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Opinion Forgotten America's Ailing Areas Can Still Be Saved

20:01  12 january  2018
20:01  12 january  2018 Source:   bloomberg.com

America's forgotten towns: Can they be saved or should people just leave?

  America's forgotten towns: Can they be saved or should people just leave? Conventional wisdom says people in dying towns should move. But Trump and Nobel prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz have different ideas.Traditional economics says people living in these struggling towns should just move. Many of the United States' urban centers (and surrounding suburbs) are booming. If jobs are plentiful in Denver (unemployment rate: 2.6 percent) and Salt Lake City (unemployment rate: 2.8 percent), then Economics 101 suggests it's time for a big migration west from the Rust Belt to the Boom Belt.

Still , looking at the patterns of growth and decline can help, because it suggests ideas for what -- if anything -- governments can do to fight the trend of But Partridge and Tsvetkova uncovered one more key factor -- economic dynamism and flexibility. Areas with a mix of industries that feature faster

Still , looking at the patterns of growth and decline can help, because it suggests ideas for what -- if anything -- governments can do to fight the trend of But Partridge and Tsvetkova uncovered one more key factor -- economic dynamism and flexibility. Areas with a mix of industries that feature faster

Pedestrians walk past a shuttered storefront in downtown Johnstown, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Friday, April 15, 2016. An economic wave that washed away the steel industry, and with it a way of life has created a blacklash in the maple-studded hills of southwestern Pennsylvania. Captured in interviews and confirmed in statewide polls, the sentiment is propelling Donald Trump toward the Republican nomination, and possibly even the presidency of the world's biggest economy.: 1515705269_GettyImages-522828880 © Bloomberg via Getty Images/Bloomberg 1515705269_GettyImages-522828880

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

It’s no secret that some parts of the U.S. have been lagging behind others economically. In the past, that wasn't the case. From 1840 through 1963, as economists Robert Barro and Xavier Sala-i-Martin found, poor states tended to catch up with richer ones, vindicating the predictions of economists. From 1963 through 1988, the economists found, the pattern weakened, but there was still some convergence going on.

Is this Switzerland's Schindler?

  Is this Switzerland's Schindler? A Swiss diplomat has been credited with leading the largest civilian rescue operation of World War Two. But instead of being applauded for saving thousands of Jewish lives, he was reprimanded and - until recently - largely forgotten, as the BBC's Imogen Foulkes reports.In a suburb of Switzerland's capital, Berne, there is a quiet street called Carl Lutz Weg.

But the reality is Americans have become homebodies. People in the United States are moving at about half the rate that they did in the 1970 s and It' s expensive and risky to leave a place your family has been living in for generations, and there' s no guarantee the job you move for will still exist in a

The website The Forgotten America is dedicated to all of the abandoned, decayed, and forgotten buildings, houses and landmarks throughout the country. It includes photographs, stories and history behind all of the forgotten , demolished, destroyed

But according to a new study by Ohio State’s Mark Partridge and Alexandra Tsvetkova presented at the American Economic Association meeting earlier this month, convergence actually stopped and went into reverse sometime between the 1970s and the 1990s. The disparities in state income levels are now substantially wider than they were four decades ago, while the differences between counties have increased by a modest amount.

Economic divergence presents a big problem for policy makers, who have to decide how much to bolster struggling places versus how much to help people move to places with faster growth. That in turn creates a coordination problem, since policy often gets made at the state and local level.

Why are some regions now pulling away from others? This is a question that can’t be answered with certainty -- researchers can identify the factors that are correlated with better regional performance, but correlation doesn’t equal causation. Still, looking at the patterns of growth and decline can help, because it suggests ideas for what -- if anything -- governments can do to fight the trend of growing regional inequality.

Southern California braces for heavy rainstorm Monday, threatening burn areas with runoff

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He' s 82 and he still has a little shrapnel in his jaw from a mortar shell that nearly killed him in the Korean War 60 years ago. "We heard it whistling, but I was the third one in line running toward the bunker," he recalls. Wounds to his face, arm and hip laid him up in a Tokyo hospital for quite a while.

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Why is this happening? Partridge and Tsvetkova tackle the question, but they’re not the first to do so. In a landmark 2012 book, “The New Geography of Jobs,” economist Enrico Moretti argued that cities with high levels of human capital -- education and job skills -- were pulling ahead economically and socially by drawing in the knowledge-based industries on which the U.S. economy increasingly depends. Meanwhile, Moretti said, places that depended on old-line manufacturing or agriculture were lagging.

Partridge and Tsvetkova don’t share Moretti’s glum conclusion about manufacturing. They find that regions whose economies traditionally revolved more around making stuff are now likely to have lower poverty rates and faster income growth than places where services, mining or agriculture were stronger. Even labor-intensive manufacturing, devastated as it was during the past 20 years by competition from China, isn’t a locus of poverty today. But the Ohio State team does agree with Moretti that being home to fast-growing industries -- which generally means knowledge-intensive or innovative activity -- is strongly correlated with economic success.

Evacuations ordered below Santa Barbara burn zones as area braces for rainstorm

  Evacuations ordered below Santa Barbara burn zones as area braces for rainstorm Ahead of a strong winter storm that could trigger flash flooding and mudslides, authorities have ordered evacuations of Santa Barbara County neighborhoods that sit below areas recently burned by wildfires. Residents who live in the following areas were told to evacuate by noon Monday: north of Highway 192, east of Cold Springs Road, and west of Highway 150/the county line, as well as along Tecolote Canyon, Eagle Canyon, Dos Pueblos Canyon, Gato Canyon and in the Whittier fire burn areas near Goleta.

The Real Forgotten Americans . Dirt streets still make up parts of East Biloxi on Jan. 2, 2016 in Biloxi, Mississippi. But the truth is this: These white working-class voters have never been forgotten , while those who truly are forgotten still don’t have a voice.

American expat Cyrus Kirkpatrick discusses the politically incorrect but woefully accurate reasons one should leave America behind and go abroad. All that being said, as a world traveler I find there are many reasons to leave America and become an expat due to cultural issues. I will list them here.

The authors did find that education levels are important, as did Moretti. But they also found that social capital -- the strength of a community, as measured by how likely people are to participate in local community associations -- is a big predictor of economic health.

But Partridge and Tsvetkova uncovered one more key factor -- economic dynamism and flexibility. Areas with a mix of industries that feature faster transitions between jobs, occupations and sectors have tended to perform better than others, especially in the years since the Great Recession. Partridge and Tsvetkova hypothesize that places with more flexible economies, where workers and companies can more easily adapt to the fast-changing needs of the global economy -- as the authors put it, to “rewire” the local economy -- have a leg up on regions where adjustment is sluggish.

This suggests that state and local policy makers shouldn't just try to attract the industries of the future, but should try to create an economy that lets workers move between jobs more easily. In addition to having a diverse mix of industries, this implies that local job-switching assistance programs would be a good idea. Quality transit systems, infrastructure and dense development probably also make it easier to switch jobs, since it means that workers don’t have to move when their workplace changes. Universities are a big plus for flexibility, since cross-licensed research and spinoff companies can help a city’s economy hop on the next hot industrial trend. And legal shenanigans like noncompete agreements, which keep employees chained to their jobs, should be severely limited or banned.

Fox host on Trump ‘s---hole’ remark: This is how ‘the forgotten men and women’ talk

  Fox host on Trump ‘s---hole’ remark: This is how ‘the forgotten men and women’ talk Fox News host Jesse Watters defended President Trump's reported remark calling Haiti and some African nations "shithole" countries on Thursday, arguing that the "forgotten men and women" who make up the president's base would approve of the remark.On Fox News's "The Five," Watters fought back against criticism from Democrats and some Republicans over Trump's remark, which some have deemed racist and offensive to immigrants from those na tions."This is how the forgotten men and women of America talk at the bar," Watters told his co-hosts.

Of the the forgotten breakfast, he said that "we might still be able to pick up information about what you ate from brain activity, though you can't access it consciously." But at the weak end of the gradient, where the students' conscious recall had faded to zero, the signal was still there.

Those are measures that struggling places can take to make up lost ground. But inevitably, not all places will succeed. At the federal and state levels, governments can take measures to help workers move from place to place -- providing mobility vouchers, for instance. Those vouchers could be used by workers laid off in recessions, by residents of declining towns, or by people trapped in poor neighborhoods to move to places with better economic opportunity.

Interregional mobility policies will inevitably drain some places of people, while benefiting others. There’s a natural tension between helping struggling places and helping people move out of struggling places. If local, state and national governments could coordinate their efforts, it might be possible to find a better balance between the two -- for instance, towns could apply for federal or state mobility vouchers if and when urban renewal efforts fail.

The hard reality of economic geography is simply a hurdle that the U.S. now has to deal with -- a challenge created by the shifting winds of technology and globalization. But with smart local development policies and more intercity mobility, that challenge can be met and overcome.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Noah Smith is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.

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