|A Pace Odyssey||
Blog post by Jonah Tolman
Company towns first arose in the 1890’s, for industries like coal mining or railroad construction, naturally set apart from civilization. One company would strategically own all businesses within a town, which ultimately lead to lack of personal freedom for employees. If the controlling company went under, the entire economy collapsed. Eventually, the introduction of automobiles allowed the decline of company towns, since workers could live anywhere and commute to work easily. As the article argues, the possibility of Amazon “factory towns” looms today.
With so many downsides to company towns, who, if anyone, could benefit from them in today's economic, social, and political climate?
Personally, I disagree with these factory towns. I do not think they deliver what promises they claim to, such as being a “solution to inequality.” Instead, they are schemes to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer. We are living out a dystopian novel. Imagine if Salmon became a company town with Saveway. It would be more of a hell-hole than it is already. This is nothing new to American history, just look at all the mining towns around Salmon left crumbling and abandoned. Once the boom dries up, it’s crickets.