2 07 2007

I read this article by Barbara Ehrenreich, who I love and respect of course, and think she’s perhaps being a little too doom-and-gloom.

Yes, the gentrification of rural America is a tragedy, indeed. Gentrification in general is a sad reality. I’d argue that gentrification in the middle of the city is even worse, because it separates families, deprives children of a steady education, and deprives lower-income families of the basic things they need to go about living their lives.

However, for the “don’t-want-to-pay-$100-for-a-T-shirt” crowd trying to go on vacation, less than $100 will get you a comfortable sleeping bag, air mattress and tent, and then you’re all set to experience the most beautiful parts of the world for a mere $9 a night anywhere in Oregon (and I’d imagine elsewhere, too). That’s right: camping. It’s not even really roughing it, as most camp sites have running water and even flush toilets. Swim in lakes! See deer! Identify myriad species of bird!

How did Ehrenreich overlook that?