Tags: economic sociology, inequality, rural/urban, oil boom, rural poverty, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: While generating windfall fortunes for a few, economic booms typically create a host of dysfunctional consequences for many others. This is certainly the case for those living in southern Texas towns that sit atop the Eagle Ford shale field, which produces $15 million of oil per day. This New York Times video documents the efforts of one resident, a former ranch hand now roughneck, to supplement family groceries by hunting feral hogs in the brush country. The associated Times article addresses the especially adverse economic effects of the boom for the many poor living the region, while also producing in general, uncontrolled population growth, an upsurge in traffic fatalities, and rampant environmental degradation, among other problems. Together, the video and article show the extreme hardship that exists alongside the vast economic wealth. They paint a grim picture of rural poverty where basic infrastructure (e.g. police, local government, potable water, sewers) is missing and which help to reproduce generations of poverty. Additional analysis can be found in a recent series of articles appearing in The Texas Monthly about Eagle Ford, including this extensive piece by Brian Mealer on boom-related social issues. (Note this is a modified version of Michael's blog post at So Unequal. Photo from Nicole Bengiveno/NYT.)
Submitted By: Michael V. Miller
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