Why You Need to Mobilize – Now

Adrianna Wu

“At the time of the Great Migration in the 1920s… less-educated individuals were more likely to migrate in search of better lives. Today, the opposite is true: The more education a person has, the more mobile he or she is.” Dr. Enrico Moretti, a economic professor at the University of California, Berkeley gives us the premise for why mobilization is essential to a successful lifestyle.

Mobilization means to be active, to be on the move. In other words: when an opportunity presents itself, you will have no hesitation in grasping it. Opportunities are around every corner, and may require a dramatic change in scenery. If this includes moving states after college, packing up your family for a new job, or relocating somewhere with lower unemployment rates, mobilization is empowerment.

“Relocating is like an investment: You spend money up front- to cover the costs of a move and of living expenses until a job becomes available- in exchange for a better job later” (Moretti). In uncertain times, packing up seems like too big of a risk. However, this is costing you huge opportunities. “In 2009, at the peak of the recession, unemployment in Detroit was 18%, while unemployment in Iowa City, about 500 miles west of Detroit, was only 4.5%” (Moretti). In this case, the people living in Detroit suffered by not traveling to Iowa City. Thousands of unemployed workers in Detroit could have easily found jobs in Iowa, however, relocation was too precarious of an investment.

People have become cautious due to the economic recession. Moretti says, “The Great Recession has temporarily slowed Americans’ mobility, but once the economy rebounds, people will start moving again.” However, what better way to pull us out of the recession than by taking the risk and boosting your own income?

Education is paramount in weighing the decision of “should I stay, or should I go”. “The likelihood that people will move from their birth states by age 30 varies by education: 45% college graduates, 27% high-school graduates, 17% high-school dropouts” (Moretti). Higher education means higher level of experience. More experience means more possible job opportunities. More opportunities in a new environment can only lead to better job offers, thus, a well-spent investment. Some people could not realize their fault in staying stationary, simply because they aren’t aware of what other possibilities await.

Is the risk of a move heavier than the consequences of staying put?


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