This is not a problem. It is a solution. Let’s go with it.
The single greatest difficulty in periods of fundamental paradigm change is the endless waste of resources attempting solve and solution. It’s very frustrating attempting to solve a problem that has already been solved. It simply doesn’t work. This is a result of changing paradigmatic values that eliminate old problems but create new ones. That population in general and those slow to pickup on the change, usually those most invested in the old paradigmatic system, don’t understand the problems they can’t solve are no longer an issue. New problems have replaced them that require a completely different perspective and new solutions. Not recognizing this simply escalates anger and confusion.
Looking at the Trump and the failure of the US election in 2016 as failure leaves a hopelessly complex set of unsolvable problems. Looking at Trump and 2016 election was, literally, the last gasp of a dying system. Trump represents nothing but the usual resurgence of feudal forms that take opportunistic advantage of a collapsed system. Trump, and for that matter, the Republican Party are scavengers removing the carcass.
It seems strange to have to say this but they have no plan and no policy beyond plunder. This is not a problem but a natural process in evolutionary change. Scavengers never create new systems because they are too limited and too specialized. As the takings are removed they fall to attacking each other until they are driven off by the species (to continue in the biological metaphor) that will replace those that died.
And so a new interpretation of the unsolvable problem of the urban versus rural and red versus blue split. This is the new social structure. Within twenty to thirty years 80% of the population will live, by choice, in urban areas. People have been changing in this way over the last 10,000 years. It now is the preferred form of living. It provides richer life style, wealth (as you are stating here), and centers of education and innovation. While many great cities are still very polluted they are being worked on with great resources and the focus of millions of people. These are not the ghettos of the early industrial era. They are becoming something very new.
This technology driven shift is profound and accelerating. The numbers here show it. Please realize that the metropoles we are developing will not be what they are today. Self driving cars will allow them to broaden as a 2–3 hour commute is simply sleep or working time. Parking lots now will become parks and café areas. This has been in process for thirty years in limited, rejuvenated sections of old cities. This will explode over the next fifteen years.
Services are available in the metropoles. Cities now are the primary functioning governments that are strongly oriented to administration of common areas and public ownership. With diversity as an asset that is beginning to be understood and used by the populations, more educated, that are happiest in the new metropole areas. That will increase.
Why, pray tell, would we want to stop this? Why would we worry about the antiquated communities of unneeded small cities and towns with no surviving personality and populated by an aging and angry population. Why drag out their suffering? They soon will be living in abandoned Walmarts as soon as we eliminate Trumps burgeoning concentration camps. And we need to eliminate that quickly because abdicating to the scavengers means someone else (China?, Russia?) will try to take possession. Scavengers are NOT predators. They are cowards by nature. They don’t need to fight.
So what do we do with the folks, whatever their politics, in the dead zone or Trumpistan, if you prefer? They are already taking most of the welfare funding nationally and these are good areas to move to experimentation in Universal Basic Income. These people are in, usually, declining occupations. Farming, the reason for of those towns and people, is already heavily automated and will be completely automated soon. With entrepreneurial funding they could be made centers for innovation in environmental restoration and development of environmental resort areas. Wait, isn’t this happening already? Why not go with it and restore pride for the people who want to live in semirural or rural settings.
Politically we will soon need to clean up the remains of the failed United States. Much of the remaining government is redundant and irrelevant. Metropoles are the functioning administrative areas. Allow cities to ‘buy’ larger rural areas for their benefit. The collapsed federal political system can become a broader and looser association of North American Metropoles providing large scale contract services and defense services as needed.
Ok, enough. The point is that if we stop trying to ‘solve’ the emerging solution we can get on the winning side of history. It is all beginning to happen around us now.