What’s the problem with people staying put?

Bad news! People aren’t moving! The April 22 New York Times reported this bad economic news:

“The US Census Bureau found that the number of people who changed residences declined to 35.2 million from March 2007 to March 2008, the lowest number since 1962, when the nation had 120 million fewer people.”

But what’s wrong with people staying put? We discount the services community provides free for nothing while chasing bigger houses and better jobs far from home.

Your Money or Your Life shows you how to meet your needs with a blend of money, creativity, empowerment and community exchange. If you hit hard times (and many people are) isn’t it better to know your neighbors, to understand the social services in your area, to perhaps even have family nearby? You may even know the wild foods near you and be able to pick up odd jobs. If you are trusted, you can house-sit until your next job shows up. Perhaps you can even open an account at the local grocery store.

Where I live my face is my bond – because people know me, I am given latitude and help that a stranger would have to pay for. Community provides so many non-monetary services. I just went through pneumonia in the very weeks I am moving to a new home. Consigned to the couch, all I could do was call in friends who’ve shoveled my stuff into boxes and onto trucks and into the garage of my new place. Imagine the stress if I’d been sick and alone and having to move.

Moving far from where you were born and your family support system is a very recent innovation for humans. In an era when global supply chains and monetary systems are more precarious, the smart money is on staying put.

Yes the economy may suffer from your choice. Fewer construction jobs, fewer moving companies, fewer realtors, fewer new washers and dryers and carpets. But wait – doesn’t CO2 pollution and deforestation and strained water and fuel supplies suggest that a slowdown in growth is just what the Earth’s doctor ordered? Isn’t it better to slow down intentionally, as Your Money or Your Life readers do, in service to a richer life? Now we are all being asked to find the blessing in necessity. Staying where you are, creating well being through community, could be better for your personal micro-economy even if the economists say it’s bad for the macro-economy.

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