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Progess/strong economy can lower family/community values

Years ago, I saw a rerun of "Little House on the Prairie" in which a railroad developer was planning to build his railroad right through the town (although not the downtown). It was touted as bring opportunities for economic development to those areas it passed through. The townspeople blocked it (by physically putting a wagon barrier in its planned path and manning it with armed townspeople) because they did not want the railroad to pass through there. They felt that it would attract immoral or unsavory businesses, activities, and people such as taverns, gambling, crime, loan sharking, and the like. This type of conflict seems to be where any negative connotations of the word "progress" come from, although that connotation appears decidedly out of fashion in modern politics.

Here in Maine, people often remark that this is one of the best American states for raising a family, due to low crime, neighborhood culture, low congestion, and other factors. However, young people often leave the state in order to find jobs, or better jobs. Here, as elsewhere, politicians talk primarily job creation and other aspects of a strong economy. While that is an overall positive effect, we should remember the potential damage to family values.

Some examples of how family values could be impacted:

    A worker who is exhausted by his job or hates his life because he hates his job would be more likely to use drugs.
    Long hours at work means less time for your spouse or children.
    People with money to spend (a good thing) can attract the types of activities described in the rerun above.
    The strengths of our civilization get defined as the results of our labors rather than as the communities we build. Are we really better as a people because we can build all these skyscrapers and monuments, or because we can come together as friends and get along?
While the situation you describe can happen I think fiscal solvency and having a good job, earning a good living, doesn't affect family values negatively. Their is very little evidence to back up the phenomenon you describe.
On the contrary, in my opinion Smile

There is a single evidence that makes his statements very credible - birthrate! It's hard to not classify the decision to have and raise kids as part of family values. How much is having kids important to me? Should I emphasize work more, or put more effort into expanding my family and continuing its legacy? The average family in most European countries now have 1.30-1.34 children. That's a racial suicide note right there. What has caused that if not a high standard of living? BIG cities, BIG jobs in BIG corporations demand work, demand focusing on careers. Media reinforce that by fooling people into believing that they need a better house, bigger car etc. to be a meaningful person and so material goals are emphasized more at the cost of moral, family, spiritual etc. This changes things and countries which are more developed, have bigger cities and with more business structures, have less kids. In villages, an average family has more kids than a city family as well.

In bigger cities, people are much less religious than in small cities and religion comes with moral rules that people follow. This doesn't mean that a big city lover can't be a good parent, but his definition of family may be completely different than country man's.

Homosexuality etc. In big cities, you are anonymous and will always be able to find and socialize with people of similar sexual orientation/ethnicity etc. A redneck in a God-forsaken village will never come out, because moral values and family model of people around him stands in sharp contrast to that! So he will have a skeleton in a closet, find a wife because his parents pressure him, make a kid somehow and keep his urges to himself. In big city, the same guy would live with his "friend" and maybe nobody would even notice. Their neighbours will probably think that they're brothers or something. Same person, two environments, completely different families Wink

About drugs - from my experience, village people do them as often as townspeople Smile

Finally, multiculturalism. In big cities like London, there are people from around the world. This forces everyone to hold their horses culturally, to meet somewhere in the middle (everyone except muslims, unfortunately, they get a free pass with everything). In small cities, there are mainly local communities whose parents lived in same places, knew each other well and the same goes for their parents and grandparents and so on and so forth. A completely different local community structure in many ways affects the family model that people apply to their lives.
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