Last week, concluding a post on Obama’s transformational presidency I countered a Joel Kotkin suggestion with one of my own. Kotkin opined that America’s millennials would rebel against the rule of big government and the sore-loser environmentalism and produce a political transformation. One might add that they will at some point rebel against the tyranny of political correctness.
One might say, in Kotkin’s defense, that those who support Donald Trump are rebelling against what America has become.
In my post, I added that if America becomes too much like a French-style socialist state, if it stifles competition and makes it more difficult for young people to establish careers, then young Americans might start doing what bright young Frenchmen and women do: leave the country in search of better opportunity elsewhere.
Apparently, I managed to sniff out a trend. Now we have statistics demonstrating that I was on to something. The Street reports:
Is America still the land of opportunity? An increasing number of people think the answer to that question might be no… and they're ready to pack up and go.
According to data gathered by TransferWise, a global money transfer company, about a third of Americans say they would leave the U.S. to seek economic opportunity abroad. This snappily named “Anchor Index” found that the issue breaks down along unsurprising demographic lines. Most Millennials said that they would be perfectly happy to leave in search of “a better quality of life” elsewhere.
It’s surprising, especially for a nation that has prided itself as the destination for immigrants across the world. From calling for “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” to today’s debate about walling off Mexico, Americans have always been sure of one thing: everyone wants to get here. Now, it seems, quite a few of us are ready to leave. By the numbers:
- 35% of Americans would consider leaving to live elsewhere
- 55% of Millennials would do so
- 14% would be willing to drop everything and go in the next five years
- 58% of Americans say that they’re mainly staying just for family or romantic ties
Surely, it matters that so many young Americans do not feel very attached to home and hearth. In part, it’s the communications revolution, but surely there is more to it.
Apparently, the search for social justice, directed by the big government party, has stifled opportunity and convinced young people that they will have a better future elsewhere:
The number one reason people said they would leave the United States is to seek a better quality of life or higher salary than they can find here.
The survey picks at what has been an increasingly common theme of the economy since the Great Recession, particularly among the young. It’s impossible to miss the growing sense that this economy fails to serve the Americans in it. Despite the increasingly cheerful numbers that come out of macroeconomic reports, the reality is that most people don’t feel that their lives are getting any better.
If France is any indication, many of those who leave will be our best. Unfortunately, they might well be replaced by people from other countries who are less than the best.