That big paper from back east is finishing up a series on big-c Class this week, and yesterday's piece on "relos" or people that relocate from town to town for work and career was excellent. At first, I read with I'm watching a horror movie sort of detachment, but it eventually came to me that yes, people actually do live like this.
This passage near the beginning is true to the entire piece:
"It's as if they're being molded by their companies," said Tina Davis, a top Alpharetta relo agent for the Coldwell Banker real estate firm. "Most of the people will tell you how long they'll be here. It's usually two to four years."These are people that seem to have a few major commitments. First of all, their family. I can't fault them for that, the main subject of the story was obviously dedicated to her husband and the enrichment of her kids. Second, what I said above leads us into money, which obviously plays a roll in their decisions to move around so much.
But, at some point, I have wonder how far these folks commitment to other people not directly in their immediate circle goes. If their kids are safe, if their kids schools are good, who cares about kids on the other side of town? If her husband's job is safe, who cares if some other guy loses his?
I don't know, but their frequent abandonment of towns and communities doesn't speak to a deep connection to people around them. If the roads are so bad getting around suburban Georgia, who really cares about fixing the problem of poor planning, if you are going to leave in a few years anyway?
Anyway, much was made about George Bush's ability to win the so called exurbs last fall, which was one of the things that put him over the top. If these are the people that populate the fastest growing counties in the country, do I care?
As Joel Kotkin put it:
The new voters in the fast-growth land of McMansions, Target stores and office parks outweighed the energized legions of young hipsters, labor unionists and African-Americans who rallied to Kerry's cause.I suspect that much of the exurbians political tendencies come from their personal choices of being rootless, not feeling connected to a particular place or holding your ground for a community. These are things that I expect the Democratic Party to stand for, and so I would assume that we would lose among with the relos.