Technology taketh away and technology giveth

One of the greatest complaints I hear about here in rural America is the shrinking population.  The population in my rural county peaked with the 1910 census.  I know of many towns that are a small fraction of what they were even fifty years ago.  Now, I’m not talking about those towns that simply dried up and blew away in the dust bowl years, that’s another story and only slightly related to technology.

The population in rural America has been shrinking and continues to shrink because of Technology.  The Technology of farming has come a long way from the man behind the plow behind the mule.  Today one man can farm an area of land that took 5 men even one generation ago.  Two generations ago it would have taken ten men or more.  That’s nine families that no longer have farm work in rural America.  Folks moved away looking for a better life.  The people who stayed behind used the technology to make up the labor gap.  There is far more production in farming with considerably fewer people today than any time in history.  This is a trend that is sure to continue.  When I look at robotics I can see that one man in fifty years will farm what it takes ten men to do today.  What will the other nine men do?  Look for work in other places.

That’s how the technology taketh away.

With the information age upon us more and more people are realizing they can work form home.  All the tools are readily available without going to an office. There are consultants, sales persons, accountants, medical transcriptionists and many other professional people who rarely if ever go into a building to work.  They are products of Technology and use the information technology to earn a living. There are web page designers, writers, CEO’s CFO’s, IT Specialists and even Ebay Sellers who work from home more and more.

When these people who are working from home realize that they can work from ANYWHERE, they start looking for nicer places to live.  Places with a good quality of life and a low cost of living.  Real America with Real American values.  Good schools with high quality teachers not bogged down by reams of red tape and regulation.  Folks look for a home where it is safe to let their kids play outside, even after dark.  That’s where rural America is becoming the answer for many of these independent people.  Small town living with big town amenities.  Even a tiny town with a population of 200 has high speed internet.  That town also has a school with maybe ten kids to the class.

Young families are seeing the advantage of rural inexpensive small town living while maintaining that big town salary.  These folks are moving into the areas where the homes are affordable and the streets are safe.

And that’s how the Technology giveth.

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Published in: on March 8, 2008 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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