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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:29 AM
Original message
"The Rural Brain Drain"
I think the comments section is just as illuminating about why people leave these areas as the research delineated in the article. As one of those who left my home state and will never live there again, this is a topic close to my heart.

What is going on in small-town America? The nation's mythology of small towns comes to us straight from the The Music Man's set designers. Many Americans think about flyover country or Red America only during the culture war's skirmishes or campaign season. Most of the time, the rural crisis takes a back seat to more visible big-city troubles. So while there is a veritable academic industry devoted to chronicling urban decline, small towns' struggles are off the grid.

And yet, upon close inspection, the rural and urban downturns have much in common, even though conventional wisdom casts the small town as embodiment of all that is right with America and the inner city as all that is wrong with it.

The Harvard University sociologist William Julius Wilson famously describes how deindustrialization, joblessness, middle-class flight, depopulation, and global market shifts gave rise to the urban hyper-ghettos of the 1970s, and the same forces are now afflicting the nation's countryside. The differences are just in the details. In urban centers, young men with NBA jerseys sling dime bags from vacant buildings, while in small towns, drug dealers wearing Nascar T-shirts, living in trailer parks, sell and use meth. Young girls in the countryside who become mothers before finishing high school share stories of lost adolescence and despair that differ little from the ones their urban sisters might tell.

snip

The most dramatic evidence of the rural meltdown has been the hollowing outthat is, losing the most talented young people at precisely the same time that changes in farming and industry have transformed the landscape for those who stay. This so-called rural "brain drain" isn't a new phenomenon, but by the 21st century the shortage of young people has reached a tipping point, and its consequences are more severe now than ever before. Simply put, many small towns are mere years away from extinction, while others limp along in a weakened and disabled state.

In just over two decades, more than 700 rural counties, from the Plains to the Texas Panhandle through to Appalachia, lost 10 percent or more of their population. Nationally, there are more deaths than births in one of two rural counties. Though the hollowing-out process feeds off the recession, the problem predates, and indeed, presaged many of the nation's current economic woes. But despite the seriousness of the hollowing-out process, we believe that, with a plan and a vision, many small towns can play a key role in the nation's recovery.

http://chronicle.com/article/The-Rural-Brain-Drain/4842... /
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. Farm sizes have been increasing, rural populations decreasing, since World War II
The growth of the suburbs wasn't only due to people moving out of the city. A lot of it came from the rural areas and small towns.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. lot of city yuppies moved into my small town
bought up the cheapo real estate, remodelled the houses (awfully!) so that they resemble 'faux' mini mcmansions. The only locals left are burger flippers and retail clerks and maids for the well to do. you can now get a latte grande mocha skim hold the creamo blahblahblah on every corner. hordes of yupyups descend here in the summer, awash in LL Bean and Patagonia. oohing and ahhhing at the tacky crapola shopPES and 'local' riff raff. the factories are gone. there are still farmers, but to buy their produce at the Farmers Market is too expensive for the everyday local person, who makes minimum wage waiting on the yupyups.

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
28. You're supposed to say "thank you". nt
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. thank you massuh, oh omnipotent overlords of kitsch, actually. nt
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Now you understand.
Their goal is to make your town EXACTLY like the places they left. We get that here, too.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. heres whats odd
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 01:22 PM by Mari333
this area used to be a poor artists hangout. a lot of artists and writers from chicago came here to work and breathe and live in cheap surroundings, and thats when i discovered the place back in the early 70s. back then, the reason the artists came was because it is beautiful, was cheap, and was amicable to their creativity.
when the yuppps found it, it was no longer a factory town, and was on the wane. but its next to the lake, so they hurried up and bought all the old properties up and tore down the charming cottages to replace them with horrid mcmansions.

last summer, some yuppie woman was walking thru town and saw our (still local artists) art gallery..
she said "OH MY< to think that the local people here have an art gallery! isnt that special?"

if only they knew how we mocked them.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. I live across the river from Starved Rock State Park,
a favorite day trip spot for Chicagoans. On weekends, the park is so crowded and noisy that it's more like a city than a park. The locals avoid it altogether on weekends, unless we have out of towners visiting who want to go there. And when we do go, we can't imagine why they leave one crowded, noisy place, to come to another crowded, noisy place.

So, yeah, we find them amusing, too.
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Common Sense Party Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Oh, how sad. I used to love going to Starved Rock when I'd stay
with my grandparents for the summer (lived near Tonica). I never remembered it as a busy location.
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #35
55. I used to go there with my kids when I lived in Morris Il
nice place
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
38. It sounds like you live where I live. City people descend like locusts.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
51. In Vermont they are referred to as "Flatlanders"
n/t
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
88. Your hatred for those "not from there"
and your despise for any sort of change in "your" town pretty much sums up all the steryotypes anyone needs to know about small town America. I guess you think it's ok because it's "yuppies" as you despisingly call them, but really, the logic and the hate is no different from any other group who have moved into places before only to recieve the same blind hatred.

The only reason your small town is likely even still around with a good economy is because people have moved to it and made what sounds like not a small town at all anymore. I live in an old run-down steel town and people would be pretty damn happy to have a bunch of people start moving to town and build up the economy and their future, because right now nobody feels proud of this town and nobody feels it has a future.

Your self rightousness easily surpasses those of the out-of-towners you describe. I'm betting a lot of the locals there hated it when the artists moved in, and before you know it, the yuppies (now locals) will hate it when the next group moves in. The repetition is tiring, and you would hope a progressive would see beyond it.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. oh wow it's actually even more complicated than all that
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 11:44 AM by sui generis
Many old towns were train stops for agricultural products - but trains don't go there any more, the cost of farming and transporation has increased dramatically, crop prices have decreased, crop competition and even ranchable and arable land is splintered by inheritance, or sold for debt or foreclosed to the FHMA, there isn't local tax revenue from sales and income to pay for fire departments, police, schools, or even a nursing home in towns with pop < 500, and those people are aging far away from medical services, a lack of jobs for young adults and the complete lack of an economy. Add a flood, a fire, a crop blight, a tornado, or a hurricane of any size just once for kicks, and throw in the meth years in some places to further reduce opportunity, and not even migrant workers are bothering to make the round trip any more.

Now throw in the cost of housing - with your one tease haired greaseball babtist real estate agent who is also the only mortician for 300 square miles and the brother of the guy who runs the local am radio station out of his shasta winnebago on blocks and you've just described a very good chunk of "rural" america.

It would be a brain drain if the brains stayed. This is evolution. You can't keep everything, and parts you can keep are kept because they are economically viable. People don't want to live in the wild wild west 50 or 60 miles from the nearest doctor or clinic, a two hour drive one way to anything like a wal-mart or real grocery store, and weather, lack of service, opportunity for your kids, and well-water and a septic tank downstream from the old feed lot.

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Actually, the biggest problem is the NEW feedlots, which are there for
the purpose of providing cheap food to urban dwellers who neither know nor care where their food comes from, nor the effect its production has on the communities nearby.

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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
53. I get it, you hate city folk!
Welcome to your pathology - it's all yours.

My comments were about red rural america, not rural folks everywhere. But yours appear to be about city folk everywhere. Sheesh. You really should visit the big city more often - you are starting to sound close minded and . . . rural. (digs finger in critter2 ribs).

lighten up.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. the more that smart people leave, the redder these areas get.
Except for 1% of population, the Haves and Have Mores, as W called his base, there is a direct correlation between lower IQs and GOP support.

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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. agreed on the IQ part for sure
and I will proudly accept being accused of being an "elitist" latte drinking volvo driving commie pinko fag liberal (which I am :evilgrin:) but liberalism requires exposure to many people finding rules to get along together. In a one Ford F250 horse town, you don't have to learn to get along, you just make the rules and punish everyone who doesn't agree.

Clearly, it's not a good economic model, and they are looking extinction right in the stink-eye, and good riddance. In a few years they won't even bother collecting ballots from what's left of those tar-paper shacks on the prairie with old dusty rusty broke down tillers flaking away into eternity next to the decaying plywood Sinners Repent billboard sign.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. :sigh: Your attitude is what passes for progressivism.
Such intolerance will be its own undoing.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. so, you suggest that we tolerate their racism, their demands for intel design
in every skule system, and that we bow to their religious and neoconservative demands, even after they lost two elections in a row?

Sorry, but at some point, we have to take a stand against idiocy. Liberalism is not simply the acceptance and willingness to work with everyone, no matter how insane their ideas are. Your route leads to more teaching of abstinence as the only policy. That leads to pregnancies (unwanted), STDs, and shotgun marriages where both people are unhappy. Your "tolerance" leads to bad public policy on many fronts.

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Iowa started the ball rolling for Obama.
Funny kind of racism, that.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. judgmental much?
yikes.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Post no 10 isn't judgmental? nt
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. I would say Post 10 uncalled for and off base
but ABOUT THE TOPIC, erm, it would be more appropriate to say that some places, like Washington state, are rural, dying and very blue.

That doesn't necessarily mean progressive or even liberal, but definitely not republican. That would have been my counter observation if I had been the poster for Post 10, but that poster instead criticized my attitude.

'sokay, it's clear I can hold my own. ;)
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #20
32. Iowa allows gay marriage. How's them apples?
AND they are turning bluer each and every day.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. Yep. Just last weekend, I drove from my blue, urban state
to that scary rural place to do yet another gay wedding, complete with legal license.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. what are we arguing about again?
I live in Texas, blue cities, dark red rural. Half my family is from Kansas, red cities, darker red rural. Blue rural is by far the exception.

I don't give a flying number two if it offends any slack jawed yokel in a rural community - the point that you miss is that SOME of those places are dying for purely economic reasons and many-to-most of those places hate change of any kind, social, political, or even personal.

The world is changing around them. The rural areas of Iowa are NOT the vanguard, just the side effect. There is a critical mass when the cities and "socialized" areas outweigh the less socialized rural area need to avoid social change.

If you isn't a tomato don't be offended on behalf of tomatoes everywhere, but some of those areas are full of rotten tomatoes, and that's a bigger reality than blue Iowa.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #17
90. This country boy notes your bigotry.
Not every rural area is a Southern hick-town. Where I'm from (rural Red River Valley of the North) actually leans LEFT.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #90
93. the bi in bi-gotry, simply means that I misspelled
goat-ry.



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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. don't kill the messenger
and anyway I HATE the concept of tolerance. Acceptance or not, but "tolerance" is a bit patronizing.

My attitude is pretty organic, actually. If it was viable it woulda lived. The reason the flowers of democracy outgrow the weeds of conservatism, without requiring pesticide.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #23
56. I was with you, but now it just looks to me like you're a social Darwinist...
And that's pretty shitty.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #56
63. what?
are you generalizing from zero facts and one sentence? That's pretty fucking stupid. You just like to stir the shit.
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
33. You're helping them stay red.
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 01:15 PM by proteus_lives
Your sneering attitude doesn't help. You're acting like a liberal stereotype.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #33
41. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #33
101. I see the posse rode in to back you up on that. Not.
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 10:29 AM by sui generis
PLEASE tell me what I think, gosh, without your clairvoyance and telephathy I couldn't possibly finish a thought on my own.

I fucking hate ad hominem commentary that doesn't add a thing to the original topic. Let's play school marm. What other motives could you ascribe my statement to, other than "sneering attitude"?

None really? I guess I'm moving you to the remedial class.
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #101
106. Rude, rude, rude.
You're mad at mods for the wrist-slap. I get it.

You're not helping your case by sneering again. It's...unflattering.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #106
107. to reiterate
I was making fun of our own stereotypes, not sneering. Not mad either. The world has more colors than black or white.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #8
42. good riddance? You think everyone living in urban areas that can't process it's own garbage,
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 01:45 PM by KittyWampus
deal with it's own shit, provide itself with its own water or grow its own food is an ideal situation?

And funny how very many people who are high IQ and living in cities, that you seem to identify with, want so desperately to have a house out amongst us rural hayseeds where you can go and enjoy cooler air in the summer, grow a couple of tomatoes and pretend your still connected to nature.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. and you are offended on behalf of . . . ????
I'm sorry kitty your caterwauling was all over the place.

I'm talking about the deep red stupidville. Is that what you're talking about? If so, then you're on the wrong forum and board.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
40. "economically viable". The reason our current urban centers are economically viable
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 01:42 PM by KittyWampus
is because they exist as parasites on rural areas.

This is true within the USA and also true looking at our country's relationship with less-industrialized nations that grow our food and sew our clothing.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #40
45. clearly you live in the suburbs
toots.

I'm talking about north central Kansas and deep west Texas, no urban centers even remotely near. God the fake outrage on behalf of proud rural folks everywhere, it's positively, yawn. What was I saying?
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. You're growing your own food?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #48
52. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #40
57. True. Cities produce nothing but demand tons of resources. nt
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #57
61. One of my parishioners was taking a class in Western Civ.
I told her that the thing to keep in mind about any early civ class is that all civilization is built on the foundation of settled agriculture. If you understand that, you'll do fine in a Western Civ class.

She recently e-mailed me from school, saying that seems to be the gist of the course. Once some people started growing enough food to provide it for others, those others could start writing poetry, and music, running religious institutions and schools, and selling other stuff to each other.

Funny how many don't know this.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #61
65. so it's us or them?
really?

We know this for a fact, historicy speaking. Presently speaking the difference is in some areas agriculture works while it doesn't in other areas. Not all agriculture begets culture in every case.

The WHOLE POINT of the hyperbole earlier in this thread was that in the case where cultural objectives (or anti-cultural in the case of red state conservatives) took precedence over voting for things like agricultural subsidies with the democrats, they're living in their own outhouse, by choice. There ARE consequences to being backwoods conservative, and one of them is that I don't have to feel sorry for those folks when they voted to spend 70 billion dollars a year on a dumbass war in a country that didn't attack us, voted to take money away from the public schools because they didn't teach bible dipping and creationism, and then complain that nobody wants to move there or stay there.

Join us in building economies, instead of compounds in Waco. That's the gist, not a generic class war between who is superior, rural or urban. History doesn't make a blanket value judgement as some appear to be doing here, and my value judgment was not directed at anyone here.



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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #61
81. Critters, in Hebrew alphabet the first letter is Aleph which means "Ox". It represents the motive
power that civilization is based upon.

It's a very deep thought, if one dwells upon it.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #57
64. cities produce economy, product demand and hubs for transportation and services
cities produce universities and science which advances the lives of everyone without questioning where they live.

Cities are what happens when rural areas become successful.

Oh boy.

Farms produce manure and greenhouse gases. that statement is about as smart as what you said.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. Universities are becoming playgrounds for the children of the privileged.
If they weren't already. I am not saying cities are worthless, just that they need to have a little more humility.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. argle BARGLE people!
have we been invaded by generalizing aliens?

All universities? all privileged children? What kind of facts support your statement about universities? Cities don're require "humility" any more than rural areas require humility.

You can't make one assertion without the other being true. This is one of the weirder threads I've seen in a while. Country folk defending country folk from evil liberal elitists like me by assaulting city folk, but god helpya if you assault the noble poor country folk.

It's not that kind of war, or even a war at all.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
62. The "movie" small towns idealized by film-makers of the Hollywood heyday
were snippets of time that passed long ago, but there they still are today, on DVDs and on the AMC channel.

"Small Town, USA" was memorialized on film by immigrants who came here from Europe mostly. These people either saw our small rural towns as a fond remembrance of those small towns all over Europe that they fled from, due to war or the worldwide depression.. they were homesick

or they saw these small towns, and the movies they made about them, as a way to re-create them in an American image of what their small towns could have become, had circumstances not intervened.

Many of these film-makers were "hyper-patriots" to their new country (USA), and they over-glamorized small-town life, and through the generations, we have seen small town life through a gauzy pink filter.

Life was never "easy" in small towns. The lure of the big-city has always existed for the younger set, having grown up in a boring "one-horse town".

People who farmed, knew how hard a life that was, so it was only natural for them to want their own children to not have to do it. They succeeded too well though, since kids who went to college had no desire to come back to small-town and help Dad with the farm, once they had that degree..and even if they did want to go back, where would they work? how would the city-girl/guy they met in college and married, like living there?

Before there was tv, the movies created the image people got of their place & time in history. People who had never left New York City, could watch a movie where Nevada was the setting, and that was their impression of how western states looked, just as people in Iowa would see a movie about New York City, and think that all big cities were like that.

Small town life was portrayed as pious, clean, slow-moving, and somehow "nicer" than life in other places. It was unspoiled by the grimy factories, or the scheming criminality of the big city.

When a "bad guy" arrived in smalltown USA, it was shown to be a pivotal moment in the life of the townspeople as they banded together and rose up to overcome the bad guy and made him leave, or tossed him into jail.

The truth is that people in small towns lived "small" lives, but after WWII, when so many of the younger men went off to war, and women went to work in nearby, larger towns, there was bound to be a change . These young men from all over the US had seen San Diego and London, and New York, and Boston, and Florida, and Hawaii, and so many other exciting places. Why would they want to go back to smalltown USA with population <1000? They had money from the GI BILL and an opportunity to radically change their futures. They grabbed the brass ring and never looked back, until Dad/Grandpa died and left them the farm.

TV and movies still portrayed small town USA like the old moviemakers remembered it..not as what it had become...devoid of young people, devoid of jobs, devoid of opportunities, and existing only for the oldtimers who were stuck there because they were too old to do much of anything else. they were the trees with deep roots, unable to move, but their progeny were dandelions, whose seeds were ending up everywhere but in the ground nearby..

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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #62
69. but in many cases it is that way in reality
it's not that every person who wears cowboy boots and boxers is from Texas but some people in Texas do just that.

kinda funny lookin' mental picture actually - neglected to mention other clothes are being worn too. :P

There is a "tipping point" in a small town and it's not always driven by the grass is greener thing. Sometimes there just aren't enough people to choose from to build a family.

Sometimes, the trains just stopped running through there, and everything dried up. That's NOT hollywood. That's the U.S. census and fact. Can't buy irrigation equipment or planting or harvesting equipment because the economic cycle cracked; whole areas that are too expensive to do more than subsistence farming are going to go to seed and pasturage, because it's too expensive to repair the roads to get your equipment out there for a crappy crop.

It IS reality. Oh and by the way, people in small towns all throughout central and eastern europe migrated too and fro every other generation for exactly the same reasons (well, loss of arable land, new political borders, and periodic plagues, skirmishes, wars and groundwater illness. also not hollywood.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #69
70. I agree, there is a reality, but the moviemakers magnified it, and never let it "change"
I came from small-town USA..smack-dab in the middle of the US, and I saw it wither away in my lifetime. It never was as good as movies said (parts of "Picnic" were filmed there) and it was never quite as bad as many who left think it was..

Interstate highways bypassed these towns, and railroads forgot them, and the old folks stayed put..

The sad thing is, that as "new" people find them, they inevitably change them from what drew them there in the first place, into something very similar to what they said they were trying to get away from..

Humans are funny that way :(
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. Yeah, the comments were interesting.
Rural Americans are the one group progressives feel free to shit on with impunity. In spite of the fact that there was a time when "rural" and "progressive" were nearly synonymous.

I've lived in large cities and small towns, and have no interest in going back to the city. Not so much for cultural reasons as that I dislike the noise and pollution of the city (I can only breathe so many exhaust fumes before it's time to leave), and CANNOT take driving in that traffic. I also like to feel connected to the earth and the seasons, to watch the crops grow and change between planting and harvest. Even where I live now, in a town of 18,000, I feel disconnected from all of that, and intend to return to it in time.

The other thing that surprises me is the assumption that "rural" = "conservative". No one who attended my Iowa neighborhood's Democratic caucuses would've believed that. Even the Republicans I knew in central Iowa weren't the Religious, racist, wacko kind (so, I still can't figure out how Steve King keeps getting elected--but I didn't live in his district).

Frankly, I'll out Tom Harkin up against a Senator from any urban state for progressive credentials.

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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. It depends what part of the country you are in.
Here in the south rural residents are intensely conservative and overwhelmingly religious.

I understand that is not so in other parts of the country but I don't live there.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. But the article doesn't make those distinctions. It makes blanket statements
about rural America. Statements that are false in many cases.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
26. No one is perfect..
We are all guilty of generalizing, myself included.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. People are tired of being called "Un-American" because we live in cities
That's where a lot of the animosity stems from. Republicans from Reagan to Palin have been dissing us relentlessly. Then they wonder why the Republican party is not popular outside of rural/Southern towns.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Yeah. City-dwellers never insult rural people. nt
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Obviously it's a two-way street.
However, Republican politicians feel free to publicly put down urban people, but you don't hear elected Democrats saying, "Ya know, those hick shit-kickers sure are dumb, huh?"
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. What do you think Dems mean when they refer to the center of the country
as "flyover country"?
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. I don't think Democratic politicians say things like that publicly.
Politicians like Palin, on the other hand -- who are elected representatives of the Republican party -- routinely say things like "It's so great to be here in REAL America!" when they are appearing in some rural small town.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. LOL!
We hear what we want to hear. Believe me, Dems say it, and rural state people hear it.
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lukasahero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #22
54. I'd love for you to provide a source
for that claim.

Dems fall over backwards to get the rural vote and not offend anyone. Being one of those Massachusetts liberals so often used by the GOP as the very depiction of evil, I would love to see a valid source for when a senior Democrat actually slurred anyone in rural America.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #19
97. I absolutely HATE that term! so dismissive!
:grr:
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PVnRT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. It goes both ways
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Juche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
47. And its sad that we lost that
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 02:05 PM by Juche
I would love for rural areas to be more progressive. However from what I've seen the more progressive characters tend to leave and go somewhere else.

It seems the culture wars, xenophobia an values issues have turned rural areas mostly red, and the wealthy business interests who truly run the conservative movement and GOP now have an army of people willing to destroy their own economic livelihood in exchange for populist right wing rhetoric about 'the real america vs. the coasts', abortion, xenophobia, etc. Even if it means being part of 'the real america' means that you can't see a doctor, afford your home or find a job.

In the article 'the five stages of fascism' the author talks about how the political base of fascism (not that we are in fascism right now) comes from the rural parts of a country. Those are the parts where arguments about the 'real vs fake citizens' or 'hard working vs lazy cheaters' or 'heartland vs. the coasts' tends to work best. And it is an alliance between wealthy corporate interests and rural voters who believe in the flattering, populist arguments that 'they' are the real, hard working, true citizens and 'those' phony citizens are lazy, shiftless interlopers bent on destroying their way of life.

Maybe it is possible to turn rural areas progressive by appealing to economic populism (because I think cultural populism is a dead end there), but even that seems to be a dead end of sorts. It seems that fox news has almost inoculated people against economic populism, because I have met many small town voters who fight to defend the wealthy. The arguments they are getting on economics are

"If we give direct aid and benefits to the wealthy (dividend tax cuts, capital gains cuts, income tax cuts, deregulation) it'll indirectly benefit working people. If we give direct aid and benefits to working people (unions, higher minimum wages, better health care, stronger environmental protections, worker protections, business regulations and mandates) it'll cost them their jobs and businesses will close"

So an entire generation has been told that the only way to make their life better is to avoid doing anything to make their own lives better (which they are told will backfire), and instead to make life better for rich people and then hope it indirectly 'trickles down' with higher wages and more jobs. Its pathetic, but it has worked.

Now we have a nation where millions of people will fight like hell against anything that'll make their own lives better but will fight like hell for thing that'll make life easier for wealthy people. I don't know if rural areas can ever become progressive again in this situation. Social and economic populism have both been coopted by movement conservatives who use them to build a base of voters who will empower the wealthy and powerful.



On another note, in my red town in Indiana where I grew up that has a population of less than 10,000 (one of the most republican in the state) I saw about 5+ Obama signs and stickers for every 1 McCain. The county and city still went for McCain by about 20 points, but I guess all the blue voters were starting to fight back since we saw what happens when the right wing is in charge (Bush, Palin, etc).


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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #47
60. I think that the leftists also forgot how talk values
We know that the GOP has no values. They talk about Christianity and about Gawd, but really the only God that they worship is the dollar bill.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #47
74. And some Progressives are moving the other way.
In 2006, my wife and I left the Big Blue City (Minneapolis) and moved to the Red Rural South.
We have met several hard core Progressives who have moved up in these hills (Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas) for the same reasons we did.

*Beautiful, inexpensive, fertile, unspoiled land

*Long growing season

*Long way from urban or industrial pollution
(the area we chose is also free from agricultural pollution)

*Abundant clean water

*LOW Property taxes

*Low Winter energy overhead

We are no longer Good American Consumers.

Next year, we will "consume" even less.

We sometimes miss the benefits of a large multi-cultural city,
but we are happy with our choice.



Helping turn The South Blue


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Juche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #74
86. One of my coworkers was like that
He is an evangelical conservative, but he was still a rational person. In fact I don't even know if he voted for the GOP in 2008 because he was upset about Palin and him knowing she wasn't qualified to run a dairy queen, let alone a military and economy.

But he lived in NYC for about a decade, and decided to go back to a small farm town. He misses the culture, art, etc.

I'm the opposite. I was raised in a small farm town, and want to get out to a city. I tried Bloomington Indiana and loved it. Now I'm in San Diego. I'd like to try Raleigh NC, Seattle, DC or some other areas too.
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The Midway Rebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #74
89. pssst....dude...
shhhhhhh! You'll ruin the neighborhood if you let them rural secrets out and all them city folks and yankees start movin' down here.

;)


BTW nice garden! We share a common commandment of trying to live lightly. And kudos to your courage for placing an Obama sign in your yard. In my neighborhood, that kind of public political act has a history of getting folks killed. So, when it comes to most of my neighbors, I have to keep my politics and religion to myself.

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
95. I live in a medium-sized city, now (Fargo), but my soul is in the country, where I grew up.
I come from a family of old Minnesota Farmer-Laborites, liberal to the bone. I like hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling. The country is where I learned to admire and respect Nature. Learning to identify all the trees and all the other plants around here was a childhood obsession of mine.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
12. Because they offer the young people nothing.My daughter has already said pretty much ..
the same thing, if they want the young educated people to stay they need to offer something in the way of jobs, housing, entertainment, a way of life. Something besides churches and bars.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. You forgot the pancake places next to the strip clubs,
across the street from the baptist churches.
one side of the street is filled on Saturday. The other, Sunday.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. Man -- the number of churches in many small towns always astonishes me
and depresses me ... There are so many better uses for the land and effort.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #12
59. Same thing for the ghettos then.
They both just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and provide opportunities for their young people.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
83. this madmom has it right
there is nothing for a young educated person, esp. a female, in much of the countryside

no opportunity, no chance to be anything but a drudge

why get educated just to pop out babies? the bright ambitious young woman wants more and she has worked for more so OF COURSE she's gonna get the hell out

i'm sorry if that offends but c'mon people, where are the chances, where are the opportunities for bright young women in rural red america?
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rebel with a cause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #83
85. Do you think there is opportunities for all the educated
people (male/female) in the urban areas?

My son has a degree in Journalism and went to NYC for a year and was unable to find a position in any field. He came back home, worked at Wal-Mart for a short time and then got a position with the biggest news paper in this area. Granted it is not the NY Times, but it is a position that he had studied and worked for.

Yes, the paper is in a small city but it would be considered rural by most standards. A university town, people from Chicago send their children down here to study because they love our rural appearance. There are wooded areas every where and wild animals come into our towns. I don't appreciate the skunk that comes to my yard, but it only means I have to be careful when I take the dogs out at night. ;)
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #83
100. You reminded me of what me MIL told my daughter on finding out she was going back to school....
She told her to stop wasting her time and stay home and find a job as a cashier or something and get married. I was speechless then angry.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #100
103. My grandmother's neighbor said something similar to me
When I was about 25 -- told me that I needed "to forget about that career nonsense and settle down," because apparently my ovaries were going to shrivel up and die if I didn't procreate post-haste.

Now, 12 years later, the same woman treated me like a circus freak at a picnic because Mr. Laurel and are are childfree, pointing me out to total strangers.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #103
104. Yep, my daughter was 25 at the time and said she wants no kids. LOL, these old(er)
women can't seem to realize there is life with out kids!

On a side note all her female cousins have kids, a few are married, they have dead end jobs and usually do an off-hand bad-mouth every time they mention my daughter. They usually say something like "where is she now" or "has she found anything yet?",(in a snarky way) because she is studying archeology and travels, me thinks they are a bit envious(?)
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appamado amata padam Donating Member (301 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
14. Part of the problem
is the "States' Rights" attitude that is so ingrained in our governance, and which really ceased to be practical about 100 years ago. Let's face it, some states are just much better at managing their resources (including human) than others. If there were more national or regional standards and mechanisms for interstate cooperation, education, research, job training and placement (ie sharing of resources and information) maybe there could be more equitable standards of living, and more effort to prevent such decline.

But yes, I know. Such talk results in screams of "Communism!" etc.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #14
73. States rights can be used for leftist reforms.
The problem is that the left in America is obsessed with UNIVERSAL/Federal reforms.
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appamado amata padam Donating Member (301 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #73
75. Good point -
I thought about that later, after I had posted. It's a 2-way street.

And I agree, federal/universal isn't always the answer; things are different in different parts of the country. Maybe we need a new "regional" level to gov't (?)

I don't want to take away states' rights; just want to augment. I think what I was trying to get at was the stubborn feeling of mistrust for gov't involvement, and knee-jerk rallying against one's own best interest.

Thanks,

Peace.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #75
76. Yeah, that definitely needs to change.
People just need to realize that they have control over their own government.
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Tashca Donating Member (935 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
43. Good article
I have to wonder if anyone actually took the time to read this article. I think it did a very good job of laying out the problems and then providing practical solutions.

I am curious what Iowa town they actually lived in and did these interviews. I know the town of Ellis, Ia. does not exist.

Iowa has been a national leader in primary education for at least 40 years along with Minnesota and Wisconsin. I think he rightly points out that communities and the State have probably put too much emphasis on educating what he calls the high fliers. Yes they go on to top Universities and for the most part do not come back. His ideas on secondary education are right on target. I would hope leaders in this State would at least look at some of these ideas.


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crazylikafox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
46. But they'll still have their 2 Senators, even if there are only 5 people left in the state.
So they keep their disproportionate share of power. I think it's time to start thinking about a Constitutional Convention, so we can have a democracy again. Please tell me what benefit the Senate gives us? Of course, they also have the power to vote that down.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #46
49. The Senate represents the states, not individual citizens.
So, yes, each state gets two Senators. This is precisely for the purpose of providing all states with a voice, regardless of population...so that urban areas can't run roughshod over rural ones. The interests of states are supposed to be the focus of the Senate, the interests of individuals the House. Originally, individuals didn't even vote for the Senate, state legislatures did. Sometimes, I think we should go back to that, since so few people seem to understand this.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #49
77. Why not let them run roughshod over them?
Now they run roughshod over the urban areas, and are a minority. If we don't get a health plan, Senators from low populated states - Baucus for example, are the very reason.

I'm from a small state and have no problem with it being more proportional.

It's not really fair for the population of California to be equal to Montana in representation.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #77
78. California isn't equal to Montana in total representation.
Again, states, not people, are represented in the Senate. Each state gets two Senators. Nothing to do with population, but with being states. It is NOT about representing people, thus not about population size.

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ejbrush Donating Member (186 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #77
80. Montana is not equal to California in Representation!
California has 53 congressional representative in the House.
Montana has 1 congressional representative in the House.

53 is not equal to 1.

Dumbass.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #46
58. I can't wait until we start using those hick states as toxic waste dumps.
They shouldn't have a voice in our government. Who needs 'em anyways?
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
50. To quote my friend from rural WV "WE LEFT YOU GUYS TO WALLOW IN YOUR OWN IGNORANCE!"
He left a VERY religious VERY closed minded town in the hills of WV. He always jokes that he hopes the town implodes into its own ignorance...
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CBR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #50
71. I am from rural WV. Most of my classmates who
went to college never went back. I love the natural beauty of my hometown and the ease of life; however, there are no jobs (save social worker and Wal-Mart) and the religious mindset is strong. I now live in an urban area. It has diversity, jobs and, quite frankly, people mind their own business. I would love to move home but I don't think the people there would want me.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #71
87. Same here
I love my family and miss them every day, but I wouldn't move back if my salary were doubled and free housing provided.
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Kitty Herder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
68. Most of the people I graduated high school with live far from this rural area we grew up in.
They can't find jobs here. Many of them would move back in a heartbeat if they could.

Most of the jobs that are available here are the kind that don't require education, so the most of educated young people don't move back after college (with some notable exceptions). It does create a brain drain.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
72. In 2008, I revisited Cut Bank, Montana with my boy...
We were staying at Glacier Park. In 1975, I hitchhiked across the country and worked in Cut Bank for 3 months. It was a well-kept prosperous little town. In 2008 it looked like a bomb hit it. All the quaint stores I remembered were boarded up and only cheap "casino/bars" were open.

Very very sad. On the way back to Glacier, I speculated that just what this article said was probably the main culprit.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
79. It is a real crisis, and one that is just breaking
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
82. I once had high hopes that technology could change that.
There's no reason that the information industry couldn't be decentralized. Yet high centralization still persists. Why is Silicon Valley in San Jose? Why is every meaningful tech company in Washington within 20 miles of Redmond, or at least within 5 miles of I-5?
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comrade snarky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #82
98. As good as modern communication is
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 01:09 AM by comrade snarky
We still need the human contact. No video conference will ever be as useful as 6 hours together in a room then going out for drinks and food afterwords.

I've worked on distributed teams and it's much harder than having people local. It can be done of course but it takes concerted effort. Maybe something immersive will take care of that need but it's going to be a while before anything as good as real face time is available.

Until then I think people will gather. It's one of the reasons for cities in the first place.

:typo
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
84. I grew up in a little town, there is nothing for smart people in them.
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The Midway Rebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #84
91. I thought the article was
hopeful. If you read their suggestions for plugging the "brain drain", I see lots of opportunities for multiculturalism, technology, green jobs, education, new and better ways to produce food and for living healthy lifestyles. These things, I think, should be at the core of the progressive cause!


K&R this article!
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #84
92. Yep. Same phenomenon in rural-mentality-in- urban-setting places like Pittsburgh....
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 11:18 PM by BlooInBloo
Everybody knows, and has known for a very long time, that staying there is basically a dead end.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #84
94. Really? I'm Mensa-eligible (refuse to pay dues for such a thing) and
would much rather live in a small town than a city. I love open space and quiet, and feeling connected to the earth. Can't live any where where all the open space is covered in cement.

But, hey, if that speaks to your aesthetic, knock yourself out!
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Prism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #94
105. Cities are bad for neurogenesis
Recent studies suggest the more removed people are from natural surroundings, the more packed they are in a city, and the more stimuli they experience in public has an adverse effect on the brain's generation of new neurons.

Science is just now uncovering the biological basis for what humans have long intuited about cities vs. rural areas. There's a reason people need to "get away" or find rural living better for their peace of mind. The more green spaces built into a city, the better people do.

Of course, it's a bit ironic. Cities seem to have a generally negative effect on neurology, but the sheer numbers of people are incomparably better for the evolution and progress of human thought.

I'm beginning to wonder if the Internet cannot sidestep many of those problems. Combining the mental health benefits of rural living with the vibrancy of intellectual and cultural interaction that cities have long offered. Maybe there's something to it.
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #84
99. I disagree.
Each town is different. And to a certain extent, a place is what you make of it. I'm not too shabby in th brains department and I prefer small towns, open spaces and low levels of noise. Cities are nice to visit but I like my small towns.

One of the smartest, funniest men I ever knew in my life so far lived in a Arizona town of less then a 1,000.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
96. Every time I go to DuPage County Court, there's this car.
well, a pickmeup truck, really, and it says

I'm from south carolina,
and YES
We are that stupid.


I love that truck. I really do.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
102. A farmer I know had a good quote
His name's Joel Salatin (he's the guy whose farm is in "Omnivore's Dilemma"). When he was in high school, his guidance counselor asked him what he wanted to do for a living. He said he wanted to be a farmer. She was appalled and pointed out that he was really smart and that she couldn't imagine him "wasting his life" growing food.

When we start valuing our food supply again, people will start returning to it. We could go back to cities surrounded by farmland (with no miles of suburban sprawl separating them) and more or less wilderness between the population centers. I think it's a beautiful idea.
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