Delusions of Grandeur: The Search for a Vibrant Rural America. Staff Paper.Reportar como inadecuado

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Rural development is rarely defined and there is no clear definition of what the development process intends to accomplish. The nature of the larger economy in which rural places must operate has changed in ways that reduce the relative advantage of most rural areas and have left them struggling to define new economic functions. The political process--the last great hope of rescue for too many rural people and places--is reorganizing in ways that will disappoint most rural communities. Economic development options for rural places are few. Those with high amenity value may become retirement or recreation destinations; places with good road and rail connections may capture a role as distribution centers; and the growing solid waste industry relies upon rural areas to accept waste. Many success stories in rural America are, upon closer examination, not really examples of rural development but of urban expansion. If rural America is to be competitive with other developed regions, it will have to improve the skill levels of the local labor force, and rural places will have to integrate themselves into markets. As the key factor in the future competitive position of states, education has become too important to be left to local control, and the independence of rural school boards is declining. Development entails specialization and scale effects, and rural places need to find ways to accomplish them without being captured by an urban center. To achieve scale effects and maintain local control, rural places will have to cooperate within some functional economic and political structure. (Contains 13 references.) (TD)

Descriptors: Economic Development, Government Role, Labor Force Development, Politics, Quality of Life, Regional Cooperation, Rural Areas, Rural Development, Rural Economics, Rural Education, Social Capital

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Autor: Freshwater, David


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