Hollowing Out the Middle provides a rich insight of the issues facing rural America. The authors used the students in Ellis to represent the other similar small towns and rural places in America, Many of the solutions proposed by Carr and Kefalas would be a feasible guess as to the fix some of the underlying problems facing our rural communities.
Small towns grease the rails for many of the youth to want to escape to more metro areas. They grow up educated with modern ideas that may not necessarily be fully put to use in their current location. They want to push the boundaries in order to use the knowledge they have acquired in order to live a prosperous life. They see success in leaving because of the wealth of easily attainable opportunities.
The youth that chose to leave are often the bright ones with a good head on there shoulders. Many of the students that chose to stay behind are less driven individuals that seek no desire for bettering them selves or community. This causes a slow downward spiral within the community eventually dwindling away the population till the town becomes impoverished and eventually desolate.
If you drive down 219 in Oakland into West Virginia you eventually hit the little town of Thomas. You can tell that the small rural town nestled in the valley was once a hustling little place with many shops and venders all along the streets. Nowadays as you pass through town on main street you see broken glass and boarded windows to all of the shops. What once would have resembled something similar to Frostburg’s main street now looks like Berlin after World War II. One or two places seem to have survived but they struggle to pay the bills. Towns like this are a common sight in Appalachia. What had been a busy little town now is filled with only the elderly people who have remained.
As one generation up and leaves it causes more and more places to close creating less jobs and or less wedges. The stayers are the ones who feel...