There’s an Antidote to America’s Long Economic Malaise: College Towns
The Wall Street Journal
Lee County, Ala., lost 7,000 jobs in industries from textiles to tires to fitness equipment when Chinese competition invaded America. Vacant storefronts dotted downtown Opelika, the county seat, and disability claims soared as older workers with limited skills struggled to find new jobs. Instead of merely surviving, though, Lee County is now thriving. Its unemployment rate of 4.7% in October was slightly lower than for the U.S. as a whole. Since 2001, the east-central Alabama county has added 14,000 jobs, five times the growth rate in the rest of the country. Why has Lee County been so resilient? One of the biggest reasons is that it is home to a major college town.
Wheels of Future
Imagine a future where automobile accidents are nonexistent, saving the U.S. economy nearly $900 billion per year. Thirty-five thousand road deaths each year are prevented. Never again do we lose luminaries such as James Dean or Princess Diana to an automobile accident.
Alabama's first entry on the list of best college towns was the city of Auburn, which landed at number 45 overall, with its highest marks for economic and job opportunities.