Robert J. Samuelson: The stay-put society

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  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 10, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    Jon Huntsman Jr. once remarked -- Utah's #1 export was a college educated workforce.

    Invest in education,
    then allow those with degrees to seek employment in States/Countries with jobs.

    Talk about horrible investment policies.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    May 9, 2014 8:13 p.m.

    I've always wanted to stay rooted as well. Although I know some people enjoy it, I've felt sorry for families that "had" to move. I kept my kids in the same neighborhood all their lives until they grew up and moved away from home, and I feel like it provided them some sense of security and feeling of community. That said, my kids have moved away for job opportunities and I wish them all the best. It would have been fun to have them stay close to home, but I'm glad they are pursuing their dreams and that, because they have great educations, they are able to do so.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    May 9, 2014 1:37 p.m.


    ". . . increase your labor expenses now that sales and incomes have tanked . . ."

    Incomes have tanked, but not profits, and it's only lower- and middle-class incomes that have taken a hit. In case you hadn't noticed, corporations have had many banner years now. In fact, in the middle of the Great Recession, corporations actually had record-breaking profits. They are sitting on lots of cash. In some cases, because interest rates are low and investment opportunities slim, they are paying government to hold their money for them at pretty much 0 percent interest. If they infused that idle cash back into the economy by hiring people, they might see their demand increase. In fact, it undoubtedly would.

    I notice that you don't offer any viable solutions, only more of the same Obama blaming that conservatives have become so adept at. Is that the best you can do?

    So please, enlighten us. Tell us how you would jump start an economy with low demand. Give more money to the "job creators"? They already have plenty of money and aren't creating jobs.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    Something to be said for "staying put" - it allows for stronger extended families, which have been a casualty in past expansions. Family and the market are in conflict.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    "It may reflect a world motivated more by fear than by hope." This is true for domestic labor. The now famous 1% (thank you Occupy Wall Street for informing the general public about them) have decided their already soaring profits are not high enough. Hence, the exploitation of cheap foreign labor and abandonment of domestic labor. They have decided to gut pensions, and have done so at a "success" rate of nearly 100%. They want to eliminate social security and medicare. In sum, they want domestic labor destitute so as to maximize their political leverage. Fear? You bet we're scared. Fear is the dominant emotion of the American rank and file. I feel such deep in my gut.

    The socialist parties of the United States must retool and offer alternatives - soon.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 9, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    LDS Liberal,
    I wouldn't be so smug and confident if I were you... a lot of ACA problems and the messiest parts to implement were pushed out till AFTER Obama is out of office.

    Whoever takes over after him (even she who shall not be named)... will have a lot of cleaning up to do on ACA fallout. Everybody admits that. It needs to be fixed (not replaced).

    She will also be in office during that 10 year period Obama and progressive have mentioned... where it will take 10 years for America to get so miserable with the hybrid system, and get so frustrated the majority begs for Single-Payer, and even the next step... Nationalized Healthcare (So she will have to deal with that required malaise period AND push an agenda some Americans still won't want). Not fun...

    She will also initially have to deal with those who want to totally replace ACA... (and it's hero will no longer be there to defend it, and many Democrats are already running away from it). So there's going to be some cleanup... whoever it is.

    I just hope they don't pout and blame their hole administration...

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 8, 2014 3:29 p.m.

    @2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT
    I hope the NEXT President of the United States (whoever it is)... doesn't spend the first 6 years he/she's in office complaining that she's having to fix everything the last President did... And won't tolerate ANY input or advice from the other Party about how to clean up what she refers to as "their mess"...


    Oh, don't worry about that 2 bits - SHE won't need to.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 8, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    I hope the NEXT President of the United States (whoever it is)... doesn't spend the first 6 years he/she's in office complaining that she's having to fix everything the last President did... And won't tolerate ANY input or advice from the other Party about how to clean up what she refers to as "their mess"...

    After 8 years of that... I think the American people will be tired of that story and not give her the leeway Obama has had.

    The next President will probably have to accept the situation they have when they take over. Especially if she's from the same party that was in last time...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 8, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    What's WRONG with not moving every few years???

    I think it's GOOD to put down roots in your community and stay there... even for generations if it's working for you and your family!

    We have lived in the same home we moved into when I graduated from College in the early 1980s. What's WRONG with that?

    We live less than 5 miles away from where I grew up. What's WRONG with that?

    It's not because we lack economic opportunity, or that we couldn't move... we WANT to stay where we are. And the main reason is... we like that the people in our neighborhood. We know them and their children, they know who we are... they know and ask about our children whenever we see them (even though our children don't live at home anymore).

    We can afford to move, but I've visited many neighborhoods and almost every State in the United States and haven't found one I would like to move my family to yet.... I see it as a GOOD thing, not a negative.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 8, 2014 12:50 p.m.

    Re: "Seems like the best alternative is for corporations to lead a recovery of the middle class by hiring them and paying them better."

    Yeah, that's a sure formula for long-term success -- increase your labor expenses now that sales and incomes have tanked, and now that the best predictions regarding the future of our Obama-led economy are tepid, at best.

    Liberals are always so full of good ideas -- at least to the extent of bleating out odd, unsupported notions that others are responsible for the havoc they've wrought, along with shrill demands that others should fix it.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 8, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    I have children who have moved for economic opportunity. They are doing well financially. Moving, when their children were pre-school, had little impact on the family, but moving when the children were in middle school and high school had emotional impact on the children. Careful consideration was given to how each child would handle that kind of disruption. "Exploratory" trips were made, with the children, to allow them to visit the schools and church in the new location.

    Corporations are not to blame. Corporations sell a product or a service at a profit. When demand for that product or service is down, that corporation will not hire new people. Expansion comes AFTER demand has increased. People do the same. They conserve their funds when they foresee bleak times. Why would they expect corporations to do the opposite?

    Our shrinking economy reduces the need to relocate. In my case, I can monitor my customers' computers whether I'm on site, in my car or in my home office. Relocation is not necessary.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    May 8, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    Part of the story is that corporations, even though experiencing record profits and sitting on piles of cash, refuse to hire. Why? Because they say there is insufficient demand. Why is there insufficient demand? Because companies are not hiring people or are paying them too little. Quite a vicious circle we're in. How do we break out? Well, the consumers, of themselves, can do little. They do not have the disposable income or the available credit to increase their purchases. They have been squeezed for 30+ years now by supply-side economics. One alternative is for government to spend more. That isn't a good answer either. Seems like the best alternative is for corporations to lead a recovery of the middle class by hiring them and paying them better. They do indeed have the money to do this. It's all a matter of what they value, and it seems they do not value their own long-term viability.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 8, 2014 7:54 a.m.

    In some industries the opportunities lie outside the US.

    I know one IT contract worker who has decided to chase the money, wherever it is, on one or two year contracts, world wide. The money is good enough to support his family, so his wife & kids follow in tow, and they're seeing the world, have lived in 6 different countries... so far.

    Of course, it's tougher to have high quality connections with extended family, and like military families, there's not really any place they call home, but this phenomenon is like the Irish, who have produced multiple waves of export workers.

    With their economy struggling, another wave of Irish youth have left and are primarily seeking opportunities in Australia while the housing boom there plays out. Outbound migration is something the Irish are familiar with and have accepted.

    To a significant extent Americans are faced with a choice of family connections or seeking prosperity... and the temporary opportunities are often not in the United States.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 8, 2014 6:09 a.m.

    MANY Americas would like to get-up-and-go, but Can't.

    For Millions, the very second they put their house up for sale - they'll instantly loose Ten's if not Hundreds of Thousands of $$$.

    And for what?
    A LESSER paying job?

    For 99% for us, our homes were our #1 investment -- and 40% has been wiped out during the Bush Recession.

    Come up people, wake-up.
    This is why the Richer are getting Richer (the 1%), and the Middle and Poor and getting Poorer and Poorer (the 99%) -- Housing was their only investment.