America's Most Hopeless Counties Getting More Hopeless

The news out of Real America: Real America is dying. That's a technical term! New census figures show that a full one in four counties in America are "dying," meaning that they have more deaths than births. They're slowly being erased from not only sociopolitical relevance, but from existence itself!

Johnson said common threads among the dying counties are older whites who are no longer having children, and an exodus of young adults who find little promise in the region and seek jobs elsewhere. The places also have fewer Hispanic immigrants, who on average are younger and tend to have more children than other groups.

Crumbling industrial areas. Forgotten farming towns. Even cities that built too fast during the housing boom, like Vegas and parts of California and Florida, are seeing themselves caught in a pattern of shrinkage. (And the majority of West Virginia!) All of the places where all the teenagers sit around and woefully dream of getting out and never coming back—well, they're not coming back any more.

And by the way, you know who's most pessimistic about the economy these days? White people without college degrees. They're almost universally unsatisfied with their economic situation; they say the country's best years are behind us; and they blame Washington for many of their problems.

At least many of them are leaving their crumbling, disappearing towns. Flock to the cities, Americans! There are no jobs or opportunities to be found in your backwards rural village. America is now India, basically. (But less promising.)

[AP. Photo: AP]