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Rural America fades

A forum for discussion of regional topics including oil depletion but also government, society, and the future.

Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 20 Dec 2017, 18:29:06

I’m split. I did the plan on retiring thing but now that I’m out I’m far from planning on how to die, that stuff will kill you.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby onlooker » Wed 20 Dec 2017, 18:37:01

I have come around to being a proponent of "Death has a dignity all its own". So, I do not think about Death. I accept it now and hopefully when it finally is arriving.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 23 Aug 2018, 18:24:17

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/arch ... ural-areas

As The Wealthy Flock To The Major Cities On Both Coasts, Poverty And Suicide Soar In Rural Areas
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 26 Aug 2018, 12:33:00

I was just thinking, the types of work you see in the city that you don't see in the country are mostly those for which a person needs a large base of people from which to draw clients, as most of those types of work are self-employment situations. You know, you get someone who is an expert in some particular type of marketing in a city. If you want to build a certain way, you can find a contractor who knows how. It gets even more esoteric. In the age of information, I wonder how far away from rural America those things really are, or will be? You won't necessarily find them as brick and mortar establishments, but they might figure in people's lives anyway.

The trick is how does one go about getting the money earned to flow within the local economy? Economies are, after all, the size which the number of given units of economic measure, dollars or other, makes them. In a decentralized local economy, one intertwined with the internet, it might be possible to participate like those people who make money vlogging on Youtube do, by number of hits or some such criteria that makes sense for what is being offered. The trouble with that is, how would one iron out the inequalities and inefficiencies which would likely arise and work against the idea of a local economy containing this greater level of earning?

How do resort towns do it? Most of them operate as seasonal operations, and, as such, have large populations of transient workers coming through them? True locals do well by both offering those workers things, and offering things to those amongst themselves who have separated themselves from that directly due to some level of success, as well as toward the rich vacationer. That could be understood to work a lot like how a more internet based game might, the money always being in peril of leaving, but not doing so. All the same, certain times of the year some resort towns can be very slow. You couldn't really describe that, though, as being as slow as an ag or factory based economy.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 26 Aug 2018, 16:12:45

evilgenius wrote:
How do resort towns do it? Most of them operate as seasonal operations, and, as such, have large populations of transient workers coming through them? True locals do well by both offering those workers things, and offering things to those amongst themselves who have separated themselves from that directly due to some level of success, as well as toward the rich vacationer.


Our resort is in an extremely rural location bordering an immense national park. You have to diversify. Tourism is seasonal mainly Dec-Aug. We staff up with locals and volunteers at that time. Besides tourism we grow coffee and raise beef cattle. The agricultural pursuits are border line income streams contributing but not covering operating expenses. Tourism is the icing on the cake.

The haciendas and farms in the area that depend solely on agriculture are struggling. But tourism is discretionary so our viable and "sustainable" operation here depends on the discretionary spending that you find only in a robust economy. An economic depression would change our equation.

I was thinking how our guests are all urban educated mainly from Europe and North America. So we are hosting urbanites and suburbanites coming down to unplug and disconnect. They see the pristine habitat and drive up through agricultural lands to get here. Their imported tourist dollars supports a sizable part of the local population. This is basically injected urban money to help prop up the local agricultural based economy.

If you can not generate an income stream drawing from urban wealth you struggle in most rural areas around the planet.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 26 Aug 2018, 16:41:17

I think that’s true. Newfoundland has one city and the rest is sparsely populated. There is some fishing income, but mostly it’s just enough work to qualify for EI, Employment Insurance. Lots of folks “commute” to the oil sands, I think of their income as remittance.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 26 Aug 2018, 22:19:45

I think another factor is precisely how around the world, mechanized industrial agriculture has become predominant. It has and is displacing millions if not billions of peasants/farmers. So this fading is a worldwide phenemenon. Of course, people gravitate to the cities to seek a bit better life.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 27 Aug 2018, 04:56:18

A bit ago I read a book “Tropic of Chaos” that discussed this trend. Sometimes trade protection works to protect local rural folks. If the government over spends and the World Bank intervenes the required reforms often reaurenthe droppingnofnprotections and encourage industrial farming which depopulatesntoe countywide and fills the already bursting cities.

Frankly, it sounded an awful lot about what goes on in the USA. From the little I see small farms in Bavaria are doing better than those here. But it’s based on passing observation only. The dairy farmer I know Claims he has lost money eachnofnthe last 3 years.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 27 Aug 2018, 08:25:49

IMO this rural financial struggle is an artifact of cheap energy supporting corporate farming in North America and to a lesser extent in Russia. In those two areas the 'collective farming' model of agriculture has been fully adopted where the megafarms completely dominate the agricultural process. As a result these corporate farm entities no matter what they are called produce excess cheap calories that hold down food prices even in places like Panama and South Africa where world market food imports set the prices. This will end one of three ways. Either world population growth will soak up all the excess cheap food driving prices up, or Peak oil will drive up the price of food production even on the corporate megafarms or globalization will fall apart in a series of trade wars that make local production more profitable than imports of cheap corporate farmed foodstuffs.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 27 Aug 2018, 12:52:55

I think that analysis is about right.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 27 Aug 2018, 13:10:00

Tanada wrote: As a result these corporate farm entities no matter what they are called produce excess cheap calories that hold down food prices even in places like Panama and South Africa where world market food imports set the prices.


That is exactly right. Two weeks ago a national strike happened here in Panama for two days as farmers blocked major roads in protest imported agricultural products like beef from Nicaragua and rice from the USA that is putting the local farmers out of business.

You guys may recall a famous case when Clinton pushed through free trade policies in Haiti forcing the Haitian government to drop their tarifs on rice imports. Cheap california rice flooded the Haitian market afterwards and almost all small rice producers in Haiti afterwards went out of business. This basically completely destroyed an entire local production of a major food staple. Clinton years later made a trip to Haiti apologizing for this. Check out this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtTeDv5FbNw
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby evilgenius » Tue 28 Aug 2018, 11:36:36

Ibon wrote:
Tanada wrote: As a result these corporate farm entities no matter what they are called produce excess cheap calories that hold down food prices even in places like Panama and South Africa where world market food imports set the prices.


That is exactly right. Two weeks ago a national strike happened here in Panama for two days as farmers blocked major roads in protest imported agricultural products like beef from Nicaragua and rice from the USA that is putting the local farmers out of business.

You guys may recall a famous case when Clinton pushed through free trade policies in Haiti forcing the Haitian government to drop their tarifs on rice imports. Cheap california rice flooded the Haitian market afterwards and almost all small rice producers in Haiti afterwards went out of business. This basically completely destroyed an entire local production of a major food staple. Clinton years later made a trip to Haiti apologizing for this. Check out this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtTeDv5FbNw


So, how does outsourcing of specialty jobs within a local economy happen? I guess big data is one possible culprit. Would this, however, preclude local people from becoming even more creative, and using tools based upon that overthrow to market themselves as adders of value? The thing that would seem to prevent that would be something that shrunk the pie rather than expanded it. An expanding pie, not only the supply of money but also relative sophistication, would seem to be a local economy's friend, even if it didn't have room for so many at the basic level of tilling the soil. People tend to reject that sort of change out of hand, though. Maybe they see gentrification? But the change is not gentrification if anybody can use the tools. If you find yourself using them and not able to succeed, the only difference being something about your person that isn't relevant to your success, I guess it may be. Don't forget that success can be random, however.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 25 May 2019, 15:06:07

Rural America Is On The Verge Of Collapse


https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05- ... e-collapse
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 25 May 2019, 16:58:44

The onset of rural collapse is very visible in the MidWest, was what I observed in my recent house hunt in Wisconsin. I mean there are beautiful lakeside properties for sale at depreciating, cheap prices. But if you buy one of those places, you could be one to two hours from nearly everything, such as medical/dental professionals, big box retail like Costco/Sam's Club, or Target and WalMart, or a real supermarket. The corporate farms are huge fields that stretch forever, and abandonned family farms sit, a very few farm homes still occupied by old people. The younger folks went to the cities and suburbs.

I wanted to live in the boonies, but realisticly speaking, I am 67 and I'm not building a Doomstead at my age. Likewise the wife is 64. We ended up buying a nice 2750 sq ft custom ranch home, very well built, with a walkout basement door and a wooded back yard. Down the street is a large lake in case I feel the need to recreate by boating or fishing. We are in the Village of McFarland, WI. Population about 8500, and seperated from Madison (Capital of WI) by rural areas. By selling a house half as large in Silicon Valley, we spent half the profit on this place, bought a new high end SUV (2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee), and are settling in comfortably, debt-free. We are a 20 minute drive from the grandkids, who will turn 4 next week.

Meanwhile I sold the 1967 Kaiser Jeep Commando (pickup) and donated the 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee (220,000 miles) to a charity which sold it for $2200. We drove the 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with large tires and lift from California, stopped to house hunt in Wisconsin, and continued to Nantucket, put it on the ferry, and took it to the island. It sits there in the garage, where it will start a new career as a general purpose vehicle (we live on an unpaved/unofficial road with potholes), and beach cruiser. After a month, we came back via plane and closed on the new house, and moved in. We are slowly getting things together, not in any particular hurry.

I still want that beach property, but I comfort myself by thinking it gets cheaper all the time. The wife wanted to be near the grandkids, and so did I.

BTW, we sold the Silly Valley home for almost a million, in fact $101,000 above our asking price, which I had been in doubt about. The buyers were a nice Hindu couple in their 30's, married about 2 years. He was an EE working at Intel, she was an Accountant like my wife. What they earn to qualify for a mortgage like that as first time home buyers, I have no idea, and would probably be depressed if I found out. Unless I counted wrong at the last homeowners meeting, the neighborhood is now about 20% white, 80% other than.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 25 May 2019, 17:01:32

Thanks Kaiser for the personal eyewitness observations
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 27 May 2019, 09:51:12

KaiserJeep wrote:The onset of rural collapse is very visible in the MidWest, was what I observed in my recent house hunt in Wisconsin. I mean there are beautiful lakeside properties for sale at depreciating, cheap prices. But if you buy one of those places, you could be one to two hours from nearly everything, such as medical/dental professionals, big box retail like Costco/Sam's Club, or Target and WalMart, or a real supermarket. The corporate farms are huge fields that stretch forever, and abandonned family farms sit, a very few farm homes still occupied by old people. The younger folks went to the cities and suburbs.

I wanted to live in the boonies, but realisticly speaking, I am 67 and I'm not building a Doomstead at my age. Likewise the wife is 64. We ended up buying a nice 2750 sq ft custom ranch home, very well built, with a walkout basement door and a wooded back yard. Down the street is a large lake in case I feel the need to recreate by boating or fishing. We are in the Village of McFarland, WI. Population about 8500, and seperated from Madison (Capital of WI) by rural areas. By selling a house half as large in Silicon Valley, we spent half the profit on this place, bought a new high end SUV (2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee), and are settling in comfortably, debt-free. We are a 20 minute drive from the grandkids, who will turn 4 next week.

Meanwhile I sold the 1967 Kaiser Jeep Commando (pickup) and donated the 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee (220,000 miles) to a charity which sold it for $2200. We drove the 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with large tires and lift from California, stopped to house hunt in Wisconsin, and continued to Nantucket, put it on the ferry, and took it to the island. It sits there in the garage, where it will start a new career as a general purpose vehicle (we live on an unpaved/unofficial road with potholes), and beach cruiser. After a month, we came back via plane and closed on the new house, and moved in. We are slowly getting things together, not in any particular hurry.

I still want that beach property, but I comfort myself by thinking it gets cheaper all the time. The wife wanted to be near the grandkids, and so did I.

BTW, we sold the Silly Valley home for almost a million, in fact $101,000 above our asking price, which I had been in doubt about. The buyers were a nice Hindu couple in their 30's, married about 2 years. He was an EE working at Intel, she was an Accountant like my wife. What they earn to qualify for a mortgage like that as first time home buyers, I have no idea, and would probably be depressed if I found out. Unless I counted wrong at the last homeowners meeting, the neighborhood is now about 20% white, 80% other than.


Outstanding!!! Amazing how the collapse and doom of peak oil 15 years ago turned into quite a nice retirement for those who didn't run off and become Amish or begin human manure composting with 3 friends and are still hiding in the woods waiting for the end.

Good luck in Wisconsin. A bit cold for me, I've been through there and the UP a handful of times over the past couple years, a bit chilly. The wife and I are more likely to end up a beach somewhere. Maybe beach in winter, the White Mountains of Arizona in the summer.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 27 May 2019, 12:34:38

AdamB wrote:Good luck in Wisconsin. A bit cold for me, I've been through there and the UP a handful of times over the past couple years, a bit chilly. The wife and I are more likely to end up a beach somewhere. Maybe beach in winter, the White Mountains of Arizona in the summer.

Yup. A lake house and pontoon boat to roam around in is just magnificent on the many lakes around Detroit, for example, where an Uncle of mine hung out in summer. Nice and cool, peaceful, etc. But from roughly mid-October to April, MY fanny wants to be nowhere north of KY, global warming or not.

Each to their own.

And yeah, despite all the cries forever about collapse and the end of oil, it's pretty ironic how "the thing" is huge, gas guzzling trucks and SUV's. I wouldn't have believed it possible in the early 80's, after a decade of screaming about oil, gas lines, three major oil spikes and recessions, and how popular small fuel efficient cars were getting to be, as a trend.

Too bad the feds don't have the gumption to TAX the stuff enough to discourage such behavior for everyone who doesn't actually NEED such vehicles for their work.

Maybe BEV pricing and capability will do the trick in the next few decades. Too bad the biosphere has to suffer the consequences of the wait.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 27 May 2019, 12:39:25

KaiserJeep wrote:Unless I counted wrong at the last homeowners meeting, the neighborhood is now about 20% white, 80% other than.

This would seem to be an indication that despite the cries from the left, the "mean old white people" aren't exactly taking over the US OR the economy with their "white privilege", etc.

Also, I'm thinking this is an indication of the relative poor quality of the deteriorating US public education system, compared to the overall first world. You'd THINK people would realize this is NOT a good thing, but people win elections focusing on the short term in the US, so there's that.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 27 May 2019, 14:33:59

Yeah, OK, we did buy the SUV. However I would point out that we got the more efficient V6 versus the available V8's up to 707 hp (supercharged hemi). I thought about the (Fiat sourced) diesel V6 for about 10 seconds and decided to avoid that as well. Fundamentally the same powertrain is used from the base 295 hp V6 to the 707 hp supercharged 392 V8 version, so it's durable, and the 8-speed automatic transmission has two overdrive gears. With the 24 gallon tank we have twice gone 400+ miles before refilling, it's probably got 500+ miles highway-only.

The remarks about the cold Wisconsin Winters are right on, especially if the "Polar Vortex" thing happens again to the MidWest. Fortunately I have the other home on Nantucket, which is actually a bit further South and wrapped by the comparatively warm Gulf Stream waters. Winter is the quiet time on the island, and my Summers are for Wisconsin, as the Summer population on Nantucket Island swells by a factor of 12, and traffic gridlocks.
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