What I Have Learned From Photographing 400 Towns in Iowa
Cody Weber

Two years ago we visited our son in Nebraska (we’re from NJ) and vacationed in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, seeing what there was to see. I was completely shocked at the ghost town Main Streets of Iowa. We spent 4 hours listening to the owner of a B & B talk about life. The biggest employer in town was the prison.

The thing I couldn’t help but wonder about is, that they’re the ones who have been voting for the party that preaches that they should just get a job, blind to the fact that there aren’t any. That warns them against any big-government ideas that might actually turn the tide. That preaches the glories of “the Market” as though that invisible hand were doing anything but smacking them around. We city liberals won’t shop at Walmart BECAUSE it wipes out their town. They make fun of us.

My fantasy is that for a little while the Democrats might get control of Congress and the White House long enough, and be led by leaders smart enough, to come up with a Marshall Plan to coax and/or beat the market to bring new and different jobs to the inner parts of the country. And it would have to be fast, and big. We’ve done fast and big things before, when we needed to. This is now the time.

Without that, the only real solution is for these folks to get a uhaul, as some conservative recently wrote. That isn’t good for the country, as well as being even more impoverishing for those who can’t.