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Old 01-22-2012, 08:09 PM
 
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That list is pretty funky. Not only do dollars go farther in different parts of the country (as DubbleT pointed out), many farmers and ranchers (Mississippi, SD, TX, etc.) have their farms incorporated and pay themselves only a small salary. Their house, vehicles, animals, barns and other outbuildings are all owned by the corporation and not counted as income.

Pretty smart for a bunch of hicks. lol
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:26 PM
 
Location: USA
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Takes money to move. Being single with no money commilted to anything would be the easiest way out. But psychological suppression takes place at many of these kinds of locales- such as: "What are you gonna do up there?" Etc. You know the games people play with each other. Family members often express such displeasure about one of their kin moving away that it breaks the person down and he or she stays in the squalor. I have never understood what is behind the cruelty of this other than sheer jealousy. Well that is a factor, unfortunately
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Lake Oswego, Manhattan, Aspen
3,235 posts, read 4,205,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdwell View Post
Takes money to move. Being single with no money commilted to anything would be the easiest way out. But psychological suppression takes place at many of these kinds of locales- such as: "What are you gonna do up there?" Etc. You know the games people play with each other. Family members often express such displeasure about one of their kin moving away that it breaks the person down and he or she stays in the squalor. I have never understood what is behind the cruelty of this other than sheer jealousy. Well that is a factor, unfortunately
Gee! You must have been a Fly on the wall in our tarpaper shack, watching me grow up. Calling our 'community' a mudhole would be an insult to mudholes. Most people in that wretched corner of Mississippi were what in some places would be called Melungeons (a tri-racial isolate). They weren't very smart or ambitious or particularly nice to each other, or to me, the poorest and ugliest one of them all.

It was very poor...although not as poor as one would be, stuck in a tarpaper shack at the intersection of four giant Cotton fields. That's how it is for a lot of people in those Delta counties in Mississippi and Louisiana: a mile's walk in any direction to a paved road, and not a single job for most people, as far as you could see....and you can see a long way, out there in the flat, flat Delta.

Now that would be far worse than my childhood home. At least I had forests to forage in for food, when Mom had sold our food stamps for booze. And we didn't have airplanes spraying us with herbicides and pesticides. Frankly, I thought of myself as lucky. It was nice, except for the people you had to deal with.

The bad part was being the poorest among a group of poor people. Kids at school were horrible (by Old Stock American standards, anyway: things are far worse in schools, today). And interactions with my family were negative. I was ridiculed for reading "fancy magazines", ridiculed for studying, ridiculed for planning to go to college. I was told the only place I was going was to the Crazy House, when I'd let it slip I was going to college.

Lucky for me, there were two white families in our community. Some of them helped me figure out how to get myself to college. One of them gave me a suitcase, a school backpack, and most everything in them. One of them drove me up there. I basically just left without telling anybody. I feared Mom or one of them would do something, at the last minute, to hold me back. So, I went for early Orientation. A little Indian girl like me could get great scholarships, etc. But as you say, extricating oneself from the entanglements is not easy. Getting up from the middle of Nowhere, all the way onto a college campus, is an unimaginable thing for a poor kid.

Frankly, I have huge guilt about just leaving a dying Great-Grandmother, a dying Grandmother (all of this quite protracted, you understand), and a Mom drunk out of her mind most of the time. But I did it. And that was that. It was rather a ruthless thing to do. The older ones had doted on me, before I got older and smart. And they needed me to do things for them. I knew it was ruthless and cruel to go away. But I did it.

I'm sure that's how my Uncles felt, when they moved away, leaving their Mom, Grandmother, and Little Sister behind in Mississippi. And surely that's how it feels to leave the Reservation.

Decades later, when I got Mom a 'fine brick home', a black Fleetwood, and a man to drive her around, I thought that I'd feel less guilty. Didn't work. Never showed her my kids, either. Didn't want to dirty their self-images with actual contact with her. So, I hired a videographer to show her Cadillac pulling up to her mini-mansion with the real Corinthian columns....her driver helping her into the house...propping her pickled self up on the Chippendale Camelback in her Drawing Room, wedging her between silk pillows, to ensure she stayed upright... And those videos are all the kids or their posterity will have known of her. Oh well, she lived a couple more years. Then, I developed the parcel I'd bought for the house. The circular drive became a cul-de-sac. We stuck an identity sign in Bank Script, on one of the gate's pillars, and I made a bit on the deal...pretty-much according to plan. My first and last 'Infill Development'. I feel guilty about using my Zombie Mom and the stage set one-room-deep faux palais I'd had created for her, as a photo-op. Then again, she could have ended far worse, than in Drexel's Northern Italian Collection canopy bed, wearing headphones, while watching a soap opera.

Not that Mom would have cared, or believed I'd had children. For her, I was always the hideous little misfit. I don't think she believed I'd gotten married or finished school. She never acknowledged my success, either, beyond a hateful "Who tha Hell you think you are, Gal?"

I've wondered how it is for others who have left hopeless communities. Your description seemed to convey the experience very well.

Last edited by GrandviewGloria; 01-23-2012 at 01:09 AM..
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:12 PM
 
6,127 posts, read 6,443,422 times
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Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
The Creek Indian Reservation in my area isnt that bad. Seems like the reservations in sparsely populated states have a tougher time.
Pine Ridge is pretty bad. I haven't been there but I'm not far from it. There are a LOT of problems, and that's probably all I can say without offending someone.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:11 AM
 
Location: Montgomery County, MD
3,240 posts, read 3,284,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citylove101 View Post
All these counties are probably losing population, I suspect. But it's not that hard to move away from poverty. Most of my relatives left small dirt-poor towns in the rural south (Mississipp, Arkansas, and North Carolina) during the Great Migration and ended up in New York, Baltimore, Philly, Chicago and D.C. So did millions of other black people.

And poor people from overseas pick up all the time and move to the U.S., legally or illegally, scrimp for whatevever jobs they can get, live in dangerous neighborhoods, etc etc etc so that their kids can have better lives.

I suspect leaving isn't so much a matter of money as it is despair. Long, deep and bleak despair that makes it seem as if nothing can ever change.
How exactly could they get the money to move? If you don't know anyone anywhere else, there's not much you can do since it's difficult to get a job unskilled in a few days. Most people that poor have bad credit so they would have trouble finding an apartment. Illegal immigrants generally know someone they can stay with or rent from before they come here. Poverty is just a spiral you can't get out of because our government continues to sit on its hands about it.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:14 AM
 
2,816 posts, read 5,383,911 times
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Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
Still what's with the poor-bashing on this thread? Particularly when you combine that with bashing "red counties."
I'll tell you. The USA as a whole hates the poor, as we discussed in another thread, and many self-styled "liberals" fall on that camp for "lifestyle" reasons more than anything else, but they have to buy the whole "liberal" package because that's how politics is set up.

You only have to look at the many self-styled "liberals" on this and other boards who like nothing better than to brag about how rich their city is and how much money they make.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
2,709 posts, read 4,226,540 times
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I'm shocked that no county in the Ozarks made the list.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,133 posts, read 20,814,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zembonez View Post
What a shock. Rural counties with nothing in them are the poorest. People who choose to live in them must be happy with their monthly welfare check. Nothing is forcing them to live there.
Many of them are Indian Reservations
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:46 PM
 
Location: West Tennessee
2,081 posts, read 2,897,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
I'm shocked that no county in the Ozarks made the list.
Pemiscot County in the bootheel would probably be the closest. 31.8% of the county is below the poverty line.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Boompa View Post
Many of them are Indian Reservations
Some Indian income is not counted in Federal statistical wage figures. Some people living on reservations receive lease income. Some receive royalty payments. On some at least a portion goes to tribal coffers and all benefit.

Some Indian people don't have much desire for material things, so don't go after that like some non-Indians. Some do. There can be real cultural differences. Not all, and not even a majority of those choosing to live on reservations, are on Federal welfare.
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