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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/workers-have-mobility-theyre-not-tied-to-the-30393803.aspx

Subject:  Re: Thomas Sowell on the unions killing Hostess Date:  11/21/2012  1:49 PM
Author:  1poorguy Number:  656373 of 741639

Workers have mobility. They're not tied to the city/town/county/state they were born in. They can move to places that maximize their skills.

In principle, yes. In practice, not so much. For example, even I as a white-collar professional am limited because my industry is not everywhere. There are distinct locations where my skill-set might be usable (a bit in Phoenix, some in Austin, some in Oregon, etc). Most places, no. For blue-collar it is worse (not only because of location-specific jobs, but also because their skills are not usually difficult to replace so they have no negotiating power at all).

Certainly I agree that people are more mobile, often (even perhaps usually) leaving the places of their birth. But once a career is established it is not usually trivial to change it. I could, but I'd have to "start over" and give up my nearly 20 yrs of industry experience. Some people do it, but it's not trivial.

Perhaps you are thinking in terms of jobs like accounting. While each industry has its own wrinkles, standard accounting practices are, well, standard. One can more easily go from a tech firm to a bank to an automaker. A semiconductor engineer, or a miner, or an autoworker has fewer options.

The housing crisis is tangential, but clearly if nobody is issuing loans then you can neither sell your existing home nor buy a new one somewhere else.
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