Should-Read: Joan Williams: Equitable Growth in Conversation

October 7, 2017

Should-Read: Joan Williams: Equitable Growth in Conversation: “Elites have what are called entrepreneurial networks—wide circles of acquaintances that are often national, or even global…

…Working-class and poor people typically have place-based clique networks of family, neighbors, and friends they’ve known forever. Nonelites rely on these clique networks to protect them from their disadvantaged market position, by providing childcare, elder care, and help with things such as home repairs. So, for moving to make sense, nonelites need not only to find a better job; they need to find one that’s so much better that they come out ahead, despite the fact they now have to pay for childcare and elder care because no family is close enough to help out.

Another reason nonelites are reluctant to move is that their social honor is not portable….

Another important point: If you’re working class, the people in the communities you’re moving to have the same kind of dense place-based networks you have—and they’re going to make sure that good jobs go to people in their networks, not to you. This is just the kind of erasure of the realities of people’s lives on the ground that, if I can say this respectfully, economists are so good at…

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