For the first time in memory, adults in the United States under age forty are now expected to be poorer than their parents. This is the kind of grim reality that in other times and places spurred young people to look abroad for opportunity. Indeed, it is similar to the factors that once pushed millions of people to emigrate from their home countries to make their home in America. Our nation of immigrants is, tautologically, a nation of emigrants.
These emigrants, our ancestors, didn’t bear enmity towards the countries they left — quite the contrary. They weren’t “Going Galt” or being “unpatriotic” by leaving, as they often left out of sadness and melancholy, not anger. In many cases they remained homesick for the rest of their lives, leaving only because they had to, not because they wanted to.