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Amid Dying Towns of Rural Plains, One Makes a Stand
The New York Times ^ | December 1, 2003 | TIMOTHY EGAN

Posted on 12/01/2003 2:17:55 AM PST by sarcasm

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1 posted on 12/01/2003 2:17:56 AM PST by sarcasm
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To: sarcasm
Hundreds of counties have followed Superior's path, and their industrial parks and new buildings sit empty.

We've had similar things like this, too-- I call it "government bureaucrats find it easy to spend other people's money..."

If there were a profit to be made, private businesses would already be filling the niche'.

2 posted on 12/01/2003 3:02:57 AM PST by backhoe (--30--)
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To: sarcasm
Why rural depopulation is a liberal policy.
3 posted on 12/01/2003 3:31:04 AM PST by Vigilanteman
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To: sarcasm
"The other force is the Wal-Mart effect. The day a Wal-Mart comes into a midsize town, Mr. Blauvelt said, the town newspaper loses about 40 percent of its advertising revenue. But at least the paper has a fighting chance to stay in business. For local stores, it is no contest."

Ah ha ....... The old Wal-Mart effect.

Amazing that Wal-Marts would locate to an area that has consistantly lost poulation since the 50's.

They will no doubt be bankrupt very shortly.

Yawwwwwwwnnnn.

4 posted on 12/01/2003 3:53:51 AM PST by G.Mason (If they are Democrats they are expendable)
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To: sarcasm
bump for later
5 posted on 12/01/2003 4:11:39 AM PST by Skooz (We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well, and live.)
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To: sarcasm
The same thing is happening in Iowa, to a lesser degree.
6 posted on 12/01/2003 4:24:17 AM PST by Iowa Granny (One man with courage makes a majority..... Andrew Jackson)
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To: Vigilanteman
This is all part of the NYT agenda of promoting the Buffalo Commons
7 posted on 12/01/2003 4:24:31 AM PST by sarcasm (Tancredo 2004)
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To: sarcasm
It's getting to be a problem getting around, now.
The last time I stopped and asked an old local for
directions, he said, "You go down this way for a piece,
then you turn left where the old school house used to be."
8 posted on 12/01/2003 1:43:35 PM PST by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com/)
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To: sarcasm
Forty years ago, the poorest counties in America were located in southern Appalachia, and to a lesser extent, the Mississippi Delta and the Ozarks. What happened in these areas was that, as the coal mines played out, subsistence farming became less desirable, and cotton production became mechanized, rural whites and blacks migrated to the North. The rural Great Plains will stabilize when the excess population migrates out of the region. As long as cotton, wheat, corn, and cattle remain viable commodities, people will produce them. If it takes fewer people to do so, or if counties or school districts must consolidate, so be it.
9 posted on 12/01/2003 2:23:51 PM PST by Wallace T.
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To: sarcasm
What's the education level for these folks? What type of skills do they possess?
10 posted on 12/01/2003 2:29:07 PM PST by KantianBurke (Don't Tread on Me)
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To: sarcasm
Snips from the article:
Like most of the rural Great Plains, Nuckolls County is old, white and relatively poor. One of four households makes less than $15,000 a year, according to census figures. One of four people is older than 65. Most of the jobs are tied to farming, though the hospital is the biggest employer, with 148 workers. The county is 99 percent white.

...They put together a PowerPoint presentation, boasting of a union-free labor force in a town where a solid three-bedroom, two-bath home sells for less than $50,000.

"Our greatest asset is the psychological loyalty of people who left here," said Dr. Don Crilly, a retired vascular surgeon who returned to Superior 10 years ago from the San Francisco Bay area. He and his wife, Sylvia, moved into the biggest house in town, a plantation-style mansion that had been owned by Dr. Crilly's father. The town welcomed them, they said. They were charmed by the easy pace, the friendships, the lack of cynicism.

A place like this sounds like a good prospect for a guy like myself to RETIRE TO.

In some ways, it fits - generally - the kind of county I'm looking for:
* Rural - completely away from _any_ city of any size. The "middle of nowhere" is great if you're an avid motorcyclist, as I am.
* Likely quite conservative. Need I say more?
* Homogeneous (the county is 99% white) - not much "diversity" here. That's _exactly_ what I'm looking for (sorry if that offends you).
* Cheap - $50k for a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house? You can't buy a garage for that around here.
* Near medical care - having a hospital nearby is certainly a consideration when you're aging.

I could sell out where I am now (northern Fairfield County, Connecticut), take the one-time capital gains exemption on the sale of my home, move to a county like this, buy a retirement home for a fraction of the proceeds I reap from the sale of my (older, in-need-of-work) my current home, and invest the balance (which I will certainly need as a single, retired guy for my remaining years).

I suspect there are a great many more soon-to-be-retirees like me looking to find a "place away" from what American society has become (degenerated to?). Something that hints toward the life many remember growing up in the 1950's.

Case in point: myself. I grew to age 10 in a small, rural Connecticut town, with farmer's fields just recently abandoned, separated by stonewalls, in a house my dad (a carpenter) built himself on land selling for $800 an acre. Today, those former field are overgrown with trees (the young people of today probably have no inkling of the open fields they once were), populated with enormous homes selling in the $700,000+ price range.

I can't "go home" again to the rural Weston of my youth. It no longer exists.

But I _could_ go "home" to a new-found rural community such as Superior, with little regret or looking back.

Cheers!
- John
P.S. Another thought (off-the-wall, perhaps): if the Islamics ever succeed in smuggling and detonating a nuke in an American city, watch the "middle of nowhere" places like this fill up across the country like rain barrels in a flood...

11 posted on 12/01/2003 3:39:24 PM PST by Fishrrman
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To: Fishrrman
I've had similar thoughts.
12 posted on 12/01/2003 3:48:12 PM PST by sarcasm (Tancredo 2004)
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To: Fishrrman
My family did precisely what you are saying and we are so happy, we can hardly stand it! We live on an beautiful acreage 1/2 mile from our nearest neighbor and live like kings. :)
13 posted on 12/01/2003 4:00:24 PM PST by Rightone
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To: sarcasm
bttt and link: Not all farmers see gains in trade
14 posted on 12/01/2003 4:39:20 PM PST by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: sarcasm
pockets of hard poverty amid large agribusinesses supported by taxpayers.

The first and last time the N. Y. Times gave - or pretended to give - a rat's rear end about the American taxpayer.

15 posted on 12/01/2003 4:43:15 PM PST by mountaineer
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To: sarcasm
He has no children...

I think this is pretty typical. Many folks in areas like that didn't go out and do drugs during the 70's, but they bought into some of the no-child mentality of the times.

I would suspect a lot of them in this area were German Catholics, who had probably been cranking out families of 7-12 children prior to Vatican II. The problem is that when the population drops, a place becomes dreary and dull. And then when foreigners (Mexicans, Arabs, you name it) move in, it simply becomes - well, foreign.

I hope you all do realize that, if it were not for immigration, we would have the same negative birth rate that Europe has. Don't listen to the NY Times and the Packard Foundation (major Zero Population Growth advocates).

When are native born Americans going to start having children again?

16 posted on 12/01/2003 4:47:40 PM PST by livius
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To: livius
Even with Zero Immigration the United States population would increase until at least the year 2100.
17 posted on 12/01/2003 5:19:22 PM PST by sarcasm (Tancredo 2004)
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To: sarcasm

Manufacturing Activity Is Highest in 20 Years

Job Growth Returns to Sector After Three Years of Decline By MICHAEL SCHROEDER
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

WASHINGTON -- Manufacturing in November showed the most robust activity in two decades, lifting employment in the sector higher than expected.

The Institute for Supply Management, a private research firm, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 62.8 last month from 57 in October.

Providing solid evidence of an improving manufacturing jobs picture, the ISM employment index climbed to 51 from 47.7. The last time the employment gauge was above 50 was September 2000.

Readings of at least 50 point to strong growth in the industrial sector, which has lagged behind other sectors as the economy digs out of the recession that started in 2001.

Economists had expected the industrial index would rise to 59, according to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC.

Calling the survey results "astonishing," Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics Ltd., said the latest reading is consistent with year-over-year growth in gross domestic product of about 7%. He added that the employment survey suggests "the three-year run of industrial job losses will soon end."

Meanwhile, construction spending increased 0.9% in October as still low mortgage rates drove residential home building to unprecedented levels. Big gains were registered in public projects as federal and state governments have ramped up spending.

Overall construction spending rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $922 billion, the highest level on record, from an upwardly revised $913.5 billion in September, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Private residential construction spending rose 2.2% to a record $484.1 billion, while private nonresidential construction slipped 2.1%. The decline, the steepest since a 2.3% drop last December, was driven by weakness in construction of commercial facilities, power plants and factories.

The economic reports suggest that growth is likely to continue. "Based on this data, it appears that the recovery is gaining momentum," Norbert Ore, who directs the survey for the ISM, said in a statement. "Indications are that the manufacturing sector is ending 2003 on a very positive note, and all of the indexes support continued strength into 2004."

The ISM survey's backlog-of-orders index increased to 59 in November from 53.5 a month earlier, an indication that orders exceeded production during the month.

Write to Michael Schroeder at mike.schroeder@wsj.com

Updated December 1, 2003 12:42 p.m

18 posted on 12/01/2003 5:49:37 PM PST by TaxRelief (The Dems are pulling out their hair! God, they're so transparent. Spread the good news!)
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To: TaxRelief

19 posted on 12/01/2003 5:58:02 PM PST by Consort
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To: TaxRelief
What does that article have to do with the population of the rural plains? Do you read articles or just trash threads?
20 posted on 12/01/2003 6:07:16 PM PST by sarcasm (Tancredo 2004)
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