3. Mailbox: America, the motionless
The mailbox was full this morning after yesterday's lead story, "For struggling Americans, nowhere to go." Below we excerpt a couple of the letters:
"Americans aren’t moving to cities because the cost of living in cities is too high! Higher wages don’t matter if costs go up the same or more — the result is just a form of price inflation. Housing costs are the #1 driver of economic inequality in the U.S. No discussion of wage changes is complete or accurate without a discussion about costs. And no one—save for the YIMBY folks—are talking about it."
— Matt Mireles, Menlo Park, California
"One unmentioned factor is the cost of housing everywhere there are good jobs. High rents [and] high house prices make people think twice. It is one thing to live on the edge where things are familiar. It is another to be homeless a long way from home.
There used to be lots of sawmill jobs [here] in Oregon and there still are some. But most of the timber has been cut (about 90%) and all the mills are automated, which is what really resulted in job loss for the unskilled. If federal restrictions were eliminated, the entire state would be logged off in about 10 years and that would be the end of it for another 50 years, which is how long it takes to grow trees, as an average. The state has several old derelict logging towns.
We are not a rich state, but people keep coming here without a job lined up. It can be hard to get a job here without a skill. Even our agriculture in the Willamette Valley is relatively skilled, and the low skill jobs, which most people won't take, are filled by Mexican immigrants because they are hard physical labor."
— Mike Larkin, Florence, Oregon