On taking your job with you

Our move to Grand Rapids is now a couple of weeks away (the non-sale of the Atlanta house continues to be a confounding factor, but that’s neither here nor there). Reading the Grand Rapids Press online, I note an interesting article that says Study finds young talent shuns Michigan.

My online comment, reprinted below, was removed at some point, presumably because of its use of the verb “fellate“. Vulgar or not, I happen to think it’s the mot juste in context.

I’m moving from Atlanta to Grand Rapids in a couple of weeks, bringing my family and my job (Java and iPhone software development and writing) with me. My primary motivation is to be closer to family in Michigan, which is something I’ve heard a number of other 30-40 types saying they want to do once they’ve had kids (countervailing force: nearly all the jobs are elsewhere, and in my business, the VCs want everyone to move to the Bay Area… you basically have to be completely location-independent to pull this off). Another factor for me: Atlanta’s climate and traffic suck.

One thing I think would really help Michigan’s image would be if the political leaders and media would stop fellating the auto industry and the UAW for five minutes, and instead become aware that There Are Other Things To Do In Life Than Build Cars (particularly when the Detroit Three and the UAW are so lousy at it). It’s bad enough to see the Detroit auto-makers say in the papers that they can’t compete on fuel efficiency with the Asian car makers; it’s worse when their ineptitude is coddled and encouraged by Michigan’s congressional delegation. The market is rightly punishing these companies, and Michigan is foolish to depend so much on their continued existence (Chrysler getting bought and dumped wasn’t enough of a hint?). Meanwhile, anyone who does anything else for a living gets completely ignored, and frankly, it feels like an insult. People, would you rather have the next Apple or the next Google get started in Michigan, or are you actually counting on GM and Ford to turn it around?

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