New York Times article on community decline associated with loss of work
Tragedy of Baltimore"), Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn just published a powerful article in the New York Times about the decline of Kristof's boyhood home community of Yamhill in Southern Oregon, "Who Killed the Knapp Family?"
Apparently the article is an excerpt from a new book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope (review).
They point out that deindustrialized cities are rural areas share common characteristics. "When Work Disappears" people and communities break.
And the US has a very weak social support network, so such decline isn't staunched.
In the last few weeks there was reporting on a study that found in communities where manufacturing plants closed, drug use was up ("Auto plant closures tied to surge in opioid overdose deaths," Reuters)
This shouldn't be news. When I was in college I worked for a time at the University's Survey Research Center, and one of the studies we did was on the impact on health from the loss of work and health insurance coverage. It was grim talking to those people...
the precariat" in the last couple years.
But with the backlash against "globalization," I've come to realize that the real problem is the failure to provide systems of support to communities and individuals that lose out to globalization -- health care, access to quality education and work retraining programs, economic development programs, etc.
As Robert Reich says, it's not like corporations are out to help communities or countries, just their shareholders ("American firms aren't beholden to America – but that's news to Trump," Guardian).
Instead, the US cuts health care, food stamps, unemployment support, etc. (As does Britain, and this was a major factor in the Brexit vote, as people were convinced to blame the European Union for the Conservative Party's austerity program.)
Investment is social infrastructure such as health care, "social urbanism" ("Social urbanism and Baltimore," 2019), rural development, is the necessary response.
But a problem with rural development is that people and communities can be very hard to help, because the idea that government can be helpful is ideologically oppositional to the conservative political narrative. From the New York Times article "In the Land of Self-Defeat":
His comment reflected a worldview that is becoming ever more deeply ingrained in the white people who remain in rural America — Washington politicians are spending money that they shouldn’t be. In 2016, shortly after Mr. Trump’s victory, Katherine J. Cramer, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, summed up the attitudes she observed after years of studying rural Americans: “The way these folks described the world to me, their basic concern was that people like them, in places like theirs, were overlooked and disrespected,” she wrote in Vox, explaining that her subjects considered “racial minorities on welfare” as well as “lazy urban professionals” working desk jobs to be undeserving of state and federal dollars. People like my neighbors hate that the government is spending money on those who don’t look like them and don’t live like them — but what I’ve learned since I came home is that they remain opposed even when they themselves stand to benefit.The article discusses community opposition to a library in Rural Arkansas.
Arlie Russell Hochschild's View of Small-Town Decay and Support for Trump" which discusses the book Strangers in their Own Land, a study of the Tea Party movement and conservative support for Trump and the Republican Party.
Also see "An outline for integrated equity planning" (2017) and the comments, which lists other best practices not compiled in the original piece, as I come across them.