Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rural Development?

My RSS reader gave me these two links almost side by side: one is 550 rural organizations hoping for money in the new farm bill; the other is a map showing rural counties losing population by death and out-migration (a commenter observes if the younger people of child-bearing age migrate, then later the county will start losing population by the excess of deaths over births).

Their hearts are in the right place but TR had the "Country Life Commission" back in 1908 looking at the same problem. And my grandfather was a roving minister for the Presbyterian church in the 1920's covering the Dakotas and Nebraska, trying to revive country churches. I don't think reviving a generic rural area is doable. A free-market economy and a society that values individual freedom can't do it. We, the government, can slow the process and perhaps make it less painful, but we don't have the power.

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