Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tell Us Something We Don't Already Know

Ryan Avent of The Economist writes:
"Cities that had relatively skilled populations in 1980 have become more skilled and more productive, and have generally featured fast-rising wages and housing costs. Places that were relatively less skilled, by contrast, have stayed that way and have mostly experienced a growing wage and productivity gap with the high flyers."


  1. While this article comments on recent trends, Flint experienced a variation on this them earlier in its history. Fur trading led to lumbering, which led to carriage making, which led to auto manufacturing, with wealth and prosperity increasing with each transformation.

  2. This was being taught in Universities 40 years ago. It's become a self fulfilling prophecy. But knowledge and teaching are now some of the most vulnerable to outsourcing. It just hasn't happened-yet. Much knowledge and course work can be delivered by the Internet, with many fewer workers. With University costs skyrocketing at a rate far above inflation, how long do you think parents will keep shelling out money, and students keep working to pay for college degrees that don't get them jobs? How many will keep mortgaging their future with 6 digit student loans?

    Think about the things that can't be easily outsourced overseas or to the Internet. Garbage collection (now made green and sexy by calling it "recycling"), construction, home repair (renovation, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, etc.), auto repair, home delivery, food preparation, and others are examples.

    1. Just reading about Gov. Jerry Brown in California promoting online courses for credit in the UC system.

    2. Hey Aspen, take that non de plume over to Flint Township Expatriates, dis is Flint, son.

    3. Any street nom de plume within 1320 feet of the city limits is now an honorary Flintoid, or Flintstone, or Flintite. It all began with Mitson Maxson anyway, and that is outside also. If you don't recall, Mitson Maxson is the poster who told us of all the lurid salacious goings on in the DeWaters Art Center kiln. I thought I was reading "50 Shades Of Grey".

    4. There are no real absolutes with the blog, but there is a reason it's not called Grand Blanc Expatriates, or Flushing Expatriates. I'm a Flint kid. I'd get lost trying to find my way to Fenton or Davison.


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