MIGRATION TO THE FUTURE
There are, however, important differences between the kind of people who are on the move in the United States and those caught up in the European migrations. In Europe most of the new mobility can be attributed to the continuing transition from agriculture to industry; from the past to the present, as it were. Only a small part is as yet associated with the transition from industrialism to super-industrialism. In the United States, by contrast, the continuing redistribution of population is no longer primarily caused by the decline of agricultural employment. It grows, instead, out of the spread of automation and the new way of life associated with super-industrial society, the way of life of the future. This becomes plain if we look at who is doing the moving in the United States. It is true that some technologically backward and disadvantaged groups, such as urban Negroes, are characterized by high rates of geographical mobility, usually within the same neighborhood or county. But these groups form only a relatively small slice of the total population, and it would be a serious mistake to assume that high rates of geographical mobility correlate only with poverty, unemployment or ignorance. In fact, we find that men with at least one year of college education (an ever increasing group) move more, and further, than those without. Thus we find that the professional and technical populations are among the most mobile of all Americans. And we find an increasing number of affluent executives who move far and frequently. (It is a house joke among executives of the International Business Machine Corporation that IBM stands for "I've Been Moved.") In the emerging super-industrialism it is precisely these groups—professional, technical and managerial—who increase in both absolute number and as a proportion of the total work force. They also give the society its characteristic flavor, as the denim-clad factory worker did in the past. Just as millions of poverty-stricken and unemployed rural workers are flowing from the agricultural past into the industrial present in Europe, so thousands of European scientists, engineers and technicians are flowing into the United States and Canada, the most super- industrial of nations. In West Germany, Professor Rudolf Mossbauer, a Nobel prizewinner in physics, announces that he is thinking of migrating to America because of disagreements over administrative and budgetary policies at home. Europe's political ministers, worried over the "technology gap," have looked on helplessly as Westinghouse, Allied Chemical, Douglas Aircraft, General Dynamics and other major American corporations sent talent scouts to London or Stockholm to lure away everyone from astrophysicists to turbine engineers.
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- Winter '16
- Sociology, Alvin Toffler, future shock