Washington Post

America's forgotten towns: Can they be saved or should people just leave?

Anne Hollande.

One of the great debates in American politics and economics in 2018 is likely to be how to help the country's forgotten towns, the former coal mining and manufacturing hubs with quaint Main Streets that haven't changed much since the 1950s and '60s. Many of these counties turned out heavily to vote for President Donald Trump. He talks often about wanting to help them, but it's unclear how.

Traditional economics says people living in these struggling towns should just move. Many of America's urban centers (and surrounding suburbs) are booming. If jobs are plentiful in Denver (unemployment rate: 2.6 percent) and Salt Lake City (unemployment rate: 2.8 percent), then economics 101 suggests it's time for a big migration west from the Rust Belt to the boom belt. Trump appeared to endorse this solution over the summer when he said Americans are "going to have to start moving" from places like Upstate New York to areas where they can get jobs...

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