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Rural America fades

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

Rural America fades

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 11:52:02

I find this topic quite interesting at this juncture especially with the support these regions showed Trump .Just seems like rural America is becoming an obsolete anachronism. In a modern technological world with the US having exported so much of its manufacturing sector these places seemed to have lost most of their vitality. Also Big Ag is a factor in the economic demise. Especially, In the rust belt and in the poor areas of the South , the viability of these places seems precarious. So, in line with this, I link this of "Disabled or just desperate? Rural Americans turn to disability as jobs dry up"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/classic- ... 32bf07001c
P.S. Maybe in a constricted energy scarce future these places can make a comeback
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Cog » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 11:57:33

Rural America is where I will be living in retirement after selling my home in suburbia. I'm not the only boomer who is doing so.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 12:15:30

http://www.newsweek.com/how-american-dr ... are-548737
HOW THE AMERICAN DREAM TURNED INTO A NIGHTMARE
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 13:08:05

I could not read that WaPo article, gross journalism. When I want to read something I want to learn something, not just hear a sob story about some folks who screwed up their lives.

Perhaps I sound heartless, I'm not. But I ate a lot of rice growing up, and my Dad didn't work for a couple of years because he fell of a roof and fracked three ribs, then got pneumonia with a sever cough, which aggregated his sever sciatica. Mom always worked as a domestic. Self employed, no health insurance. So I get the picture of being poor, not as bad as some, but clear enough.

A few years ago Sebastian Junger wrote "Tribe" which talked about Americas disintegrating family culture and specifically how folks found what they needed in their combat squads. He also dwelt on the rise of PTSD among veterans. Interestingly PTSD is extremely common, resulting in many disability claims, but proportionally LESS among those who saw the most combat.

He makes a case that it has more to do with folks being told indirectly they are worthless. When guys can't get a job, they feel worthless, which leads to many symptoms and ultimately disability claims. The best way to deal with this is to find something for those folks to do where they feel they can contribute to society.

Jungers book, while far from perfect, is much, much better than the WaPo story. I recommend that book.

Remember too that the disabled do not count in unemployment stats. I think that's also true with the incarcerated. Not an insignificant portion of our population.

It's another one of our cumumdrums. We want jobs but work dillegently on automation.

when reflecting upon this it. Ones to my mind the Indian caste system has something to offer. My theory is that with so many people they devised a system to make sure everyone had a job. Low class, low pay, did not include all, but made most of the folks seem included, a part of the system, needed.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 13:37:50

Rural America has been "fading" for the greater part of a century. Literally the last time that rural populations increased was the Great Depression. Ever since then, rural populations have been decreasing as corporate farms grew and mechanization reduced employment. The amusing part is that according to the OP, this is all Trump's fault.

Count me as another plaanning to retire in Rural America. Beautiful land and great homes are cheap there now.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 14:06:42

KJ and Cog,

I agree with wanting to move to rural America. Same thing goes for the marintime providences of Canada. I'm personally sick of the city as well.

That's a great plan, as long as the SS checks keep coming and the market doesn't crash. Then....?
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 15:19:55

Newfie wrote:KJ and Cog,

I agree with wanting to move to rural America. Same thing goes for the marintime providences of Canada. I'm personally sick of the city as well.

That's a great plan, as long as the SS checks keep coming and the market doesn't crash. Then....?


Then the rural residents have a vegetable patch, fruit trees, maple sugar/syrup, a few chickens, waters to fish in, and wood for heat. The cities do not.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 15:26:04

Off the grid, bordering a national park and not an electrical light at night in this whole valley. It's the best. I can only support KJ and Cog and any others choosing to retire in a rural area. There ends up being a thousand and one small projects and you are never bored. From gardening to raising chickens.

Suburbia is a void cul de sac depressing hell hole.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby sparky » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 20:18:16

.
the depopulation of the countryside , is a global phenomenon
from Canada to Europe to Russia and China , people ( mostly young women ) are leaving the countryside for the city
better services , amenities and job prospect , more individual freedom ...this kind of thing

villages and small towns have been hurt by the modernization of farming , less manpower is needed ,
on top of this the individual motorcar make a trip to the next town mall an easy commute , local shops are closing ,
no young families means the schools are empty and have to close .
the result is the loss of the local middle class ,those with the time and inclination to deal with local affairs
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Cog » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 20:52:36

I'm not seeing cities being more free that living in a rural area. Much to the contrary.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 21:42:35

Cog wrote:I'm not seeing cities being more free that living in a rural area. Much to the contrary.


Nobody's talking about freedom explicitly. The rural areas produce and have food, with access to limited amounts of fuel for that purpose. In the absence of transport fuel, the cities are rationing food and everything else, administered by government agencies - the urban rich have everything, those on the dole eat Kibble. But nobody has a job, and currency inflation impoverishes all. Pretty much about 75% unemployment by 2040.

Being retired, on a government pension (with COLA), growing vegetables and chickens, trading with your rural neighbors, is a time-honored way to survive a tough economy. Even when the tough economy lasts for decades - or forever more.

By then, the cities will have cannibalism.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Fri 07 Apr 2017, 22:01:34

Rural communities in Canada have been losing good jobs and population but the economic impact has been blunted somewhat by Canada's generous unemployment insurance system. In areas of higher unemployment the number of work hours needed to requalify for unemployment insurance is considerably less than in other areas. The norm in many rural communities is for people to work the minimum number of hours to requalify and then collect unemployment insurance for the rest of the year. Our previous federal government had tried to break this cycle by increasing the number of work hours to requalify and require workers to accept jobs at lower wages and located further away from home the longer they receive unemployment insurance. The current government promised to roll back those changes if they were elected. The situation we now have in Atlantic Canada is that fish plants cannot find enough workers even though there are plenty of unemployed people with fish processing experience in nearby communities. As a result, fish plants are having to bring in large numbers of temporary foreign workers.

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comme ... er-working
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 08 Apr 2017, 14:21:02

That's right. The book tribe I talked about made that very point. If you want to heal PTSD then give them something useful to do. It's better of it's something within a community they feel connected with.

But our culture is driving away from these solutions. The "social media" replaces real community with faux communities, not unlike here. And we are rapidly eliminating jobs from our society either through outsourcing or automation.

Its not simply a rural problem if you think of the percentage of inner city folks who are on the government dole, perhaps not through disability but through some form of assistance OR through incarceration. They fit the general description of someone who finds their sustenance from the government. It is even larger still if you include military. I think an argument could be made to include even more (airport security) but will let it rest here for the moment.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 09 Apr 2017, 12:31:40

Squilliam wrote:Is it really culture Newfie? If you consider things like 'the two income trap -- why middle class families are going bankrupt' from Elizabeth Warren for instance it seems that one significant reason for the decline in relationships is the rise and necessity for dual incomes in middle class households.

Or, as usual, liberals don't prioritize things like free choice and personal responsibility, as much as more conservatively minded people might.

I have some friends who made a conscious choice. Choose a less fancy lifestyle (smaller house, less spending in general), and have the wife stay home, take care of the kids, and do all the important and necessary things that housewives did in, say, the 70's. (Like my mom did in the 60's and 70's).

Small sample size (several families), but overall these families seem happier and more "together" than most, even if they don't have McMansions and vacation in Europe frequently.

And this isn't sexist -- today some of my married friends have the male playing the role at home and the woman is out in the corporate world bringing in a good salary.

I think too often today, people endlessly make the claim of "necessity" of a lot of irresponsible economic decisions that have FAR more to do with status and their own desires than what is really best for things like how much attention and energy their children get from their parents.

Now of course, the liberal politicians claim to have the answer (as always) -- more nanny state and more taxes. Meanwhile, as long as the vast majority of people are playing "keeping up with the Joneses" (which millionaires often do too), the relationship stresses and the problems for the kids getting too little meaningful attention don't go away.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 09 Apr 2017, 12:40:32

Squilliam wrote:Is it really culture Newfie?

My one big "sin" re AGW is taking a nice ride in the country on occasion. Just because I enjoy it. I think it "renews my spirit" a bit.

Looking at the farms and the pickup trucks and the general implications for the lifestyle decisions being made for rural living generally -- yeah, a lot of it is culture. IMO, it literally oozes a culture that is VERY different than the social hobnobbing in the heart of NYC, SF, or all the cities aspiring to be like that.

It's not about good or bad, but in both personality and how the living is done, it's VERY different. And apparently that frequently spills over into politics. Again, IMO.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 09 Apr 2017, 16:28:36

Definition of culture
* 1
:  cultivation, tillageWe ought to blame the culture, not the soil. — Alexander Pope



* 2
:  the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education


* 3
:  expert care and training beauty culture


* 4
a :  enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetictraining
b :  acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills a person of culture


* 5
a :  the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
b :  the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also :  the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time popular culture Southern culture
c :  the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization a corporate culture focused on the bottom line
d :  the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic studying the effect of computers on print cultureChanging the culture of materialism will take time … — Peggy O'Mara



* 6
:  the act or process of cultivating living material (as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media; also :  a product of such cultivation


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Re: Rural America fades

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 09 Apr 2017, 16:29:43

You ask is it really our culture, that's a fair question.

I think an argument could be made that it is, in the sense of 2/4/5 above. That our current culture is pretty void of meaningful conversation around the dinner table, that we are struggling with traditional family ties, that we have increasing mental illness seems prima facia obvious.

But this begs the question "Do we have the capacity to be different, smarter, more thoughtful, more integrated?" Of that I'm not so sure. Which, would mean, No, it's not the culture, it's our own human failings.

Damned if I know for sure.
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