Moving Trends

Now this came as a surprise to me:

Why Some Americans Won’t Move, Even for a Higher Salary

Apart from the Great Wetback Episode Of 1986 (emigration, for those who haven’t been paying attention), I’ve moved around the U.S. on several occasions, mostly for job reasons (better job, more money), and every one of them was wrenching.  And of course none of my moves in the U.S. was from my home town, so I can well imagine that someone who has grown up and spent most of their life in (say) Indianapolis would be reluctant to leave family, friends, business contacts and so on to start all over again in a new location.

Many people, of course, take moving as part of life (I’m excluding Armed Forces folks from this, because moving is part of the deal), and I suppose I’m probably one of them — but that’s because my first move was so comprehensive and so final, the uprooting was total.  Subsequent moves, while somewhat disturbing, were much easier by comparison.

After Connie passed away, I gave serious thought to starting all over again, not just in another town, but even in another country.  During my sabbatical travels, I discovered that the cost of living in the south of France, for example, was about the same as living here in Plano, and for the briefest moment I considered it.  I love France, always have, and with little or no language issue, that part would have been easy.  The cultural change, however, would not  have been easy, and so I didn’t move Over There.  (Interestingly enough, while I love Britain even more than France, that was never an option, because the cultural change would have been even more  pronounced.)

And finally, I realized that the urge to move, to start all over again somewhere else, was more a factor of bereavement than from any desire for change:  so I stopped considering it.

Going back to the chart, however, I am very interested in the downward trend of the phenomenon.  If we assume that when America was still an agrarian, immobile society until the Industrial Revolution caused the mass migration to cities, could it be that the beginning of the study (in the late 1940s) was simply the crest of the wave, and that people were once again preferring to remain settled than to move?

And in recent years, of course, the technology has increasingly been able to support work-from-home or work-from-home-city, so one would expect the incidence of moving to slow even more.  That said, however, if one is able to work from home, then it doesn’t really matter where home is — so people could be expected to move elsewhere to improve their standard of living, say to cheaper housing.  So what do the numbers say about that?

Even the “housing” number has been falling — and I suspect that if one were to take away migration away from high-cost areas like the Northeast and California, the trend would be even more pronounced.  Interesting indeed:  I would have assumed the precise opposite trends, from both  charts, but apparently not.

As always, your thoughts are welcome.

Road Destruction Season

If anyone is planning a road trip in Britishland over the next 3-4 years, be warned that the Brits have released their planned scheme of major roads to be affected by construction, improvements, closures etc.  Here’s the map:

It’s been a while since I looked at a U.K. roadmap… but isn’t that map essentially ALL the major roads in Britishland?

Looks like the M6 is going to be cataclysmic;  however, as said highway leads to both Liverpool and  Glasgow, I can’t see why this would be a problem for all right-thinking drivers.

No man should.

Life Under The Liberals

To the surprise of precisely nobody, a government which welcomes illegal immigrants, allows people to live like animals (under the guise of “compassion”) and muzzles the police from actual policing  ends up with a situation that is (unexpectedly!) dire:

Images from the downtown area show trash piling up as workers struggle to keep the area sanitized. They are pictured wearing face masks among the dirt and grime.
Rows and rows of tents line the sidewalks of Skid Row in the sprawling 50-block area, home to around 4,200 homeless people, many in tents and shantytowns.
Some lay passed out in the street, seemingly from the effects of drugs as others are pictured lugging their property around, in search of the next spot to set up.

I’d post lots more pictures, but I imagine that some of you haven’t had yer breakfast yet, so I’ll content myself with the most inoffensive thereof:

There is no  amount of money that could persuade me ever to visit L.A. again.  I come from the Third World, I’ve been back to it a couple of times, and I have no desire to see it here in the United States.


Just when you thought commercial flying couldn’t possibly get any worse, comes this news:

JetBlue ditches Coca-Cola from its flights in favor of rival drink Pepsi

Now I have not a single dog in this fight as a.) I don’t fly JetBlue and b.) I last drank a Coca-Cola on an airliner during (I think) Ronald Reagan’s first term.  Nevertheless, from what I can remember of the taste of Pepsi-Cola (circa 1969), I can quite understand why people are getting upset.  Somebody at JetBlue was either not thinking, or else had his kids’ college tuition fees “subsidized”, if you get my drift.

Besides, I’m told that “Jack & Pepsi” sounds silly and tastes worse — and lemme tell y’all, nobody  wants to piss off Jack Daniels drinkers.  Especially at 27,000 ft.

U.S. Not There

Here’s a list of the world’s major international airports, voted on and ranked by over thirteen million travelers on a combination of (among others) amenities, cleanliness, shopping, ease of movement, and passenger treatment:

1. Singapore Changi Airport
2. Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
3. Incheon International Airport
4. Hamad International Airport (Doha)
5. Hong Kong International Airport
6. Central Japan International Airport
*7. Munich Airport
*8. London Heathrow Airport
9. Narita International Airport
*10. Zurich Airport

11. Kansai
*12. Frankfurt
13. Taiwan Taoyuan
*14. Amsterdam Schiphol
15. Copenhagen
16. Shanghai Hongqiao
*17. Vancouver
18. Brisbane
*19. Vienna
20. Helsinki-Vantaa

21. Sydney
*22. Cape Town
23. Melbourne
24. Dubai
25. Cologne / Bonn
26. London City
27. Auckland
28. Hamburg
*29. Durban
*30. Paris Charles De Gaulle

31. Dusseldorf
*32. Denver
*33. Johannesburg
34. Seoul Gimpo
35. Madrid Barajas
*36. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson
*37. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky
*38. Houston George Bush
39. Guangzhou
40. Jakarta

41. Haikou Meilan
42. Athens
43. Barcelona
44. Xi’an
45. Gold Coast
46. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
47. Lima
*48. San Francisco
49. Quito
50. Toronto Pearson

51. Christchurch
52. Perth
53. Bogota
54. Kuala Lumpur
*55. London Gatwick
*56. Dallas/Fort Worth
*57. Seattle-Tacoma
58. Baku
59. Delhi
*60. Lisbon
61. Muscat
*62. Montréal
63. Moscow Sheremetyevo
64. Mumbai
65. Shenzhen
66. Hyderabad
67. Fukuoka
68. Guayaquil
*69. Bangalore
70. Oslo
*71. Los Angeles
72. Beijing Capital
73. Stockholm Arlanda
*74. New York JFK
75. Chengdu
76. Adelaide
*77. Minneapolis St.Paul
*78. Phoenix
79. Porto
80. Moscow Domodedovo
*81. Boston Logan
*82. Rome Fiumicino
83. Malta
84. Dublin
*85. Houston Hobby
86. Hanoi Noi Bai
87. Abu Dhabi
88. Bahrain
89. Budapest
90. Halifax
91. Warsaw
*92. Detroit Metropolitan
*93. Nice
94. Mauritius
95. Luxembourg
*96. Chicago O’Hare
97. Prague
98. Birmingham
99. Changsha
100. Billund

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards (and asterisks indicate that I’ve been through them myself, some admittedly a while back)

Some comments:

  1. I’m told that anyone who has been through the top 10 airports with any frequency (e.g. Mr. Free Market) will be unsurprised by those rankings. I’m only surprised by Munich’s #7 ranking — I found it quite ordinary, but it’s been over a decade since I was there so maybe it’s improved.
  2. Excluding JFK, most of the U.S. “international” airports aren’t really that — they handle way more domestic- than international flights, so they’re light on amenities and shopping (compared to Heathrow and Singapore, for example, where international flights comprise probably 90% of the total and long waits for connecting flights are the norm).
  3. The numbers are not weighted by airport size or traffic, which is why some of the Third World airports (e.g. India’s) are ranked where they are.
  4. I’m amazed that JFK is ranked as high as it is.  For all its pretensions to being a world-class city, New York’s Kennedy and LaGuardia are Third World airports — in fact, they’re worse than that — and not one person I’ve ever spoken to (including New Yorkers) has ever taken issue with me on that comment.
  5. Unless Bangalore has been rebuilt since I’ve been there, I cannot believe its ranking.  Ditto Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo, which is a nightmare, and Charles De Gaulle in Paris.  All of these have set some kind of record for staff indifference to passengers’ needs.

“Flight Shame”

Add another one to the “frightening the neighbors with sudden roars of laughter” category:

Saddled with long dark winters at home, Swedes have for decades been frequent flyers seeking out sunnier climes, but a growing number are changing their ways because of air travel’s impact on the climate.
“Flygskam”, or flight shame, has become a buzz word referring to feeling guilt over the environmental effects of flying, contributing to a trend that has more and more Swedes, mainly young, opting to travel by train to ease their conscience.
Spearheading the movement for trains-over-planes is Sweden’s own Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate school striker who refuses to fly, travelling by rail to the World Economic Forum in Davos and the climate summit in Katowice, Poland.

Well, isn’t that just too precious.  Of course, the Swedes can afford to do this because their poxy country is no more than a few miles from everywhere in Yurp, and they can indulge their foolishness accordingly.

I think we should help them out by banning all Swedish passport holders from entering the United States by air.  (And by ground if they landed in Canada or Mexico first, to try to get round the ban.)

All aboard the Stockholm–New York Express…