I spent a lot of time this week trying to catch up on the New York Times, which since we began subscribing about a month ago has turned into an intimidating tower of reading threatening to take over our living room. Anyway, last week there was this story about a mill town in New Hampshire called Berlin that's dying. Apparently paper milling is disappearing as an industry in the United States and its dragging Berlin down the drain with it. (Who makes paper now? Brazil?) With no industry and a rapidly dwindling population, the town is desperate to save itself and has therefore cooked up two new industries to attract and retain residents-- a prison and a off-roading truck park. I don't want to make light of the Berlin's new industries. Prisons have to go somewhere I guess, and why not in the middle of nowhere. But clearly, when you're counting on an SUV park to save your town, you've reached the point of desperation.
My question is: why bother saving the town at all? Why not let nature take its course and let the town die. Couldn't this just be better in the long run? Pull down some of the houses, dig up the concrete, bulldoze the strip malls and give the whole piece of land back to nature. Or give it to a Native American reservation.
Let it go. Its dead. Why is there this obsession with keeping this crappy town alive? There are thousands of dead end towns across this country, and, quite frankly, we don't need them. They take up space and occupy land that would just be better used in an ecosystem.