Study of economic prospects of people across the United States finds patchwork zones of opportunity, suggests a Blade Runner future:

“What’s important about these findings is that they are not about causation, but correlation. Lack of mobility is part of a pattern of overlapping social phenomena. A dim economic future evolves more often in commuting zones where there is rigid class stratification, segregation, poor schools, lack of social cohesion, and homes where children have fewer adults to raise them. Changing any of these factors could affect a child’s outcome. But changing nothing still changes the future. It just brings us one step closer to Blade Runner, with its income-segregated neighborhoods and replicant slaves.”

St. Louis is getting more diverse, just not in the black part of town — investing in immigration versus investing in the local black community:

“Bosnian refugees have renovated aging homes around the Bevo windmill, built a century ago by the famous local brewer Anheuser Busch. Chinese families run teashops and restaurants in long-forgotten storefronts on Olive Boulevard. But even as the city puts resources into attracting more immigrants to revitalize the region, few of them venture north of Delmar Boulevard, where the city’s once-thriving black neighborhoods have turned to ruins.”

Hurricane Katrina migration catapulted some out of poverty: 

“The hurricane and its aftermath made plain the federal government’s inability to accommodate its most disadvantaged citizens, as well as the implications of hyper-segregation and concentrated poverty in our cities. But it also provided a rare opportunity for the most marginalized families: Although those displaced had little say in where they would end up, Katrina catapulted some low-income African American families out of neighborhoods characterized by high levels of poverty and into new, non-poor, and racially integrated ones with greater opportunities for socioeconomic mobility. Most survivors were relocated to cities such as Baton Rouge, Dallas, and Houston. Despite the nightmarish situation these evacuees traversed, new research suggests that hurricanes have the potential to facilitate long-run improvements in the economic and social standing of some of the country’s most vulnerable populations.”

On LeBron and migration, via James Russell in Pacific Standard:

“Migration isn’t a zero-sum game. Migration maps how places are connected. Cleveland excels at producing talent. New York, or, in the case of LeBron James, Miami, refines talent. Once refined, moving downmarket to an unhappy place isn’t irrational. It’s aspirational… LeBron James is following the beaten path. Return migrants to Cleveland have been coming home in large numbers for quite some time. It makes perfect sense, to the migrant.”

On listening to country music in Los Angeles versus small-town Ohio, from BOOM:

“In nearby Ohio cities like Norwood, with its Fisher body plant, and Middletown, with the big Armco steel works, the promise of union jobs turned generations of coal miners into factory workers in the classic post-World War II bargain: brutal labor for a decent standard of living. Dwight Yoakam sang of these people and of his own family—of their trips back and forth, back and forth, north toward opportunity, south toward home—in his fine song, “Reading, Writing, Route 23.” So did Johnny Cash in “One Piece at a Time,” about a Kentucky migrant who lands in Detroit in 1949 to work on the Cadillac assembly line, where over the next twenty years, he smuggles one of those long black beauties out in his lunchbox, piece by piece.”