I’ve been scouting for homesteads so I have been making forays further from the city enclaves and blue liberal towns that are my normal haunts and out into rural America. Poverty in the context of blue cities has generally meant homelessness and panhandling. But poverty in rural america looks different.
NIMBY (not in our neighborhood) cities won’t let you just pull up a double wide on the outskirts of town. That brings down property values. I mean theoretically so does tent cities, but that’s an argument for another day. But I haven’t really seen a lot of RVs or mobile homes simply because I’ve lived in yuppie Boomer cities. NIMBY land has “standards” and if you can’t meet them we’d rather you be unhoused than accommodate uglier but more humane options.
As I’ve driven through industrial western cities I’ve seen a fuck ton more rural poverty than I expected. Which is naive and stupid of me. I’m aware of median American incomes. Not everyone can afford suburban townhouses and most developers aren’t interested in building that kind of housing outside of well gentrified places.
As I’ve gone further afield to towns that rely on commodity products like oil or minerals or cattle, I’ve noticed a reliance on temporary or low cost housing. You see a lot of decent well maintained working trucks. But a lot of the housing is as bare bones as you can imagine. And it’s ugly as sin to the NIMBY eye but at least it’s fucking housing. I’ve seen a lot of trailers in various states of decay but I’ve got to imagine it’s better than a tent.
I don’t have a real point here other than to say that America is hurting. No one can afford inflation and if we’ve got stagnating opportunities it’s going to blow up in our faces. Blue cities should be embarrassed as fuck by allowing massive unhoused populations when we’ve got prefabricated options. But the American crumbling is bad in any form.