As the resources fueling the Great Sprawl move towards as sure a depletion as did the gold in Bodie, we find the growth of poverty to be following on in what one might be forgiven for mistaking for a Punch & Judy Show.

Here is a list of the Top Ten suburban regions experiencing the most pronounced increases in material poverty:

To quote from the "mission statement" found on page one of this article....

"The number of poor people in U.S. suburbs rose by 63.6% between 2000 and 2011, from 10 million to well over 16 million people. For the first time, there are now more people living in poverty in the suburbs than in cities.

In some metro areas, the number of poor people living outside the city proper has jumped even more rapidly. In the Atlanta, Georgia, suburbs there are roughly 480,000 more people living below the poverty line than there were in 2000, an extraordinary 158% increase in the number of the suburban poor."

It may be worth noting that the Wasatch Front region occupies two of the ten positions where material poverty has posted substantial increases in the 2000-2011 time period covered in the above link.

A very strong economic argument might be made that the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan region is little more than an extension of the "New South Miracle" of Atlanta. A considerably more substantive argument may be made that the Charlotte, North Carolina-Rock Hill, South Carolina metropolitan region is but an extension of the above noted Atlanta economic zone.

The key to ALL of these areas is the decline in the resource base vital to the functioning of those regions.

That the Detroit-Warren, Michigan region would be on the list of regions where suburban material poverty has experienced rapid growth in the 2000-2011 period is scarcely surprising. There, in the Detroit-Warren region, resides a deeper lesson, one that is NOT for coarse laughter. It is best to leave crude humor about this once vibrant area of southeastern Michigan to those who delight in their own juvenile, scatological cruelties. One of the lessons is that all technological platforms, finally, function not only on so-called "human resources" to be exploited after a cheap imitation of mineral extraction, but of mineral extraction itself. to some, this may be stating the obvious.

That stated, how else do we fully comprehend our mythologies than by taking the obvious away from oblivion, re-stating what has become drowned out in the din of fantastical cants in that presumed adventure known as "win-win situations". Tell the good people falling into poverty in the new suburban reality about that one...the same way mining promoters told the same story about the endless veins of gold to be found in the hills around Bodie as late as 1918.

Ours are mythologies in song. We're not titans, like Robert Burns. We know that no matter how much sprawl gets built, there is no way back to that home. No clicking of the heels, no. Both "Bodie" and "Salt/Wake" are tools, however feeble, in the greater scope of just about everything, as are mythologies, as are the stories represented in long-vanished cave painting, of stories vanished into the dusk and dust of ephemera, like that of the grave of a young soldier on a hillside without known surviving family to tend his final site. 



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