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On The Road Again?

Americans are on the move again, and that is good news.

The Census Bureau reports that after a significant downturn in moves during the recent recession, the percentage of Americans moving is beginning to edge back up. Better yet, some of these moves are of young people and especially of young men. Twenty somethings are getting out of Mom’s garage and moving around the country to launch their careers.

An AP story by Hope Yen has the news. The key numbers from the Census:

About 12 percent of the nation’s population, or 36.5 million, moved to a new home, up from a record low of 11.6 percent in 2011.

Among young adults 25 to 29, the most mobile age group, moves also increased to 24.6 percent from a low of 24.1 percent in the previous year. Longer-distance moves, typically for those seeking new careers in other regions of the country, rose modestly from 3.4 percent to 3.8 percent.

Less willing to rely on parents, roughly 5.6 million Americans ages 25-34, or 13.6 percent, lived with Mom and Dad, a decrease from 14.2 percent in the previous year.

All good, and all pointing to a slow improvement in the economic situation. More profoundly, these numbers suggest that Americans retain some of the characteristics that have made our economy so dynamic for so long.

In particular, it is the willingness of each new generation to strike out on its own, to travel the length and breadth of the country in search of opportunity, to work in new fields and to embrace new ideas and new technologies, that has helped keep the United States on the cutting edge of the world’s technological and social progress for so long. The railroad and the telegraph were technologies that quickly spread throughout the world, but Americans did more with them than people in most other places and realized more of their economic and social potential. It’s been the same with the information revolution of our time: computers, the internet and other devices are changing lives around the world, but Americans like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and countless other entrepreneurs and inventors big and small have done more to realize the potential of the new technologies here.

We are an entrepreneurial, risk taking, forward looking, pioneering and opportunity seeking people. As long as that remains true. we are likely to remain a successful and prosperous country.

Recessions come and go, and some come harder and stick around longer than others. But for hundreds of years now Americans have responded to adversity with ingenuity and to setbacks with resilient ambition and drive. It looks to Via Meadia as if the next American generation still has what it takes.

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