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Old 11-08-2016, 03:12 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,566 posts, read 21,741,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Most rural areas and small towns are going to have problems with addiction these days.
THIS - Twenty times over. Everyone seems to think that THEIR state is "Meth Central". Or they worry about moving someplace because they heard there was a "meth problem".

Here's the thing - Serious Conversation NAILED IT. It's all over in rural American small towns.


I live in Ohio, and if you drive away from the suburbs to the country side - there is meth. My son goes to college in Vermont. On the outskirts of town there are clusters of run down homes and trailers, and there is a Meth problem. Upstate NY is pretty economically depressed and there's a Meth problem.

1. It's NOT only YOUR STATE - OK?

2. It's NOT only in the Mid West or the Mid South. It's also in New England and the North East.

3. If there is an commonality from what I have read, it's poverty, and rural areas where there are few jobs.

It seems to be as much an economic problem as a drug problem. They can make money this way. Sad.
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,318 posts, read 4,348,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
This is a really excellent post and I think it gets to the heart of a lot of the drug use. I think a lot of it does result from depression seeing your town and culture decline.

I know that growing up in similar conditions here in Tennessee, there wasn't much to do growing up outside of churches, and people got into trouble. Most people in rural areas aren't "working on the farm" to keep themselves busy these days - so especially teenagers experiment with drugs and partying just for something to do, then they're hooked. A little more than a decade after graduating high school, the same people who were into the party scene then are often addicts now, if they're still alive. I went back through my annual a few weeks ago and we've lost 10% of my graduating class in 2004 to overdoses, suicides, or homicides. That's not even counting the people who have died of natural causes/accidents.

I've been to almost all the towns you listed and while they're quaint Americana, they're in notable decline. One of my former coworkers, who is only 25, grew up in Cambridge City and he's talked about how many of his hometown friends are addicts and how hard it is to stay away from it.

This guy was fired from the place we worked together at in Indy. He had a new job within a couple of weeks and didn't have any financial issues. Had he been fired in some small town, he'd likely have been in a mess. Word would have gotten around that he was lazy (he was), but in a major city like Indy it's easier to be relatively anonymous and get a clean start.

I moved back to my small hometown in Tennessee after living in Indy, and now my employer may be merged with another. If my team gets cut in the merger, I'll have to move again to make what I do now. At least in most major urban areas, you have a much higher likelihood of being able to find another job and weather the storm if something bad happens.
^^^This pretty much nails it. Good Post.

I've been retired now for one year. I realize that I've lived most of my life in a bubble. I worked for 43 years as a professional engineer working mostly with people who had multiple degrees from exceptional schools. When you are in that kind of bubble it's hard to visualize the real world. I enjoy reading C-D because several excellent writers like SC open my eyes to their view of reality.

This just finished election really opened my eyes. People from rural areas are stressed. Ross Perot was correct; that "giant sucking sound" removed the relatively high paying jobs from these rural areas and both political parties did nothing to help the losers. I would be angry too.

The obvious solution is to move. However, people depend on their families for support. It takes a lot of confidence to move away from your relatives and go off to wherever opportunities exist.

I don't think manufacturing jobs will return to these areas. Due to low cost microelectronics, robots now do the jobs that used to be done manually. The best solution is education. But that's not a realistic alternative for too many folks. So the drugs numb the pain. How sad.
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
20,946 posts, read 15,267,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
It's sad to realize that many people cannot find any darn reason to live if they can't sell their arses i.e. life for $X/hr to this or that eager employer.
Unless you're on some form of assistance, are independently wealthy, or have someone else supporting you, most people have to work for a living to pay for needs and wants, and as a result, must move where the jobs are. If there aren't many good jobs where you are, you have to move somewhere that does have good jobs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
^^^This pretty much nails it. Good Post.

I've been retired now for one year. I realize that I've lived most of my life in a bubble. I worked for 43 years as a professional engineer working mostly with people who had multiple degrees from exceptional schools. When you are in that kind of bubble it's hard to visualize the real world. I enjoy reading C-D because several excellent writers like SC open my eyes to their view of reality.

This just finished election really opened my eyes. People from rural areas are stressed. Ross Perot was correct; that "giant sucking sound" removed the relatively high paying jobs from these rural areas and both political parties did nothing to help the losers. I would be angry too.

The obvious solution is to move. However, people depend on their families for support. It takes a lot of confidence to move away from your relatives and go off to wherever opportunities exist.

I don't think manufacturing jobs will return to these areas. Due to low cost microelectronics, robots now do the jobs that used to be done manually. The best solution is education. But that's not a realistic alternative for too many folks. So the drugs numb the pain. How sad.
By and large, C-D skews more affluent or at least more intelligent than average. I live in a mostly blue collar area where people are defined by their church and high school they went, not as much by college because so few people go, and most of the folks here who hold degrees are natives with degrees from Tennessee or nearby Virginia schools.

More educated people in transplant-driven areas self-identify more by profession, class, and educational background.

Perot was exactly right about the sucking sound. I've watched my small town hollow out from a decent manufacturing center with a wide variety of large and small manufacturing - a major chemical plant, a glass plant, a paper mill, a book press, to name a few. The glass plant is shuttered, the press facility was closed and now demolished, the paper mill is idling some of the time, and the major chemical plant has shrunk its workforce and employs larger numbers of contractors and not FTEs. It's really a mess out here - on my way into work, I pass a shuttered local hardware and burger joint that were open until just a few years ago. Meanwhile, Nashville, which was a somewhat sleepy mid-sized city growing up, is now a major metropolis with rapid growth.

Having grown up and now residing back in a poor area and having experienced the "good life" in Carmel, honestly there's no comparison between some dried up small town, in Indiana or elsewhere, and middle class or nicer parts of major metros where the economic winners cluster.

Family is a powerful thing. A lot of lower and working class people depend on family for child care, etc. If they're getting a lot of "free services" from the family, it may actually be more cost effective to stay where they are.

If I didn't have family here, I certainly wouldn't be in this town.

Last edited by Serious Conversation; 11-10-2016 at 06:36 AM..
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:53 AM
 
4,829 posts, read 4,805,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Unless you're on some form of assistance, are independently wealthy, or have someone else supporting you, most people have to work for a living to pay for needs and wants, and as a result, must move where the jobs are. If there aren't many good jobs where you are, you have to move somewhere that does have good jobs.
Still, it doesn't explain drugs and despair. The (young and old) people who do drugs have their basics covered as a rule. One can't really do drugs or live in a rural area without some sort of income or family support. It's understandable if people mourn the life of the indentured toil lying ahead of them, but if a job paying $X is all that separates us from the depravities and indignities of the hard core drug use humanity is in the dumpster. Sure, a life of low wage toil carries some steep social penalties of low status and social segregation, but it's been that way for at least 10,000 years of civilization, there must be some new debilitating side effects of the modernity on our psycholigical wellbeing and survival instincts. I was thinking about that for some time, because rural/small town life is indeed hell like in many aspects, normal people ought not live like rats on drugs no matter their income and educational credentials, and I believe low income crowd just fully accepted unwritten mainstream status/worth values and applied them to judge themselves and their peers, in the society of status there is no reason to live if you can't move ahead. As a result low income areas are just as sterile and devoid of life as your average suburb, it's just people hole in and do drugs instead of careers while having no money for your typical middle class distractions and substitutes.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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No, poor people don't have to use drugs, but I think it's easy to get depressed.

Drive around places like Anderson and the south side of Muncie. Many business are vacant, homes are vacant, the economy is dried up, etc. I drive by that hardware store and I remembered the guys who worked there - what's happened to them? It seems like I hear news about layoffs, plants idling, and mine closures here weekly. It's easy to get depressed if a lot of the people you know are out of work, and a large number of your friends, classmates, and peers are addicts, and to turn substance abuse yourself. I know we joked about Muncie a lot at work with meth labs in the Burger King and Walmart, but a lot of people up there are really suffering.

Meanwhile, in Carmel and the business districts of Indy, it's mostly good news. New high wage employers are coming to the area. Unemployment for skilled staff in many fields is effectively zero. Communities in the suburbs and affluent parts of the city are safe with a reasonable COL and a high level of amenities.
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
2,686 posts, read 6,829,504 times
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Default Poor people vs rich people

Poor, uneducated people tend to be more religious than Rich, educated people.


People with money and power think they have it all figured out and are less likely to seek higher power for guidance. Not saying it will work out in the end for them in the end. I am surrounded by tons of people like this where I live in Oak Park, where virtually nobody goes to church but are all about mimosa brunch on Sundays.


Having stuff also leads to complacent lives, where things are easy and you do not get the same satisfaction and someone who got there the hard way. For this I will always be grateful that the first 2 years of working I spent in manual labor, which makes we really appreciate the international finance job I have now.


Poor, uneducated people with fewer options often seek out ways to make meaning out of their crappy lives. Some go to drugs and others go to more constructive things such as religion and helping those even less fortunate than themselves.
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:34 PM
 
Location: South Austin, 78745
2,561 posts, read 1,729,915 times
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I'd guess there's just as many people doing drugs in the prosperous suburbs as there is in the run down small towns. The difference is, the people in the prosperous suburbs can better afford their drugs of choice, making it easier to hide their drug use.
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Old 11-10-2016, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,318 posts, read 4,348,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humboldt1 View Post
Poor, uneducated people tend to be more religious than Rich, educated people.

Poor, uneducated people with fewer options often seek out ways to make meaning out of their crappy lives. Some go to drugs and others go to more constructive things such as religion and helping those even less fortunate than themselves.
Religion is a drug for many people.
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
3,316 posts, read 5,308,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Most rural areas and small towns are going to have problems with addiction these days.
This appears to be true from my many cross country road trips over the past few years.

Definately not the rural America I remember as a child.
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