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Old 07-22-2017, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
5,219 posts, read 5,370,898 times
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Colorado Divide: Seismic shifts create rural-urban chasm in the culture, economy and politics of the state
Demographics, migration signal widening differences between two Colorados

Colorado Divide: Rural-urban contrasts create shifting landscape

The differences between the rural and urban parts of Colorado seem to me to be similar to other states.

For a long time, the rural areas have lost their talented young people who must move to urban areas to find suitable employment.

The rural area in the mountains evolve by attracting tourists. But on the plains, they just keep shrinking.
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:57 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,529 posts, read 21,364,743 times
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Nothing new in the article.
Trends in place since the end of WW II.

Worldwide, the trend is towards urbanization.
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:12 AM
 
850 posts, read 1,685,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Worldwide, the trend is towards urbanization.
In the US the average age of farmers is over 58. One third of all farmers are over the age of 65. But not to worry: the people in cities don't need food from farms. They get theirs from a grocery store.
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
22,434 posts, read 10,339,859 times
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I lived on the Front Range of Colorado (Denver burbs) for several years, and saw it become more liberal/progressive as the years progressed. The metro areas have exploded with a lot of transplants from CA, and elsewhere. For whatever reason when people urbanize, even in the suburbs areas become more liberal/progressive. I've seen it in every state I have lived.

If you go outside of the metro/urban areas attitudes are much different, and people are more conservative/libertarian, and self reliant.
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
7,584 posts, read 7,072,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot1 View Post
I lived on the Front Range of Colorado (Denver burbs) for several years, and saw it become more liberal/progressive as the years progressed. The metro areas have exploded with a lot of transplants from CA, and elsewhere. For whatever reason when people urbanize, even in the suburbs areas become more liberal/progressive. I've seen it in every state I have lived.

If you go outside of the metro/urban areas attitudes are much different, and people are more conservative/libertarian, and self reliant.
*perceive themselves to be self reliant.
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Old 07-22-2017, 11:44 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,529 posts, read 21,364,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrby View Post
the people in cities...get their [food] from a grocery store.
Exactly.
Do we really need farms in Colorado?
Sugar beets - would disappear if we abolished sugar price supports.
Wheat - Kansas
Potatoes - is why we have Idaho
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:10 PM
 
21,435 posts, read 40,088,510 times
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I take exception to concepts that rural folks are any more self reliant than the rest of us.

What I really dislike are the "broadcasters" who foster the divide and conquer politics that resulted in our current electoral disaster. The big money behind this bifurcation of public thinking are laughing all the way to the bank as pollution controls are lessened and financial regulations are gutted.

These folks, way down in Trump country, surely don't fit my definition of self reliant.
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:07 PM
Status: "Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
5,197 posts, read 4,660,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
*perceive themselves to be self reliant.
I would say yes and no on that one. Here in rural Montezuma County our schools are awful - literally. We come in second from the bottom of all Colorado counties. The smart kids, the kids who want to make something of themselves can't get away fast enough. Then there are the kids who come from poorer families in addition to suffering from the crummy education they get from the local schools. If you want to live in a part of Colorado that's actually worse than the Eastern Plains, I recommend Nucla/Naturita just a hop and a skip across the Uncompahgre Plateau from Montrose (3 hour's drive from Montrose no matter what route you take). Ladies and gentlemen, if you want isolation, these two towns have plenty to offer and not much else. Those two towns somehow stagger along, hoping for the return of the mining industry - uranium mining that is. All of western Montrose County should be written off as a superfund cleanup site, but that ain't happening. To somebody's credit, the town of Uravan did get completely razed and paved over and is now surrounded by a nice tall barb wire fence. For some reason, it still shows up on Colorado State maps - maybe somebody's weird idea of a joke.

At one point, I lived in that region for close to a year. Some of the finest people you could ever hope to meet live there - and some of the worst. Nucla/Naturita doesn't have its own law enforcement. The Montrose County Sheriff's office sends out whoever is due for a punishment tour out there to "police" the area. I use the term "police" advisedly. When I lived there, the guy who drove around in the sheriff's car mostly left it parked at the local meth dealer's place. If anything went seriously wrong out there, people would go to the man who more or less had been holding the community together since forever. He was the former town mayor of Naturita, former sheriff of Naturita (back when Naturita actually had its own town sheriff) and he'd pretty much helped rebuilt the major part of Telluride when Telluride decided to turn itself from a mining ghost town to the glamorous spot it is today. One of those "salt of the earth" types for sure. The community was very lucky to have him (he originally came from Cali).

Some friends of mine asked me to tutor their daughter who was actually managing to fail 5th grade in Paradox where her parents had her bused to school because supposedly, the schools were "better" there. I advised the parents to suck it up and send her to school in Telluride (about equi-distant from Paradox). But the parents belonged to a religious sect which considered Telluride to be the ***** of Babylon or something. I did my best. I got her to learn her times tables, at least.

Even after all this time, I am amazed at how awful education in rural Colorado can be. I know full well how horrible the Third World can be, but I swear. Someone should make poster kids of those children in places like Egnar and Paradox and Nucla. Those children desperately need a decent education including music and art (gasp!) It is a horrific shame on Colorado that so little is given to the children of rural Colorado. Even our rural institutions of higher learning are lacking. When I was on the faculty at Fort Lewis College, my best and most deserving student wanted to go to grad school to get a PhD in biochemistry from CU-Boulder. That young man was extremely hard working - all "A's" at Fort Lewis and he was a farm kid who came from Olathe. CU turned him down for their prestigious program because they said he would never be able to keep up with the grad students who had attended "serious" undergraduate schools to get their undergraduate degrees. They suggested he try Western State instead. I was so ticked off on his behalf that I called up the head of CU's chem department at the time to plead my student's case. No dice. The learned professor told me that CU would be doing him a disservice by accepting him into a program where he'd quickly find himself way out of his depth.

That kid and the little girl I tutored on her times tables were great, very "self reliant" kids, but the deck was already stacked against them. Given global warming, demographics and world markets, I imagine that by 2050 or so, rural Colorado will be all chic ski resorts (Western Slope) or else vast mono-culture fields after fields, all owned and run by Monsanto (Eastern Plains). Should Denver care? I don't know. Should it?
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Old 07-22-2017, 04:10 PM
Status: "Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
5,197 posts, read 4,660,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
I take exception to concepts that rural folks are any more self reliant than the rest of us.

What I really dislike are the "broadcasters" who foster the divide and conquer politics that resulted in our current electoral disaster. The big money behind this bifurcation of public thinking are laughing all the way to the bank as pollution controls are lessened and financial regulations are gutted.

These folks, way down in Trump country, surely don't fit my definition of self reliant.
Just saw your reply, Mike. Way out here in the Four Corners in Montezuma County, over 60% of the vote went to Trump. Interestingly, everyone in Towaoc on the Ute Rez who voted, voted for Hillary - every last vote went to her. Not a single UTe voted for Trump. I learned this because I showed up for an organizational meeting of the Dem party post election. Pretty amazing, eh?

There are some VERY self reliant folks out here who voted for Trump. The foreman who runs the part of the ranch that I live on out here is one of them. "Ritchie" had a disabling stroke some years back. He was/is clobbered by medical bills, etc. It is painful for me to watch him sometimes. Some things he can still do just fine, but other stuff - well, let's just say he has a rough time of it. He could have quit his job and gone on disability, but he refuses to do so. He's the first one I see out there in the morning, and often the last one at night, baling the hay as the sun sets and the sky grows dark. Never mentions his disability and the only things he complains about are prairie dogs and climate scientists.

I inadvertently got into it with him when I casually mentioned that I had studied ecology and climatology at CU. Oh, my! Ritchie who is normally the most well mannered, soft spoken person in the world, let me have it about climate science! I can have friendly disagreements with him about the role coyotes play in keeping the prairie dog population at bay, but I will never even say the word "weather" to him for as long as I live. To his credit, Ritchie did have the grace to look embarrassed after his "evil climate scientists" diatribe. I thought a lot about why he would explode at me that way because it was just so out of character. Normally if Ritchie disagrees with what someone is saying, he kind of looks side ways at you and then changes the subject. I finally decided that Ritchie (who knows better than just about anyone else how much it's changed around here) does not want to contemplate the idea that this global warming thing is for reals and not just a temporary change and the earth (including Colorado) will soon go back to normal. We're talking about his whole way of life and his children's and grandchildren's way of life. Plus, Ritchie apparently is a member of some fundamentalist sect and it's like heresy or something for him to believe that god would allow the planet to heat up and boil away. Ritchie's partner is somewhat more educated, but he doesn't care to look at all the changes going on and believe they're permanent either.

I believe that in the case of these two particular ranchers, it is simply too mind staggering for them to take in what the scientists are telling us and believe that their way of life is quickly vanishing. They are in their late 50's or 60's and they may be able to get away with deluding themselves for their lifetimes (or much of them). Their children won't however. Now I would never call either one of these men "stupid" or "bigoted" or even "deplorable." Hah! But they all hang out with their conservative, Mormon rancher friends, and I'm fairly certain they watch some Fox as time allows. They hate Monsanto, they strongly dislike the urban regions like Denver or Phoenix which want to steal their water shares. All in all, if there were no Fox or Rush Limbaugh, I think these two men would be republican farmers just like my granddad was. It's very sad how far apart we Americans have gone from one another.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:00 PM
 
21,435 posts, read 40,088,510 times
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CR, Ritchie sounds like an admirable sort, staying relevant and contributory to society. But at what point does dogged self reliance become more like being just plain old stubborn to his possible own detriment. Did he not use Medicare or Medicaid for his stroke and other medical bills? Why suffer? We all pay in and when we need it then it's there for us. Not using your rights as a citizen is not self reliant to me, it's self destructive.

Ritchie voted for Trump whose so-called health care bill will eventually end Medicaid in most states. The man he voted for never worked a day in his life and is the very opposite of self reliant. When you told me Ritchie was "a member of some fundamentalist sect" that sealed his fate with me; there's almost no chance of ever reasoning with such thinking which to me is every bit as rigid, dangerous and evil as ISIS or Al Queda.

The other day here in Phoenix I saw a decal on the back window of a pickup truck that said "a country boy can survive" which is a line from an old Hank Williams, Jr, song. The line is more wishful thinking than anything else. Precious few people anywhere can survive very long without fuel for their trucks; we aren't going back to living in teepees while we snare deer and jackalopes for food.

That window decal gets at the topic of this thread, the rural - urban divide. Loud mouths types on both sides don't want to acknowledge they need each other, but they do, we're all in this together. This "us versus them" talk is just more divide and conquer stuff the money class has always used. Even here in COLO, back in the days of Rockefeller running CFI, he intentionally kept his miners segregated by nationality and race. He then deliberately paid them slightly different wage levels to inculcate animosities between those groups so he could play them off against each other to keep wages dirt cheap. This is a deliberate game they play, to this very day, and the Ritchie's of the world are too unaware to know how badly they're being played.
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