I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine regarding Hillbilly Elegy and other books of despair for rural, white America and it occurred to me that though the economic hollowing out of rural communities may be the result of changing economic paradigms, the relief they are demanding doesn't appear to be positively affected by any of the "solutions" forwarded by either political side. You are not going to "invest" your way to an economically vibrant Appalachia. You are not going to suddenly turn coal country into the next Silicon Holler. And NOTHING is going to bring coal jobs back.
I suggested to my friend that the only thing that was going to "save" Appalachia was straight talk and bus tickets. Communities die. There are hundreds of abandoned towns in the Missouri Territory that were once thriving towns fueling the Western expansion. The hollers of Harlan County are not immune to the same influences irrespective of their history.
Anyone who wants a ticket out should be given the assistance to do so. The experiment of propping up the "heartland" has failed and will only fail more as automation destroys trucking.