Billionaires in the West

In this intriguing interview with Yale sociologist and author Justin Farrell, we’re treated to an upfront view of a problem plaguing the American West. The problem, as Farrell discusses with journalist Carl Segerstrom of High Country Newsis that the influx of billionaires in recent years to western states such as Wyoming has created such an income disparity that the locals can’t afford to live in the places they’ve called home for generations.

Farrell gives one example, about a restaurant at Jackson Hole closing, because it couldn’t afford to hire new employees. The closure caught the attention of the wealthy in Jackson, and the restaurant is now back in business.

But, as Farrell says, “We need to end this perception that we’re reliant on affluent folks and their philanthropy to solve the problems.”

The problems go beyond income inequality, and stretch towards a potential future lack of biodiversity. If you’re located in the West, or visit here often for the hunting and fishing we all treasure, then you need to read this article.

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