Much of their manufacturing has disappeared, but many old industrial towns in the Midwest still have two things going for them. These are colleges and hospitals, or eds and meds, as they’re called. Most of these towns are counting on these industries to support them in the way that factories once did.
This always sounded a little desperate, even when both education and medicine were fast-growing parts of the economy. That’s stopping now, and towns that have staked their future on teaching young people and treating old people may be in for a disappointment.
Basically, both eds and meds depend heavily on government financing. In an era of tight government budgets at all levels, that financing just isn’t going to be there.