A while back, Tim Cavanaugh blogged about the triumphant–i.e., uninteresting–return of '90s wunderkind Jedediah Purdy in the Atlantic. Purdy's piece was part of the ponderous and pontifical very special section in the latest ish on the "real state of the Union."
Purdy weighed in on the lack of trust in today's America; another '90s wunderkind, Michael Lind, tackles the pressing problem of too many poor and immigrant people living on the coasts of Woody Guthrie's homeland. They clog the roads, you see, bring down wages, and really can't afford to live where they live.
Lind's brilliant solution? Taking a page from the Andrew Jackson playbook, he suggests beneficent relocation:
Imagine a federal program that would help poor and working-class Americans to move not from crowded cities to suburbs in the same general area but from crowded states to low-density states where homes are cheaper and the general cost of living is lower. … The people who moved would not be the only ones to benefit financially. If the coastal areas did not replace those lost workers with migrants from elsewhere in the country or the world, wages there might rise as the labor market grew tight; and financial barriers to home ownership would decline even in big coastal cities.
Here's a better solution: Why not force Lind and his above-average wage-earning pals to move to Kansas, thereby creating more opportunity for upward mobility and home ownership for the urban poor?