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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Amish Affected by the Economic Downturn

Douglas Belkin writes:

In Amish country, a bank run is about as familiar as a Hummer or a flat-screen TV. For decades, the more than 200,000 Amish in the U.S. have largely lived apart from the mainstream, emphasizing humility, simplicity and thrift. Known as "the plain people," they travel by horse-drawn buggy, wear homemade clothing and live with very little electricity.

But the Amish in northern Indiana edged into the conventional economy, lured by the high wages of the recreational-vehicle and modular-homes industries. And they wound up experiencing the same economic whiplash millions of other Americans did.

There has been some fraying of the ties that bind the Amish, many in the community say.

"When you have plenty of money, you have a tendency to slowly drift away," says Steve Raber, 37, an Amish owner of a furniture-manufacturing business in Shipshewana, near Topeka. "I think people begin to forget who's really in control."

link: A Bank Run Teaches the 'Plain People' About the Risks of Modernity -


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