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Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, USA and sharing experience

June 24, 2017 lawson james 0 Comments


 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US

Mark Zuckerberg: I'm at the Heartland Pride Festival in Omaha, Nebraska. Until recently, the Nebraska constitution banned gay marriage. Omaha is more welcoming, but we still have a long way to go.
Happy Pride to everyone celebrating this weekend in Omaha and across the country!

In Iowa, I stopped by one of the major truck stops. It's like a small city where truckers on long trips can take a break, get something to eat, get a haircut, do laundry, get their truck washed -- or their dog washed! -- and even go to the dentist.
A few things stuck with me after spending time with some truckers:
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
Trucking is a unique lifestyle -- that often involves your family.
One trucker I met put eight kids through college with the money he's made on the road. He also had some strong views on the second amendment.
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
I met another trucker who drives from Chicago to Reno with his wife and three dogs every week. They take 12 hour shifts driving and sleeping in the bed in the cabin.

Another man I met spent 17 years in the military before becoming a trucker. His wife rides with him sometimes. She's not a trucker, but she just wants to spend time together.
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
I asked the truckers what's changed over the last few decades. When the truckers I met started driving, you logged your driving hours on pieces of paper. Now it's electronic and automatic, which makes it harder to drive more hours than you're supposed to. 

Some people said they want to work longer, but they feel like regulations are getting in the way of their freedom and doing what they want to do. It's tough because those regulations try to keep people on the road safe.
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
I asked a number of truckers what they think about self-driving cars and trucks and what they think about the future. Everyone I met was skeptical self-driving trucks would replace jobs for different reasons. Some thought it would be impossible to pack all the sensors you need to deal with things like weather into trucks. 

Others thought computers could handle the interstate but not the last mile to the store. And some truckers think we'll end up with something like autopilot on planes -- with trucks driving themselves with people in the cab. From all the research I've seen, I'm confident we'll solve these problems. But it's interesting that people in the industry don't believe this will happen soon.

Finally, I asked truckers what their biggest challenge was. Their answer: cars. So next time you're annoyed by a truck on the road, just know that they probably feel the same way about you.
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US

I'm visiting small towns in Iowa, and just stopped in Wilton, population 2,800.
In the last generation, there has been a real divergence between opportunity available in small towns and big cities. I've seen many struggling small towns this year, but I've also seen small towns like Wilton that are growing.
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
Research on economic mobility shows that your ability and willingness to move for better opportunity often determines whether your quality of life will be better than your parents'. In many places, people are less likely to move, and that contributes to less upwards economic mobility. 

However, in many places in Iowa and across the Midwest, people are raised with values that lead them to be more likely to move to other places for college or jobs, and therefore have greater upwards mobility. (If you're interested in reading more, I suggest starting with Raj Chetty's research here: http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org)


The people I met in Wilton shared these values around mobility. The mayor and city manager moved to Wilton from other places. When I stopped by the local ice cream shop, the high school senior who worked there told me she wanted to move to Georgia to work as a dental hygienist. The town development director -- who moved away and came back -- told me "she didn't want to see the town go away". Thanks to people like her who move for opportunity, I don't think it will.
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
Stopped by summer hockey practice in Minnetonka this morning. Many people here start skating before learning how to walk -- on local ponds and makeshift rinks in their yards.

Growing up, I used to strap goalie pads on my sister so I could shoot pucks in our backyard. No wonder she encouraged me to code computer games instead. Thanks to the players for showing me how it's really done.
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US
 Mark Zuckerberg visiting small towns in Iowa, US

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