I live in rural WV. I couldn't have imagined 30 years ago what it is today. Not much work and drugs are rampant, crime is up from theft to murder. When I was young you would hear about drugs in the inner cities and never dreamed it would happen here. Now it's hit rural America HARD. For me your can feel the sense of despair everywhere around my town.
It is almost impossible to grow strawberries without methyl bromide. In one short year after MB was taken off the market, the Chinese moved in and supplied Japan with strawberries that the USA had owned for over 25 years. It is all over. New Pesticides are both expensive and ineffective. Crop yields are down. Corporate farms grow corn for ethanol which as a farm product would bankrupt the farmer without Gov subsidies. Ethanol is worthless as a biofuel because it cost more in diesel fuel than the energy it yields. Even Al Gore says it is a terrible idea.
We can no longer grow all our food needs. Farmers have suffered risk and there is no liquidity to buy equipment. Real Estate prices have collapsed. Everyone is tapped out.
Cities get the big influx of Federal dollars. Look no further than Wash DC suburbs. Gov security firms do great. Meanwhile, the South's massive Textile industry has moved entirely to China and India. All the associated industries have gone under.
Nobody wants to farm now. Prices of most commodities have collapsed. Look at eggs and milk and pork bellies. Giant South American factory farms fill American grocery shelves.
The whole point of Rural life is farming and innovation. Government is regulating it out of existence. After the subprime collapse, there is no money, no liquidity for new equipment.
At some point in Ameria, you are not going to produce anything including food. The top job in America now is Bartender and hotel room cleaners. Manufacturing is down to 16% of the economy down from 40% under Reagan.
No businesses are coming back to America. Textiles, Semiconductors, home electronics etc are gone forever. It was a 15 year old farm kid name Philo Farnsworth that invented Television.
Unemployment utilization is the highest in history meaning millions of Americans are still unemployed. Persons over 50 need not apply. The jobs stink and pay next to nothing. What are you going to do when everything is services and you make nothing at all.
The chief export of the USA is weapons system. These are state-run businesses in which taxpayers get stuck with prototyping costs, cost overruns etc. But when Boeing uses this taxpayer technology to sell commercial aircraft, they give nothing back to the taxpayers.
Rural America is dying and when it comes back and it will, it will be out of necessity because the US economy will collapse because they make nothing and borrow to pay for everything.
All you have to do is listen to a couple hours of "gansta" rap to realize the rural community is very much dying. Sure the population is dying, that's how you know it's dying. We need crops, and for many other reasons, we don't need rural America at all. It's definitely dying.
I grew up on a family farm in rural Missouri. Some small towns are finding a niche, but the small family farm unsupported by any other income is hard to sustain and they become fewer every year. A lot of the industry in those communities has been outsourced to other nations. The small towns that are sustaining themselves are largely now centers for retail, healthcare, education, and other services, and they can only grow by taking business away from their neighbors. And the population is aging rapidly.
It won't completely die, but it is and will continue to whither away. It's very sad.
This has been ongoing since Eisenhower was in office. Yes, there are some thriving small towns. Yes, some people retire to the country. And there is always going to be tourism, dude ranches, second homes, and weekend- retreat cabins. Not to mention campgrounds. But look at the actual rural permanent population. Down, declining, and in some cases, gone. There are very few jobs. Farming is not as labor intensive. The mines are closing. Appalachia has been hollowed out, in places, and those that remain are unemployed, largely. "McFarms" are common, the good ole' corporate farm. The family farm is becoming a thing of the past. And small towns are losing people. This is not a good thing. I grew up in central Illinois, live in central Indiana, and have relatives in Appalachia. I have seen this in my lifetime. It is sad. But it is, none the less.
Farming is commercialized now. You used to be able to come out of highschool early at 16 or 17 and get a job paying $15 an hour in the countryside. Now there's nothing but minimum wage if your lucky. Services are spotty. Mail, cell, and internet services are more expensive and beginning to close down. No large businesses are building out there because there aren't any large numbers of qualified employees. Few universities, and the ones that are out there are dropping out-of-state tuition because they are beginning to become desperate. You can pretend all you want, but rural america will be no more in 100 years. Don't lie to your kids, set them up for a good career, not a trailer. Farming isn't an individual career anymore, its not financially possible.
The constantly increasing automation of BigAg means that the labor demands for ag output will continue to decline; that means fewer jobs, followed by shrinking populations. Will ag remain? Of course. Will cities gobble up all of our rural areas? Of course not. But it does mean there will be fewer and fewer people - votes - which can influence policy. No matter how much of a partisan slant and how much representation is allocated to 'geography', the influence of a shrinking population on our politics and the culture will wane and ultimately disappear.
The rural community is dying due the lack of resources to attract people to the area and not enough to keep people in those areas. Cities have concerts, museums, attractions and jobs that keep people engaged and interested in living, and working in the area, for both short and long term.
In the next thirty or forty years, America's urban population will vastly outnumber the rural population. Why? Because of statistics. Our cities are growing at an extremely fast rate, while most of our rural counties are either staying stagnant or declining in population. This is probably because of the recession.
Rural areas are dying not only in the United states, but all across the globe. Many huge cities are expanding for several reasons. If cities become over crowded, its only natural that they expand into rural areas. Also, expanding urban areas means more business and money for that particular area.
All you have to do is listen to a couple of hours of country music to realize that it's not dying. Sure the population is sparse, but that's why they call it rural. It's mostly agriculturally based which requires large areas of unpopulated land, hence, a sparse population. We need crops, and for many other reasons, we need rural America. It's not dying at all.