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I'd be really interested to hear opinions about this. I found some of the statistics in it close to unbelievable, but I trust the writer.

It's about poverty in Ohio.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1076608,00.html

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leadensky
Nov. 3rd, 2003 01:48 pm (UTC)
Rural America is taking the brunt of the paradigm shift to a service-driven economy, and there's little that's been done about it -- unless you count government cheese.

As a person whose family has traditionally been farmers on both sides for several generations, I am well aware of this. The problem is that there is, actually, fuckall that can be done.

Farming, logging and mining jobs are going away. The people involved in those will have to re-train, and, in most cases, re-locate. Most people are resistent to that. In addition, the people most able to do so, have already done so, before the situation got desperate.

Wages are linked to the value of product produced. Jobs are linked to the number of manhours required to produce the product.

Automation lowers the cost of the product by decreasing the manhours required. Iron, coal, wheat and lumber are commodities that face pressure from overseas producers who can pay top wages for their products in that area and still undercut American wages by 50 to 90%.

There is not a government program on the planet that can make companies employ people at a loss to that company. And there's very little one can say to make me pay more taxes to support people who aren't working.

(Charity I do. Charity I do a lot. But I won't pay the government waste monster in the middle.)

And with dairy price supports declining, there's not even much cheese to go around.

- hg