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What those people in Chatanooga fail to realize is that it was through the unionized labor that the workers were able to move into the solid middle class, be able to buy a house in the suburbs and send their children to college. When I was transferred to South Carolina in the spring of 1982, the people there told me that there are "two social classes here; high class and no class". What I learned later was that "high class" referred to those who were college educated and held management, technical or professional jobs that paid very well and that "no class" referred to those who worked in the plants and shops on an hourly basis who did not have a college education.
Another thing that I noticed when I was transferred to South Carolina was the absence of large "blue collar" suburbs that ringed my home town of Cleveland Ohio where families headed by a man who worked in a factory or shop could escape the central city and have a nice house in a suburban neighborhood. I grew up in one such suburb although both my parents were educated and white collar.
What I saw in South Carolina were very nice neighborhoods where the "high class" lived with larger homes on beautifully landscaped lots and some not so nice areas where the "no class" lived. Of course the blacks had their own neighborhoods separate from the whites, although some well educated blacks lived in some of the "high class" neighborhoods. I don't think that much has changed in the ensuing thirty years.
Outside of the cities, it is mostly "no class" except for the wealthy who have some large country estates. But I distinctly remember going into some of the rural areas and small towns outside of the larger cities and most of those people were really uneducated. It did seem a lot like The Dukes of Hazard. From what I have read, it appears that the rural south is worse off today than it was in the 1980s as far as a low level of prosperity.
But some of the nicer areas are expanding into "Snuffy Smith country". Where I used to live near Asheville NC, there was a nice new gated community of upscale houses that were selling for $250K to $300K in 1984. It was a really nice area of large homes on landscaped lots and nice views. But right across the street from the entry gate was a sterreotypical southern trailer park complete with trailer trash.