maybe I missed it. But perhaps the omission is by design. As stated above, plenty of doctors and lawyers, as well as engineers and other occupations requiring superior intelligence and education, still practice in Flint and other formerly hard industrial areas of the state.

  4. Wow, I love ya Gordie but you printed a couple lines out of an otherwise pretty decent article and it was jumped on by a couple of people who couldn't think of anything to do but be defensive and start calling the guy names. If you actually read the article it says that Republicans aren't promoting any policies themselves that may help to correct the problem. Granted there are good things about living in places like Flint and Detroit that we've all listed over the years on Flint Expats but there are also many many things to work on. Years of financial mismanagement, the highest crime rates in history, high school graduation rates that are abysmal, the loss of nearly half our population. It sounds like he got a lot of the article correct and you guys just want to bury your heads in the sand and talk about anything but the truth.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at