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Old 07-09-2016, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,904 posts, read 6,496,831 times
Reputation: 7353

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Thought this was a timely article given all the urban/rural back and forth on this forum.

Divided America: From Denver to rural Colorado, town and country offer differing realities – The Denver Post
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,795 posts, read 4,896,352 times
Reputation: 17136
The Urban versus Rural story is not really new. What's changed is that a generation ago there were some manufacturing jobs in rural areas that could support a family.

Now, post NAFTA, those jobs are gone. What's left is agriculture, prisons, and some tourism.

As a result, the rural counties lose their bright young people who leave for college and rarely return because there is no way to earn a living in those places. The small towns face depopulation, the housing values fall, and the old people and less educated younger people remain. Rinse and repeat.

The part that I don't understand is why these areas are supporting Trump. Manufacturing is not coming back.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:04 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,196,196 times
Reputation: 22575
Default Grasping at straws

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
The part that I don't understand is why these areas are supporting Trump.
Belief in magic.
Voodoo economics.
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:07 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,401 posts, read 39,713,740 times
Reputation: 23426
Don't worry, the rural vote is of no value to those seeking a win.

Very lightweight article, likely written by an 'employee' / urban apartment dweller,; not a job creator / business owner.

The usual drag, no proposals or benefit, just 'reporting' what has been happening to rural America since 1945.

. “There’s a lack of interest in both parties — in urban, rural communities — in knowing what the others’ needs are,” said Jim Rizzuto, president of Otero Junior College

No vested interest.... We can buy our food cheaper from other countries who use serfs (as will the USA soon).
And please, keep your cows from pooing within 300' of a protected waterway.

The USA has made great strides, look at our current racial divide..... That didn't happen by accident.
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:41 PM
 
3,797 posts, read 3,987,784 times
Reputation: 2566
I've advocated on several occasions here for state government to identify Denver area state goverment department subdivisions and parts of subdivisions that could function well in outlying, economically highly challenged communities as a direct source of economic development and for the spinoff benefits and chance it helps lure new private investment. 10 jobs here, 50 there, 100 that place. Above and beyond the existing, "necessary" field office structures. I am not really aware how hard the current Governor has pushed it but it probably could be pushed further. There are units where such a move would not make sense, but some portion may be feasible with the "cost" being manageable relative to the economic and social benefit of a depressed area. Moving real, long-term jobs (besides prisons) may be more impactful than more studies or more incentives offers.

Private business owners- big and small- tend to share the reluctance to go to or stay in small communities over the depth of the talent pool, support infrastructure and the preference of perhaps up to 70-80% of the workforce to live in urban areas. Some of the attitudes and practices of small communities can hurt their own cause of recruiting & retaining workers / community members (of course true for urban areas too). Vote down bond issues for improving schools? That can hurt. Don't build public rec centers, arts facilities, parks, senior centers, community colleges, high-speed internet, modern stocked libraries, well-maintained roads & bridges, electrical / water & sewer systems with room to grow and meet regulations, airports, depth and diversity in organized youth activities, enough of all these things to attract the really hard to attract to rural areas doctors, etc. and many folks will pass and stay in places that invest in those things they want. Not everybody does but it appears more vote with feet / car for places that have or have more of these publicly financed amenities. And often a higher share of people with political / social values similar to theirs or at least more perceived room to live out their preferences. Competing for jobs is not easy or free. Bigger cities have been winning for centuries (thousands of years really). Improve tactics and content or rural areas will keep losing to them. Even if some big urban area workers / dwellers say they'd prefer a smaller community, they tend to just move to edge of a big one. The smaller places not near a big metro have to make the tradeoffs smaller to win more of the people and jobs.

Last edited by NW Crow; 07-09-2016 at 07:48 PM..
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,904 posts, read 6,496,831 times
Reputation: 7353
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Don't worry, the rural vote is of no value to those seeking a win.

Very lightweight article, likely written by an 'employee' / urban apartment dweller,; not a job creator / business owner.

The usual drag, no proposals or benefit, just 'reporting' what has been happening to rural America since 1945.

. “There’s a lack of interest in both parties — in urban, rural communities — in knowing what the others’ needs are,” said Jim Rizzuto, president of Otero Junior College

No vested interest.... We can buy our food cheaper from other countries who use serfs (as will the USA soon).
And please, keep your cows from pooing within 300' of a protected waterway.

The USA has made great strides, look at our current racial divide..... That didn't happen by accident.
What??? It's a news report. Its not an attack on rural people. It's supposed to report on current conditions and bring information to people who may not have it. It was written by a reporter. He interviewed several citizens and several academics related to the subject matter. Of course he's an employee, although possibly a free lance journalist.

Am I to understand that now you will only read articles that are op eds written by business owners? Seems like a rather ridiculous criteria.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Eastern Colorado
3,768 posts, read 4,619,029 times
Reputation: 4893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
The Urban versus Rural story is not really new. What's changed is that a generation ago there were some manufacturing jobs in rural areas that could support a family.

Now, post NAFTA, those jobs are gone. What's left is agriculture, prisons, and some tourism.

As a result, the rural counties lose their bright young people who leave for college and rarely return because there is no way to earn a living in those places. The small towns face depopulation, the housing values fall, and the old people and less educated younger people remain. Rinse and repeat.

The part that I don't understand is why these areas are supporting Trump. Manufacturing is not coming back.
Oh please, I do not know 1st hand the status of other states, but very few of the small towns in rural Colorado ever had manufacturing plants. A few may have lost something like a chicken plant, but those are not usually moved out of the country, they are moved somewhere within a few hundred miles where the laws as not as strict and there are employees available at a lower wage they can pay.

Most of these towns have all been built on tourism (a handful of mountain towns) agriculture, mining, and oil and gas extraction.

The downfall of eastern rural farm towns started with the technology advancements all the way back, to the point by the mid 60s most dairy farmers had milking machines, and large efficient tractors, which lowered the need for laborers. Even during the great depression and throughout the last century it has been noted that people fled the rural life for the city for jobs. The problems got worse with the rise of the corporate farms throughout the late 80s and the 90s, those companies reduced the needed labor even further by investing in up to date equipment and hiring specialized crews. On 2 farms that used to have 6 or 8 total employees 50 years ago to harvest, feed and take care of the animals, milk the cows, and take care of fencing and other needed labor, could now be done by 1 or 2 people with a crew brought in specifically for harvesting, branding, calving, or any other job that needs done. Much less need for dozens of kids to stay in farming.

In the mining towns it is a combination of automation and more and more regulations affecting both the gold and coal mines throughout much of the state.

While regulations have affected the oil and gas industry (and if that set back law is passed it will kill it), the biggest killer is the price of a barrel of oil, it's ups and downs dramatically affect plenty areas of the state, which partially due to regulation and partially due to the formation it is found in, Colorado is already one of the most expensive areas in the world to drill.

People have left the rural areas because there is no need for them there. The base jobs have been replaced by machines, the surrounding community has thinned as there is less need to them. In the most simple of terms if 500 farms in the area used to have 2000 employees, then you needed doctors to care for 2000 people, accountants, diners, stores, restaurants as well. If the mine had one operation running with 300 employees, and another 300 preparing another mine site, than you needed the services, but if the work those 600 employees used to do is now done by 50 what happens to the surrounding town? If oil and gas is down, who is going to buy the houses those employees are losing due to not having jobs? Where are those employees going to go to find suitable work?

Constantly adding more feel good regulations and rules, with no cost benefit analysis is killing the rural life in Colorado directly, and many other areas of the country. Automation which is now starting to hurt office workers has significantly hurt rural areas as badly as it has manufacturing towns. Nothing can be done to change the down word trend in agricultural rural areas, and nothing will be done in mining and extraction areas either.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:28 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,332,367 times
Reputation: 10278
I disagree with Mr. Rabbit. A person would be hard pressed to find a more rural place in Colorado than where I live 7 miles south of Cortez in the middle of the hay fields. As I type these words I can glance out my front window and watch the water sparkling from a long line of pivot center irrigation sprinklers. The fields around me are green from water that comes from McPhee dam which collects the water that melts from the snow pack on the San Juan Mountains. If I step out to the back of my house I can contemplate the old out buildings that were nailed together by the family who originally pioneered this place. I'm a Bernie Sanders fan myself and while most of my friends and neighbors don't "feel the Bern," they're not exactly in love with Trump either. Many folks that I know here plan to express their displeasure by voting libertarian. The fact that they will be throwing away their vote is moot. To live in rural Colorado is to be politically disenfranchised.

At least Colorado's Western Slope is better off than the folks out on the eastern plains, but that's a pretty low bar. We have been hard hit by the retreat of the energy industry in the face of the current petroleum glut. What's left on the rural Western Slope is agriculture and the tourist industry. There is a movement to begin growing commercial hemp, but many times such efforts are thwarted because it's illegal on the federal level to import hemp seed. People out here face a lack of any job, never mind a job that pays a living wage. Those who are fortunate find a second low paying job to supplement what they earn from their first low paying job. My roommate has been out of work for over a year now and the job market here shows no sign of improving any time soon. Meanwhile people seem to be drawn to the Front Range like so many moths to the flame. Rent is higher in my old hometown of Colorado Springs than I ever would have imagined. The article in the Denver Post that SkyDog provided a link to mentioned that long time residents are starting to get priced out of neighborhoods where they've lived for years. I am actually getting priced out of coming back to Colorado Springs myself.

I don't know where this is all headed, but what comes up must eventually come down. I had a front row seat when Colorado Springs became the foreclosure capitol of the US when the computer electronics industry stampeded to the third world after NAFTA was passed. I've spent a life time roaming in my beloved home state. I was fortunate enough to have a skills set that I could make use of pretty much where ever I pleased. I left Colorado Springs for the Western Slope just one more time without a second thought, never dreaming that I might end up stranded here. But I'll tell you what - if I have to be stranded I am stranded in one of my favorite places in the entire world. Sometimes I look at what's going on at the Front Range and all I can do is shake my head and laugh.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,904 posts, read 6,496,831 times
Reputation: 7353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
I disagree with Mr. Rabbit. A person would be hard pressed to find a more rural place in Colorado than where I live 7 miles south of Cortez in the middle of the hay fields. As I type these words I can glance out my front window and watch the water sparkling from a long line of pivot center irrigation sprinklers. The fields around me are green from water that comes from McPhee dam which collects the water that melts from the snow pack on the San Juan Mountains. If I step out to the back of my house I can contemplate the old out buildings that were nailed together by the family who originally pioneered this place. I'm a Bernie Sanders fan myself and while most of my friends and neighbors don't "feel the Bern," they're not exactly in love with Trump either. Many folks that I know here plan to express their displeasure by voting libertarian. The fact that they will be throwing away their vote is moot. To live in rural Colorado is to be politically disenfranchised.

At least Colorado's Western Slope is better off than the folks out on the eastern plains, but that's a pretty low bar. We have been hard hit by the retreat of the energy industry in the face of the current petroleum glut. What's left on the rural Western Slope is agriculture and the tourist industry. There is a movement to begin growing commercial hemp, but many times such efforts are thwarted because it's illegal on the federal level to import hemp seed. People out here face a lack of any job, never mind a job that pays a living wage. Those who are fortunate find a second low paying job to supplement what they earn from their first low paying job. My roommate has been out of work for over a year now and the job market here shows no sign of improving any time soon. Meanwhile people seem to be drawn to the Front Range like so many moths to the flame. Rent is higher in my old hometown of Colorado Springs than I ever would have imagined. The article in the Denver Post that SkyDog provided a link to mentioned that long time residents are starting to get priced out of neighborhoods where they've lived for years. I am actually getting priced out of coming back to Colorado Springs myself.

I don't know where this is all headed, but what comes up must eventually come down. I had a front row seat when Colorado Springs became the foreclosure capitol of the US when the computer electronics industry stampeded to the third world after NAFTA was passed. I've spent a life time roaming in my beloved home state. I was fortunate enough to have a skills set that I could make use of pretty much where ever I pleased. I left Colorado Springs for the Western Slope just one more time without a second thought, never dreaming that I might end up stranded here. But I'll tell you what - if I have to be stranded I am stranded in one of my favorite places in the entire world. Sometimes I look at what's going on at the Front Range and all I can do is shake my head and laugh.
Always with the best takes on here.

I also very much agree with jwiley on the impact technology has had on many rural economies (not so much in agreement with the regulation part though).
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