Friday, June 27, 2014

Squeezing the working class

Raleigh is growing, but not in all categories.  As the article below notes,  there was an increase of 4,500 residents with four year degrees, and 1,600 with advanced degrees.  But those with less than a full four year degree are moving out.
Meredith Hamrick, Business Journal, 18 June 2014
Raleigh may be a growing hub of opportunity for the young, professional set – it’s earned accolades as a great city for recent grads and a best city for job seekers, to name a few. But the picture hasn’t been so bright for Raleigh’s less educated, who have been fleeing the area, according to data featured Monday on The Atlantic’s City Lab site.
The Raleigh-Cary area lost a net of more than 1,300 of its residents with less education than a bachelor’s degree from 2011 to 2012 alone, despite the area’s overall net influx of nearly 5,000 residents during that same time period.
Raleigh is not particularly expensive by national standards, but it is expensive by Southeastern U.S. standards.  My guess is that some are moving to surrounding counties where they can either work in one of the light manufacturing jobs that have been pushed out of the main urban areas, with some family members doing a long distance commute.  And others simply have chosen to be poor, somewhere where it is less expensive.
There is a certain meme within apocalyptic fiction that all the advanced degrees and what not that folks have accumulated become useless after the EMP-zombie strike.  While there is some logic to that, in a slow collapse scenario, you have to make it to the collapse.  Notice how many stories get around this problem by either having the protagonists luck into some sort of hide away, or they are yuppie-types who can afford whatever sort of gear that they want. 


Sunnybrook Farm said...

Roanoke Va sounds similar, the less educated citizens don't realize that their taxes are going to create a new downtown for the, let's say wealthy young people. Millions are being spent to make things look nice to "bring more jobs to town". It sucks the money from the uneducated and the new jobs are for the upper incomes, when the zombies finally see how they were ripped off it will be too late.

Degringolade said...

At the risk of sounding com-symp, this is to be expected.

The proles (< 4-year degree) will be shoved out of the center to the periphery where they will become more diffuse and be able to generate less relative power.

The bourgeoisie will move into the very heavily policed core to better service the capital-ownership.

Capital has no use for the less-skilled/educated now. I am certain that it will try to minimize its need for the petty-B as well.

I am not recommending that we use the Marxist "solution", but damn, they do define the problem exceedingly well

russell1200 said...

Sunnybrook: It is the tax and spend version of the trickledown theory.

Degringolade: I am not aware that Marx was particularly good at matrix effects, but I agree that he is better at noting problems than at creating viable solutions.

I am not sure how this will shake out in the long run. A lot depends on how strong the support system stays. Strong support systems likely allow a little more diffusion, no or little support systems seem to generate shantytowns tucked onto the outskirts of the most successful metropolises.

Degringolade said...

I have to go with the shantytowns surrounding a urban core.

It really does seem to be the wave of the past and the future. If you take a look at London in the 17th and 18th centuries, the outer areas were where the poor folk lived while the inner areas were where the rich folk lived.

At least that is how I see it.

PioneerPreppy said...

It will keep up until it doesn't. Eventually energy prices are going to catch up to yuppy service jobs and when that day comes manual labor will be back in fashion. I agree you have to get to the collapse first, which is the real trick isn't it? Except those who are moving out and dealing with austerity now are the one's who are going to be ahead soon.

Spud said...

All that you stated is very true.
This slow collapse is tough.

I work for an English gentleman that is extremely rich but also very miserly ! Also he is a pompous ass at times and very class oriented.

The fact that he only visits a couple times a year and myself and one other person are the only ones here minding the business. Keeps me going because prospects out there cannot replace what I have currently.

Good thing I've been prepping for thirty years or so....

russell1200 said...

Degringolade: Yes, although the inner cities (at least the downwind side) also had the factories, so you did get tenement style slums to that people could walk to work. That is how I read NYC development. But I think what you say has the general ring of truth.

Pioneer: Absolutely, a little austerity would help an awful lot of folks that I know.

Spud: I have run into people who were in your situation. And at least as far as what happened to them is exactly as you say. They got tired of remote aloof ownership and walked: never to really recover. Not a personal collapse so much as permanent downshift.