Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Problem with Glorifying Rural Life

According to an article on the Poverty Reference Bureau website based on the work of William O'Hare, rural poverty is more prevalent than urban poverty; just under 24% of children in rural areas live in poverty (as of 2007), compared with around 18% in urban areas. Rural poverty is also tenacious:
... while many people move in and out of poverty as their circumstances change, spells of poverty last longer for rural children. They are the "forgotten fifth" of poor children because most programs and policies to help the poor are focused on urban areas. 
Appalachian Spring, listening to "Flyover State," that farmer ad on the Super Bowl: all help us feel a little bit better about the reality of this situation. They tell us that it's OK, that the grit and ingenuity of these (white, they mostly are white) people will carry the day, that they'll lift themselves out of the rut, carry themselves through hard times.