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Old 04-24-2020, 11:54 AM
 
2,817 posts, read 784,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
What did these coal towns do with all their timber? Orchards? Truck farms? Cattle ranches? Fisheries? Small scale manufacturing? If they abandoned the wealth of the surrounding land, they deserve to die. Heck, if they are mining coal they can go amber and fossil picking and make tens of thousands of dollars a year. What about brush picking? Mushroom farming or wild picking?

Urbanoids imagine that if they can't find a payroll they can't make a living. That's nonsense. An endless stream of wealth flows off the land if you are smart enough to work it.
Um, wow. This is so staggeringly tone-deaf half of me doesn't know where to start and the other half doesn't want to.

Have you ever been in a small town, much less lived in one? Or is Smallville your model?

Do you know anything about the geography of economics?

Do you assume all small towns sit on some equal bounty of natural wealth, a spot selected for centuries of adaptation to the world?

And do you assume that small towns are some kind of postapocalyptic remnant that must find a way to scratch a living or simply bury all their residents?

But of course... if a small town in Kansas is dying because it was the loser in the industrialized farm movement (all the business went to a ring of other towns — quite common when you consolidate thousands of smaller farms), they could just start harvesting timber! Or all turn to truck farming... with the nearest market city a hundred miles or more away! Or mine coal! Or plant orchards and wait 25 years for them to start producing! Or all the other things the hardy residents could turn to in a flat plain with no significant source of water, good only for wind, buffalo and growing grain.

Same for the hills and hollows of Appalachia... they could grow wheat or oranges or weave colorful door mats for tourists, right>? Never mind the almost total lack of arable land, much of which is tainted with heavy metals and other fun coal-mining byproducts.

Oh, I completely forgot... they can all pick mushrooms!


I may be misremembering, but I seem to have read you coming down on the side of 'people should go where the jobs are' — if you can't get work in your burg, move across the country where they can't get enough road workers or waitresses. Maybe not. But given that most small towns in America were sited and grown on pretty much the one thing there of economic value and could only pivot to something else at enormous investment of money and time... just leaving the place for jobs and life elsewhere is often the better option.

And don't forget that many small towns with that chicken plant or whatever were already saved by it showing up, after farming or timber or the mines played out. They didn't want to stop farming for the lazy luxury of "a payroll" — but it let them keep going as a small town. Some even became the Walmart town of their cluster, the lucky bums.


This isn't about "saving small towns because [America!] [Tradition!] [Nostalgia!]" It's about why small towns are increasingly less economically viable, and forced to become essentially parasitic (tourism, recreation, bedroom) or... dry up and blow away. Castigating/imagining/blathering that they should just retrain/retrench to some other imaginary economic base because they all have endless "wealth flowing from the land" sounds like the statements of someone who thinks "Little House on the Prairie" was a documentary. (Pa Ingalls was a massive serial failure, by the way.)
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Old 04-24-2020, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
14,864 posts, read 14,259,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
Um, wow. This is so staggeringly tone-deaf half of me doesn't know where to start and the other half doesn't want to.

Have you ever been in a small town, much less lived in one? Or is Smallville your model?
I have never lived in a city. The town I graduated from high school in had a population of 643 when I graduated, but of course I didn't live in town.

My closest town right now is Myrtle Creek, population 3500, but it's 11 miles away. The economy is based on timber, ranching, fishing and tourism, with some incidental placer mining. The surrounding 400 square miles or so is adequate to support the townies, plus the people who actually live on the land.

Now you tell me, have you ever gone brush picking? Did you know that black truffles sell for $800/lb?
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Old 04-24-2020, 05:09 PM
 
3,913 posts, read 2,421,257 times
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Am I missing something? The price is high because it’s rare...and what I just read says that pretty much 95% plus comes from France, Spain, and Italy. I don’t know how that helps small American towns.
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Old 04-24-2020, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
14,864 posts, read 14,259,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsright19 View Post
Am I missing something? The price is high because it’s rare...and what I just read says that pretty much 95% plus comes from France, Spain, and Italy. I don’t know how that helps small American towns.
It's a crop. You buy spawn, inoculate seedling roots, plant them, and wait. It's just like hazelnuts, corn, wheat, timber, or any other crop. Only a ripe truffle has any value, so you buy a dog, raise it, and train it to find ripe truffles for you.

There are a lot of crops like that. Have you ever heard of ginseng? It grows best in a forest understory, because it requires shade. You have to plant every year because it's the root that is harvested and it takes about 5 years to make a crop. Once you get it rolling, there is a huge export market. You can plow a field, plant ginseng, and install shade cloth, but then you lose the productivity of the timber, which will return approximately $50/acre/year on a 30 year rotation. If you like, you can coppice small trees, cut them into 6' bolts, plug inoculate them with spawn and sell fresh shiitake mushrooms.

The typical urbanoid will look at a patch of dirt and see dirt. A rural person will look at a patch of dirt and see a factory. Yes, you are missing a lot. It's called initiative. I'll make a deal with you. Don't make the mistake of thinking everyone who lives in the country is poor, and I won't make the mistake of thinking everyone who lives in town is homeless.
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Old 04-24-2020, 06:05 PM
 
2,817 posts, read 784,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
INow you tell me, have you ever gone brush picking? Did you know that black truffles sell for $800/lb?
So, small town, GDP of... let's say $5M. That's six thousand pounds of truffles. It's sure a good thing they grow everywhere and are just used for dog food and hockey pucks by those stupid small towners.

Your argument boils down to the same pompous, self-cancelling nonsense as the one that displaced factory workers can become AI programmers and robot builders.

Most small towns have no real second option after the economic base on which they were built. If they have a second option, it's getting Perdue or Tyson to build a plant there. Third options assume a massive, concerted and extremely costly effort to 'repurpose' a whole farming or mining or ranching town... when, after the primary industry collapses, it's not worth the cost to bulldoze.

Once again, and I'll type real slow for you: the problem is that the economic supports for small, isolated towns have all but vanished in 2020, whether due to exhaustion of resources, shifting markets or the kind of automation that reduced coal mines to a dozen workers pushing buttons.

Digging truffles where they don't grow, planting orchards where there is no water and no return for 10-20 years and mining minerals that are no longer of market value aren't really solutions.

Tone-deaf nonsense.
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Old 04-24-2020, 06:07 PM
 
3,913 posts, read 2,421,257 times
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If it was that easy, it wouldn’t come from 3 countries and fetch a price that high.

I won’t bother responding to your other insulting assumptions that have nothing to do with what I actually said.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
14,864 posts, read 14,259,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
So, small town, GDP of... let's say $5M. That's six thousand pounds of truffles. It's sure a good thing they grow everywhere and are just used for dog food and hockey pucks by those stupid small towners.

Your argument boils down to the same pompous, self-cancelling nonsense as the one that displaced factory workers can become AI programmers and robot builders.

Most small towns have no real second option after the economic base on which they were built. If they have a second option, it's getting Perdue or Tyson to build a plant there. Third options assume a massive, concerted and extremely costly effort to 'repurpose' a whole farming or mining or ranching town... when, after the primary industry collapses, it's not worth the cost to bulldoze.

Once again, and I'll type real slow for you: the problem is that the economic supports for small, isolated towns have all but vanished in 2020, whether due to exhaustion of resources, shifting markets or the kind of automation that reduced coal mines to a dozen workers pushing buttons.

Digging truffles where they don't grow, planting orchards where there is no water and no return for 10-20 years and mining minerals that are no longer of market value aren't really solutions.

Tone-deaf nonsense.
It may surprise you that I very much appreciate your conviction that nobody in the country can make a living. If people like you moved to the country, you would be messing up my environment just like you do cities. I am so thankful you choose to live in squalor.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
14,864 posts, read 14,259,093 times
Reputation: 24075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsright19 View Post
If it was that easy, it wouldn’t come from 3 countries and fetch a price that high.

I won’t bother responding to your other insulting assumptions that have nothing to do with what I actually said.
There's a huge ignorance tax. There's a huge laziness tax. Nobody said it was easy. It takes a lot of work, a lot of specialized knowledge, and the willingness to plan years in advance. If you want to get rich quick, stick to the stock market.
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:58 PM
 
Location: California
32,255 posts, read 35,626,386 times
Reputation: 28119
Progressives want to destroy small town America
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Old 04-29-2020, 09:12 PM
 
2,817 posts, read 784,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceece View Post
Progressives want to destroy small town America
Oh. BS, and consider that spelled out.

No one hates small town America except a few who consider themselves lucky to have escaped from it.

But the economics of small towns based on a single local industry/business/economic pillar stopped working a while ago. We can't magically 'bring them back' any more than we can bring back jobs in industries that went highly mechanized/automated... like commercial farming, to start with.
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