Saturday, April 15, 2017

Rural ≠ Poor

A website I'd normally avoid - Talk Poverty - runs an article entitled:
Rural Americans Have Less Access to Books. There's a Way to Fix That.
Hat tip to RealClearPolicy for the link. I write to take issue with that claim. If we're talking "books to brouse and buy" off a shelf, maybe so. Libraries are a different story and Amazon delivers.

The rural valley I call home in western Wyoming has a total population of less than 10,000 spread across a half dozen tiny towns. The valley has three public libraries which are well-used and well maintained, even patronized by folks from neighboring Idaho.

Something to remember, rural ≠ poor, particularly in what I think of as "the Mormon West." That's UT, ID, western CO and WY, plus northern AZ and a fair part of rural NV. The early Mormons were amazing canal builders, bringing mountain streams to water an arid region. Their canals are still in use for agriculture.

A sign over the entrance to an RV park a couple of miles from my house says this: "Wyoming - the Way America Used to Be." Another indicator - a notice posted in the county clerk's office: "We Don't Care How They Did It, Wherever You're From."

There is more truth than poetry in those slogans, and we love it. Everybody is armed, many eat more elk than beef, and Democrats don't bother to field candidates in some of our elections. Full disclosure: the DrsC are not LDS, and rarely eat elk.