Poor men south of Richmond? Why much of the rural South is in economic crisis

For a brief moment in the summer of 2023, the surprise No. 1 song “Rich Men North of Richmond” focused the country’s attention on a region that often gets overlooked in discussions of the U.S. economy. Although the U.S. media sometimes pays attention to the rural South — often concentrating on guns, religion and opioid overdoses — it has too often neglected the broad scope and root causes of the region’s current problems.


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