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Old 06-06-2004, 02:57 PM   #16
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Melon, you're right about people and relocation in the sense that these people will choose to relocate. My grandfather's family left the state that they'd lived in for generations. His mother said goodbye to her loved ones, packed it up, and moved the family to Florida so her children would have better lives. People were leaving the state in droves, and no one wanted to move there, which is also part of the problem. Are you going to move to a place with 30% unemployment? No, you want to get the hell out. No one takes your place, and the town is that much further towards becoming a ghost town. No new jobs are created because no one is coming in looking for them. The upshot is that the place collectively goes to hell in a haybasket.
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Old 06-06-2004, 03:55 PM   #17
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I don't really have much to add other than when passing through parts of Kentucky and Tennessee each year, I sometimes feel like I'm in a totally different country or world.

This past spring, we stopped somewhere in Tennessee for gas. We pulled off and the exit led us down into a valley and across a huge lake between two mountains. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, but at the same time, the people there looked like the ones I've seen in pictures of the Depression and great droughts. Many of the small towns we pass look like nothing's changed since the early 1900s. So I have this love-hate relationship with Appalacia; I love the mountains and milder temps (compared to other mountain ranges) and the picturesque villages, but the poverty and stillness of it is depressing.
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Old 06-06-2004, 08:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
I don't really have much to add other than when passing through parts of Kentucky and Tennessee each year, I sometimes feel like I'm in a totally different country or world.

This past spring, we stopped somewhere in Tennessee for gas. We pulled off and the exit led us down into a valley and across a huge lake between two mountains. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, but at the same time, the people there looked like the ones I've seen in pictures of the Depression and great droughts. Many of the small towns we pass look like nothing's changed since the early 1900s. So I have this love-hate relationship with Appalacia; I love the mountains and milder temps (compared to other mountain ranges) and the picturesque villages, but the poverty and stillness of it is depressing.
I've heard other people say almost exactly the same thing. The ugliness of the poverty doesn't match the beauty surrounding it.

I have always wanted to take people there and show them, I think the culture shock would be disturbing to some.

Some very interesting comments here, I will answer more in length tommorrow when I have more time. Thanks for posting.
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Old 06-06-2004, 09:12 PM   #19
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My memories of Appalachia are of both breathtaking beauty and appalling ugliness, a place of hopes and dreams denied and made almost useless, a place of utter and complete desolation. It is a place of good people in the wrong place at the wrong time, people of some of the worst possible luck along with people not fighting fate.
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Old 06-07-2004, 09:39 AM   #20
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So are you "relocating" avocates suggesting that the entire area be abandoned and return to the wolves and bears? Where are all the people going to go and would they add problems to the population where they do go? I'm not for them abandoning their homes at all.
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Old 06-07-2004, 09:55 AM   #21
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No, I'm not advocating that everyone leave Appalachia and give it back to the wildlife. That would be a huge waste. They need jobs! They need "outsiders" to come in and start businesses, build hospitals, and other things that employ people. People can get jobs as nurses, orderlies, etc, etc, in hospitals. My grandfather's family left West Virginia by choice. No one told them to leave. Seabird is right, forced relocation is what monsters like Ceceauscu do. I sure as hell don't want to do that in my ancestral land.
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:24 AM   #22
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I haven't read the L.A. thread..so I might be off base here, but there are quite a few areas in the US that really don't seem like they are in the US. As if they are part of a third-world country.

I believe it was JFK (and I could be wrong, it might have been RFK), that did a poverty tour in the 60's. A few years back, the now deceased Senator Paul Wellstone (D - Minn.) recreated the tour....and not much had changed.

I spent some time in Mississippi and Alabama in college, and saw some communities that were "not very american" - it was quite shocking for me.

Since then (thanks to some articles sent to me by U2Bama), they have infused some new economic factors into the parts of Alabama I saw. I would suspect Mississippi has not changed much.
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:33 AM   #23
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Originally posted by zoney!
there are quite a few areas in the US that really don't seem like they are in the US. As if they are part of a third-world country.
Yes there are, and not enough people know that or acknowledge it. That's part of the problem.

Quote:
I believe it was JFK (and I could be wrong, it might have been RFK), that did a poverty tour in the 60's. A few years back, the now deceased Senator Paul Wellstone (D - Minn.) recreated the tour....and not much had changed.
I don't know if the Kennedys went, but I know LBJ did. He declared his "war on poverty" in 1964 from the front porch of a squalid Kentucky shack.

Quote:
I spent some time in Mississippi and Alabama in college, and saw some communities that were "not very american" - it was quite shocking for me.

Since then (thanks to some articles sent to me by U2Bama), they have infused some new economic factors into the parts of Alabama I saw. I would suspect Mississippi has not changed much.
Thanks for trying to help! Yes Mississippi and other parts of the rural south not included in Appalachia are like that too. I have read horror stories of families there, and this is recent.

The "Indian" reservations out west are a disgrace too. Driving through Navajo country in Arizona on the way to the Grand Canyon, I witnessed shabby trailers barely braced on cinderblocks and shabby shacks in fields of hard sand colored earth where nothing would grow. Tumbleweeds blew across the road and skinny goats roamed free. The only water source they had were windmill type pumps, and not every home had one. They probably have to fetch and carry their water. But that's not such a big thing to me since I know people on the east coast who have outdoor johns and often have to use public bathrooms for washing. Some 'rich nation'
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:47 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoney!
I spent some time in Mississippi and Alabama in college, and saw some communities that were "not very american" - it was quite shocking for me.

Since then (thanks to some articles sent to me by U2Bama), they have infused some new economic factors into the parts of Alabama I saw. I would suspect Mississippi has not changed much.
There are some parts of Alabama and Mississippi that look more like the third world than part of the U.S. Fortunately some things have changed for some of these areas, but unfortunately some things are just as they were a generation ago. It's sad.
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:57 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoney!
I believe it was JFK (and I could be wrong, it might have been RFK), that did a poverty tour in the 60's. A few years back, the now deceased Senator Paul Wellstone (D - Minn.) recreated the tour....and not much had changed.
JFK made a major speech in West Virginia, addressing the poverty problem in that area and others around the U.S. during his campaign in 1960. People still talk about that speech. I don't know RFK might have gone there also, I wouldn't remember. What a shame we lost those two to assassin's bullets.
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Old 06-07-2004, 12:11 PM   #26
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Appalachia has been described as the white, middle American ghetto. Far spread and rural, it is not a likely candidate for "enterprise zones".
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Old 06-07-2004, 12:16 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by BluberryPoptart
So are you "relocating" avocates suggesting that the entire area be abandoned and return to the wolves and bears? Where are all the people going to go and would they add problems to the population where they do go? I'm not for them abandoning their homes at all.
I think this will happen within 50-100 years on its own, if the cycle of poverty is broken.

Otherwise, if nothing is done, they will just continue to live in poverty, where time just stands still...

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Old 06-07-2004, 12:19 PM   #28
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There are some people out there who aren't totally busted. They usually have to drive many miles to work though. My Uncle is doing well, he left as a young man to work in a factory and when he retired at 55, he sold his house and got to keep the money tax free due to his age. Then he cashed in his profit sharing and went riding back home with a huge bank account to live off of. He is not the only one, a lot of people have left and returned to fix up the old home place once they got some money.
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Old 06-07-2004, 12:49 PM   #29
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Yeah my co-worker's wife is from West Virginia and we have a couple of students that drive from West Virginia into DC for carpentry school because they say that they don't have anything out in the mountains for them. I've heard from them that it is very saddening to see how much people are suffering through.

As for the mexican comment...I gotta comment here being that i'm mexican. Yes there are lots of families that cross the border in search of a better life. Mexico is a third-world country. If you go into the cities you see so many children and families living on the streets, trying to clean your windows and doing drugs. Lots of families have nothing. I mean they make like $40 a week in wages for their whole family who consist of 3-5 kids cos they can't afford birthcontrol and even if they could they wouldn't use it because of religion. Many of these people gather up all their money and leave their families behind to come to the US, losing their lives in doing that but they're so stuck in poverty, that they would do ANYTHING even risk losing their life just to have a better life than they had in Mexico. I put myself in their place...my grandparents didn't have money when they lived in Mexico and my aunts and my mom used to just eat rice and beans cos that's all that they could afford when they were little. I'd try to cross the border too if it meant getting some kind of help.

Ok that's all from me. Sorry to kinda go off the subject with the mexico comment but I just had to throw my 2 cents in
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Old 06-07-2004, 02:32 PM   #30
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There's a *great* book called "Savage Inequalities" written by Jonathan Kozol that chronicles American poverty vis-a-vis the education system. The stories that he covers from the inner city ghettos to Appalachia are heartbreaking but not as heartbreaking as knowing that financially speaking, the government could--if they wanted to--help meet the basic living needs of these children.

There was also a documentary made in the late 80s called "Fast Food Women" (which may or may not have been the inspiration for Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation") that chronicles the culture shock of Kentucky women forced into the workplace after their husbands lost their jobs working in the coal mines. These women were employed by Druthers' Inc. which owns hamburger joints and also by other fast food industry companies like Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Because these women had no prior working experience, coupled with the nature of the fast food industry, the women were trapped in a spiral of helplessness, anomie, and even more defining poverty. Someone mentioned the highly suspicious nature that Appalachian folks have for outsiders and suggested that if they let outsiders come in and build a financial infrastructures, their economies would stabilize.

However, this documentary showed that the fast food industry companies who came into this small Kentucky town, took advantage of an already precarious economic situation and exploited these rural women further by paying them an average of $2.75 an hour plus tips.

Although this film was made nearly 15 years ago, I doubt that much has changed even if the national minimum wage has increased.
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