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ERIC Number: ED478668
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Sep-19
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Search for an Effective Rural Policy: An Endless Quest or an Achievable Goal.
Freshwater, David; Scorsone, Eric
The United States does not have a coherent national rural policy. The federal government has focused on a sector-based policy that has only indirect impact on rural America. State governments have failed to move beyond their traditional focus areas of education, corrections, Medicaid, and other state services. The diversity of rural America makes it difficult for states or the federal government to create and manage coherent rural development policies. At the same time, much of rural America suffers from economic and social disparities relative to the rest of the nation and has become increasingly dependent on federal and state transfer payment programs. The old rural policies have become irrelevant in the face of the new rural environment, with its increasing ethnic and cultural diversity, the decreased importance of farming, and global economic pressures that increase the need for investments in human capital and technology. A new rural development policy must accept that the change process is incremental and should be based on a broad coalition of support. Local governments are well positioned to address the needs of rural America, but have been hampered in the past due to state restrictions on revenue-raising capacity and expenditure limitations. The large number of local governments and overlapping jurisdictions implies that rural city-county partnerships must be the foundation of national rural development policy. Federal and state governments must rethink their role in rural development policy. Instead of creating and managing large government programs, they can provide support through block grants, fiscal and regulatory flexibility, and technical assistance. (Contains 41 references) (Author/TD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A