Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm wary of transplants moving to Missouri

Rich city people moving to small towns and the country: This is something I'm pretty sure the Rolla City Council and the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce would like to encourage here.

It sounds good, bringing in new money, but after reading this article on the Wall Street Journal website, The New American Gentry, I'm definitely wary of transplants.

Here's an excerpt:

Affluent retirees and other high-income types have descended on these remote areas, creating new demand for amenities like interior-design stores, spas and organic markets. For many communities, it's the biggest change since the interstate highway system came barreling through in the 1960s and 1970s.
With the Internet allowing people to work from almost anywhere, the distinction between first and second homes has become blurred. Many people are buying retirement property while they're still employed. Millions of soon-to-retire baby boomers, say demographers, will propel this trend for years to come.
"What we're seeing is a class colonization," says Peter Nelson, an associate professor of geography at Middlebury College and an expert on rural migration. "It really represents a shift in the nature of the economy from a resource-extraction economy to an aesthetic-based economy."
Such change can create social tensions, as longtime residents are either driven away because they can no longer afford housing or are forced to adapt to new careers.

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