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Don't count out the Midwest

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I wouldn't blame you for dismissing the Midwest. Even we Midwesterners are finding it hard to feel important - and not just because of our Garrison Keilloresque self-deprecation. Back in Michigan this week, I noticed locals talking in survival terms: "Oh, sure, St. Joseph-Benton Harbor is still there - hurting, but still there." As jobs disappear from the region, people move away and the area's economy weakens even more. If you're the last to go, turn out the lights as you leave.

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