American politicians have been ignoring the very serious problem of poverty among white people in rural America, where 46 million people live. This must end and the Trump administration is addressing the issue directly. This is good news.
Cities historically have concentrated wealth while rural areas have historically been places of deprivation. But for hundreds of years, and even before independence, rural America developed its own relatively successful economies. Agriculture, mining, ranching, quarrying and logging provided economic opportunity, along with small-scale manufacturing facilities (furniture, shoes, food products, tools, etc.) in small towns.
Urbanization has changed all that. Mechanization too. Many fewer people are needed today for farming, mining and other industries while small-scale manufacturing has disappeared in shifting markets and technologies, or has been consolidated in larger facilities or fled overseas.
Today rural America is in dire straits. As younger rural residents flee to smaller cities or to the suburbs of major cities, the problems in rural areas grow on themselves, i.e, businesses and banks close, churches shut down, budgets shrink as economies contract, there aren’t enough people to serve on the town council, the remaining population gets older and sicker, etc.
This has been compounded by environmentalists’ decades-long War on Rural America in which ‘greenies’ oppose every economic development project. For instance the Democrats in New York state, largely from New York City and in concert with ‘greenies’, are blocking any ‘fracking’ for rich natural gas deposits in poorer rural parts of the state. Meanwhile small towns and rural areas in next-door Pennsylvania are thriving with ‘fracking’.
Environmentalists even make farming more expensive and complex with myriad ‘green’ rules and regulations.
Environmentalists are part of a ‘green’ network funded by upper-income, wealthy and super-wealthy people from the cities and suburbs; by government funding, both direct and indirect like through the universities; by the universities themselves; and by millions of smaller donors and activists.
Wealthy elites also purchase tracts of land in rural areas and hold it out of development (CNN founder Ted Turner owns 2 million acres in Montana), or donate it to private land trusts to deprive local people of the opportunity for economic development of that land. Fox News reported in 2007:
Turner has amassed 2 million acres over the past two decades to become the largest private landowner in the country. He owns land in at least nine states, with most of his holdings in New Mexico, Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota, and is restoring buffalo, cutthroat trout, wolves, black-footed ferrets and other flora and fauna that filled the Plains before the West was won.
His front men say their boss doesn’t have a secret agenda — he just wants to be a rancher. But each big buy only heightens the anxiety and gives rise to conspiracy theories, the most ominous of which hold that the swashbuckling Atlanta executive is bent on putting Nebraska ranchers and farmers out of business.
“With him it’s such a concern,” said Cindy Weller, who lives on the family ranch near Mullen. “You don’t know what his plan is and what he’s going to do.”
Among the theories: Turner is trying to corner the land over the Ogallala Aquifer, the world’s largest underground water system, to gain power in the water-starved West.
Or: He is scheming, perhaps with the United Nations, to create a vast wildlife refuge and turn it over to the federal government, removing the land from Nebraska’s tax rolls. That could hurt Nebraska schools and other services, which are already starved for cash.
The people in rural America, often in isolated areas, are no match for this economic juggernaut, which often gangs up on one area to stop a project with lawyers and activists coming from all over.
This happened with a proposal for an iron mine in Northern Wisconsin which was defeated in 2015 largely by out-of-state and university ‘green’ interests. The mine would have provided 3,500 jobs but was stopped over wetlands. This shows how these ‘greenies’ use any tactic at their disposal to stop development, i.e., wetlands, endangered species, legal challenges, drawn out studies, etc. In Oregon in the 1990s, 30,000 loggers lost their jobs over the fake ‘spotted owl’ controversy.
Thus the same people who want endless government programs to “fight poverty” are the same people who are causing poverty in the first place.
There is a racist undertone to this as well, since most people in rural America are white and conservative and thus are enemies of the modern left, which is headquartered in the liberal cities and in the universities, in the ‘green’ movement, and in minority populations.
Nikitas3.com has witnessed this phenomenon in small towns in New England, many of which have shrunken significantly over the last 50 years. In the Midwest and West the problem is more acute where populations are spread far and wide and economic opportunity is nonexistent or out of reach for many people, particularly with government takeover of land, or endless ‘green’ restrictions on land use.
This problem also has been compounded by a “reverse migration” of liberal ‘back to the landers’ moving out from cities and suburbs into rural and small-town areas to take advantage of “country living”. They also come from nearby universities. They bring wealth and education with them for their own benefit, but they do not participate in the traditional industries like farming, logging or mining.
Then they do everything in their power to block local economic development in the areas that they have moved into. Local newspapers, frequently owned by like-minded people, often join in the anti-development crusade.
In one case out of many familiar personally to Nikitas3.com a dentist from New Jersey who had retired to a rural town in New England successfully spearheaded a campaign to stop the opening of a granite quarry that would have provided jobs for the locals. He did not want his peace and quiet interrupted.
Nikitas3.com also witnessed this obstruction when I lived in rural Vermont for a short period back in the late 1970s. One young ‘back to the land’ socialist with whom I was acquainted got on the local planning commission and would endlessly badger any advocate for development over every detail of their proposal. This is very common nationwide as leftists eagerly take these public offices and scrutinize every fence post and draining ditch of every proposal.
And then they add “green commissions” on top, which is just another layer of obstructionist bureaucracy.
Ironically this behavior has come back to bite the “back to the land” elites. In many cases their own children have left these rural areas like Vermont for lack of opportunity. These kids often have gone to conservative states like Texas, Georgia and Arizona while conveniently ignoring the real meaning of what they are doing, i.e., directly turning their backs on their parents’ obstructionist ideology.
President Trump is now making efforts to help rural America by reining in the EPA and offering a pro-development mindset. This is a good thing but rural America has a lot of catching up to do after decades of neglect.
Now, however, the “progressives” are even turning on each other over issues in rural America. Look at this from a website called Heat Street:
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, long the country’s most overtly progressive company, is now no longer progressive enough for progressives.
Over the weekend, “scores” of activists marched on Ben & Jerrry’s Vermont factory, demanding that that company push for better wages and working conditions for migrant workers on Vermont’s dairy farms. Social justice warrior blogs excoriated the company for failing to live up to its own progressive rhetoric.
Apparently, two years ago, Ben & Jerry’s promised to take part in the “Milk With Dignity” program… The campaign asks major corporations that use milk in their food products to work to ensure migrant workers who help produce the milk are treated fairly.
Ben and Jerry… began negotiations with the organizations, to structure their commitment in such a way that it protected their bottom line. They also claimed to the Washington Post that they wanted to get real details on farm worker treatment from the migrants themselves, so that the agreement could be realistic.
“It has to work for the farmers, the farm owners, and it has to work for the businesses involved and that’s the complex piece,” a representative of the company told media.
So suddenly left-wing Ben & Jerry’s is not left-wing enough. No surprise there. This is how the left consumes itself after they ruin everyone else, including the livelihoods of millions of people in rural America.
On a separate note, here is a wonderful web page full of hilarious military advice.
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