My "USA Today" column on the importance of making it easier for Americans to "vote with their feet"


A U-Haul moving truck.
A U-Haul moving truck.

USA Today has just published my column on the importance of empowering Americans by making it easier for them to vote with their feet. Here is an excerpt:

Americans will soon get a chance to vote at the ballot box. But too little attention has been paid to their declining opportunities to vote with their feet. If we want to expand freedom and opportunity for the poorest among us, we must get moving on making it easier for them to move. Sadly, the issue has been almost completely ignored by both major parties….

Historically, interstate migration has been a major boon for Americans, especially the poor and oppressed….

Sadly, however, mobility has become more difficult for many of those most in need of it. Studies have found declining rates of residential mobility since about 1980 among African Americans, low-income workers and those with low levels of education…

Several factors account for declining mobility among the poor and disadvantaged. A major one is the growth of exclusionary zoning in many major cities…

Another major factor inhibiting mobility for the poor is restrictive occupational licensing….

In addition to expanding economic opportunity, mobility is also a crucial component of political freedom—perhaps even more so than the right to vote….

I have written more extensively about the benefits of foot voting in my book <em>Democracy and Political Ignorance, and in this article.