I am not the most cosmopolitan among us, but I am fortunate that I get to travel to a few of the major, global metropolitan areas each year. London, New York, Shanghai, Dubai, Santiago, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur have all seen the soles of my Cole Haan’s in recent years. While languages could be a bit of a barrier in a few of those places, the truth is, I could move my family and live in anyone of those places. My skillsets support jobs that are focused on technology that is used globally, and I am comfortable in new places and spaces. I like change partially because I believe deep down n my soul that change is both good and inevitable; that life is an adventure. I am “urban”.
I know that there are some people who are not “urban”. They are “rural”. To loosely define “rural” I would think they are less educated, dependent on a higher level of manual skills, have strong religious beliefs, and not comfortable with change. For a more than one hundred years, since the industrial revolution, the need for rural people in the world had been diminishing. Their importance to the global economy continues to decline. That is not to say they are bad people, just that they have less impact on the future. And those people feel left behind.
Recent votes (Brexit, Trump) have allowed rural voters to show their numbers. But as much as this NYT opinion piece states the rural voters in the USA believe in self-reliance, the actions of rural people do not show self-reliance. What their actions show is an inability to accept growth and change. An unwillingness to promote education as a priority in their communities.
But change and a continued move towards “urban” lifestyles and power in society is seemingly invincible. The change that started with the industrial revolution has survived world wars, economic depressions, financial crises, and changing demographics. A short term tariff war, which seems to be the basis of Trump’s plan to bring manufacturing back to the USA, will cause merely a blip on the path towards urbanization of the planet.