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Old 09-24-2009, 10:10 AM
 
16,438 posts, read 19,079,306 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
these guys (http://community.gjsentinel.com/sites/mojo/2009/09/22/stay-positive-movements-roots-in-grand-junction-branches-nationally/ - broken link) are not among that crowd.
Can't hurt! Being negative doesn't make anything better than it's going to be, and being positive probably doesn't either. But it feels better to be positive, so why not?
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Bideshi wrote:
Can't hurt! Being negative doesn't make anything better than it's going to be, and being positive probably doesn't either. But it feels better to be positive, so why not?
Although I believe that reincarnation is a possibility, I don't know it as a fact, so I am living this life as if it's the only one I got. Might as well spend it feeling good, even if some insist that the sky is falling.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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Wink More than rural

Quote:
"Geography is not destiny," according to Isserman.

Some valid points here, but to a large extent geography is destiny. In this one respect Mr Isserman is wrong. If correct other factors may ultimately decide our fate.

As for some of the other factors, I noticed that the counties of northeast Arizona are uniformly low ranking, which perhaps not surprising as the better part encompassed by the Navajo Nation. While the plight of Native Americans is mentioned in this article, it also highlights the relevance of underlying factors influencing prosperity, or even growth. Anyone having visited this area will also appreciate that as often beautiful as it is, that the Navajo were allowed to remain because the white man saw no obvious economic potential in the land, and this to a large degree true.

In Colorado, it is notable that in just two adjacent counties, Weld and Larimer, Mr Isserman's argument seems less than valid. While the western edge of Weld county has experienced the same rapid growth as a good portion of Larimer, in whole, in being more rural, agricultural, flat, and supposedly stable, it should outrank Larimer. But exactly the opposite is the case. Fort Collins, CO epitomizes a great deal that is right or wrong about Larimer County. In measure it does provide Mr Isserman's four principles: good housing, jobs, low poverty, and education. Yes, the housing is a bit expensive compared to the relatively lower pay scales, with this perhaps explained to an extent due rapid growth. But also a reflection of desirability. There is a lot to like in Larimer County, but they are also in danger of overbuilding the golden goose. A regrettable phenomenon hardly unique to this single county. But just regards Colorado, two other largely rural, and remote counties, Gunnison and Saguache, do not rank very highly, either.

If perusing the Kansas forum one might notice that a good portion of western Kansas is being depopulated, with small towns shrinking or vanishing. If in some sense the heartland of America, they nevertheless cannot escape inevitable change. The underlying reason for such society has shifted. If the geography and life entirely different, the many ghost towns of Colorado that relied on mining offer a good corollary to these Kansas farm towns: the underlying reason for their existence, and ability to thrive or survive, changed.

In one central respect Mr Isserman and I agree, in that, "Growth and prosperity are not the same." The citizens of the United States are soon going to learn that unbridled growth is not an end in itself, but an unsustainable Ponzi scheme that will enact a price. In this regard it would behoove everyone to seriously consider what factors are most important for the continued, and improved, prosperity of their communities. In what way such societies should evolve. Considering their environment would be primary. Otherwise they may find, as others before, that what they derive from this Earth is what she will ultimately allow, not what they expect or demand.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:10 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,174,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I disagree with the projected timing of a population crash as after 2050. I think the wheels are already set in motion to cause it much sooner. An energy crisis of epic proportions is on the way within a few years. Americans like to think of that as a) not possible and b) something that will only affect their ability to live in suburbia and drive all they want. What they fail to understand is that the worldwide food production and transportation system is based on cheap and plentiful fuel supplies. When fuel is no longer cheap and plentiful, food won't be either. Personally, I think we are less than 10 years--maybe less than 5 years--away from a major worldwide famine. That will lead to a major die-down in the Third World, may ignite disease epidemics the likes we have not seen for centuries in all countries, and--if all of that ain't bad enough--may touch off World War III.

People just do not realize how fragile the whole food production and transportation system is in this country--in this state. Even a relatively minor disruption in the supply of fuel could leave those supermarket shelves bare in less than a week. It's pretty sobering--I used to work in agriculture and our ill-preparedness for food supply disruptions scares the hell out of me. Of course, Washington and the general public is way too busy worrying about how to bail out idiot lenders, borrowers, auto companies, etc., etc. rather than addressing what are the real issues confronting us--namely, how the hell we are going adjust our living arrangement to survive in a resource-constrained world.
While I'd be the first to agree that inexpensive fuel cost and peripheral products used by so many farmers come from the petroleum industry ... how do you square your timeline with the current major findings of raw petroleum feedstocks around the world?

At the higher price point of oil/bbl, there's a great incentive as well as cash flow to go out and explore for new oil sources, and it's been ongoing for awhile with substantial results of late.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:00 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,774,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
While I'd be the first to agree that inexpensive fuel cost and peripheral products used by so many farmers come from the petroleum industry ... how do you square your timeline with the current major findings of raw petroleum feedstocks around the world?

At the higher price point of oil/bbl, there's a great incentive as well as cash flow to go out and explore for new oil sources, and it's been ongoing for awhile with substantial results of late.
Unfortunately, such "major" findings are not even coming remotely close to replacing declining production from the mega-fields in decline in the North Sea, Mexico, and the Mideast. Plus, the oil produced from those new fields is going to cost more--a LOT more--to produce. I stand by what a fellow who was very familiar with petroleum economics said years ago--basically that all is necessary to cause the whole current American living arrangement to choke was an end to cheap petroleum supplies. There is no doubt that oil is now on long-term upward trend in real dollars (with some downward temporary blips like we have seen this year) because--simply--all the cheap oil has been found and produced. If you want to read some real sobering stuff, I recommend checking out some of Matt Simmons presentations ( Simmons (http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/research.aspx?Type=msspeeches - broken link) ). This guy, one of the leading investment bankers to the oil industry, knows what he talking about it.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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I'd like to get this thread more focused on the Isserman paper, which is the source of the OP's comments.

In Isserman's paper is a list of the "prosperous" counties, including these 11 CO counties. Six counties in RED are on the eastern plains.
County / Population
Chaffee / 16,242
Cheyenne / 2,231
Delta / 27,834
Grand / 12,442
Kiowa / 1,622
Kit Carson / 8,011
Mineral / 831
Phillips / 4,480
Routt / 19,690
Sedgwick / 2,747
Washington / 4,926

Isserman notes that Federal farm subsidies have a LOT to do with rural county prosperity. Though some people in these forums decry the "transfer" payments that support some people in the ritzy counties in the high country, these Federal farm subsidies, like the insane ethanol subsidy for corn, are just another form of "transfer" payment. Irony abounds.

Meanwhile, back on topic.

Small rural towns can be a fine place to live for those with an outlook that good health is the best wealth, and prosperity is best measured in how content one is with their lives, all of which can be had in most rural areas, as well as most urban areas. Any place is a good place if it's where you want to be.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 09-25-2009 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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Wink Socialism

The mine above Creede, CO did reopen briefly but, as far as I know, now closed forever. The adjacent valley, once with little more than a few dude ranches, is far more populated now with second homes, vacation 'cabins.' But Creede and the entire region is still far less populated or glitzy than that along the I-70 corridor. It is a beautiful area that more might live in if they could make a living. Although, were this the case, a good many would also prefer, and demand, major services closer than the long drive to Monte Vista or Alamosa, CO. Part of the saving grace of Mineral County, and why it may remain relatively secluded and quiet.

It is a different world than the eastern plains of Colorado. Either are subsidized in various ways. As much as so many decry the very notion of socialism in this country, most all of us depend upon such a contrivance far more than imagined. Way more than our pioneer forefathers who to a large degree were on their own. Think back to the exploration of Lewis & Clark, that small group who were entirely on their own from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean, save the intermittent help of different tribes of Native Americans, who could prove friendly or not in the moment. Consider someone such as John Colter, an original member of the Lewis & Clark expedition, who near its completion was granted permission to leave it . . . and return alone back into the West. 'Colter's Hell,' Yellowstone NP, was discovered by him in his often lonely travels, albeit well known by natives in the vicinity. The early miners who populated this state, so often in high, remote camps, had no concept of Social Security or Medicaid, nothing but the possible kindness and society of their fellows. We, in contrast, depend heavily upon the complex matrix of this society for nearly every facet of our life.

The farmers out east depend to a great extent on a legacy of government programs of the 1930's and before. To begin with, they wouldn't even be there save for the government program of militarily removing the original inhabitants. Then the granting of homesteads. The building of railroads and schools, transportation. More lately in vast water projects, rural electric, in heavily subsidizing oil and other forms of energy required for modern industrialized agriculture.

Those in Creede little different. Most obviously perhaps in the petroleum all use to vacation there. An excursion from Denver, CO or elsewhere will be a different proposition when petrol costs well north of $4 per gallon, and that but a fond memory. Most of these more modern dwellings are built of wood, the timber industry itself subsidized in various ways, not to mention a complex web of so many other materials. Then also, aside from the cost, merely the allowance of enough free time, of the leisure afforded through this society to visit such a place.

While the United States might not be Sweden, it ignores the interdependence and complexity of its society at its own peril. If often liking to fantasize ourself some stalwart son or daughter of pioneers, self-capable and strong, we usually do so from the comfort of a suburban living room, the electricity of our reading lamp from some unknown source, most likely coal. Most of us have neither the real desire or ability to return to the land; it would prove a very difficult transition. So, perhaps best now to reorder that we have in a sustainable fashion that it might continue. To the extent that our society is socialistic, the aspects we would wish to be, it should be well ordered.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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IDunn wrote:
As much as so many decry the very notion of socialism in this country, most all of us depend upon such a contrivance far more than imagined.
Those who bad mouth SOCIALISM and treat it as if it was a disease are dependent on government services just like everbody else. They are just more comfortable pretending to be independent like their forebears may have actullly been. Great post Idunn!
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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Though I consider myself a moderate political conservative, I chuckle whenever someone in the Rocky Mountain West (usually somebody not from here originally) starts spouting off with the "rugged individualism" crap. That is not how this region was either settled or organized. As Idunn noted, it was federal troops who secured the region for any significant-scale non-Indian settlement, aside from the few roving bands of trappers that preceded the troops. People conveniently forget that the original land patents made to both homesteading settlers and would-be miners were made by the federal government. It was through a subsidy of huge federal land grants that the first transcontinental railroad was built. The early ranchers of the region grazed their cattle and sheep largely on public lands--the "(public) domain," as it was commonly referred to then. The early mining ventures in Colorado--mostly silver mining--were quickly absorbed by large heavily-capitalized corporations; and it was the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which basically guaranteed that all silver produced would be purchased by the federal government at a very favorable price, that made the region boom (and bust for about a half-century when the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed). Water in Colorado has been tied to federally funded water projects for a century. Like most places in the US, the road and highway system has been heavily funded by federal taxpayer dollars. Most rural areas are still reliant on Rural Electrical Associations for electricity--originally funded by federal dollars. The public sector has been and remains one of the largest employers in Colorado--with a huge federal presence in every metro area of the Front Range.

Like it or not, if federal spending in Colorado ended tomorrow, probably a third to a half of the state population would be moving elsewhere to look for work. Federal spending--including both the public salaries and private enterprises dependent upon it--is just that big a chunk of the Colorado economy. Just another of those "inconvenient truths" about Colorado that the ideologues don't want to hear.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
IDunn wrote:
As much as so many decry the very notion of socialism in this country, most all of us depend upon such a contrivance far more than imagined.
Those who bad mouth SOCIALISM and treat it as if it was a disease are dependent on government services just like everbody else. They are just more comfortable pretending to be independent like their forebears may have actullly been. Great post Idunn!
Agree. I've posted in the forums before about the phony "independence" of that laughable "rugged individual" self-image which far too many Americans have. Here's a few of my remarks:

- Our personal identity is a laughable facade of being rugged individualists; every guy is steered to think he's the strong silent type like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood; especially if he rides off into the sunset on 500 cubic inches of V-8 hemi power.

- My favorite myth, one that's ingrained in much of our folklore, coast to coast, to this day, is that we're a nation of rugged individualists. Most of us are not a whit different from the guy down the block or across the nation, but instead of being islands unto ourselves, we are way dependent on the work and efforts of others. Yet we smugly drive our snazzy p/ups over to Wal-Mart, feeling that we alone are masters of our universe, able to conquer anything, "rugged" Americans, uber alles.

- we're sold a bill of goods, a myth, that we're all a bunch of rugged cowboy individualists who don't want or need government to do anything for us beyond national defense.

JazzLover wrote these very appropriate words too: "... people who move to the Rocky Mountain region thinking that it is some government-less bastion of "rugged individualism" are in for a big surprise."

Thus an alternate view of prosperity first recognizes and accepts the extraordinary interrelationships and interdependence that a complex society and global economy require, and of which most of us are members whether we like it or not. Following that, prosperity is not a stack of material goods inside a big McMansion, but more akin to being at peace with oneself while making our own small but worthy contributions to the larger society which adds to the wholeness of our national and global existence.
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