I too am part of the Appalachian-American diaspora who has been coastal since graduating from “State U.” It’s a great place to be from, or so the departed often joke. (And I’m not even sure that’s true.)
Vance describes the inevitable decay that results from being disconnected from work and family, the social ills that soon follow, and the pessimism it naturally breeds. There’s no one cause nor one solution, and Americans are seemingly no longer good at solving problems like this.
Here’s another brief perspective I think you and your readers will enjoy. While NR has lost its way since Buckley died, Kevin Williamson often writes beautifully on the subject.
One thing I’ll add: outside parties and institutions can always help, but true and lasting change usually happens only when a community itself decides to sort itself out.