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The economic colonization of rural Anerica

The transformation of the American economy was supposed to usher in a new era of prosperity via a “rural renaissance.” Where has that dream gone and how do we bring it back? Over the past 50 years, many rural communities seem to have lost their purpose. The trend during this period has been toward fewer, larger, and more specialized farms. The result has been declining rural populations, declining demand for local markets and locally purchased inputs, and a resulting economic decay of many rural communities.

Gary MN shows small town's big talents

A forest project in northwest Minnesota highlights how a small community can partner with a university to improve an important community resource. Some other small towns are starting to take notice of the success.  The 160-acre pine forest runs along Highway 32 and holds historical significance to the community. Generations of residents have worked on the forest since it was developed as a Conservations Corps project in the 1930s. Originally a dusty area with blowing soil, the site was transformed into a pine forest.

In small town America, the public housing crisis nobody's talking about

The shuttering of public housing complexes in two small Midwestern towns raises big questions for residents, HUD and Congress. To tell the story, I could use your help. It’s a Sunday morning in late February at the tiny Baptist church atop the hill in Thebes, a remote village of about 400 people in the southernmost part of Illinois. I’m here for a story assignment, but to know people is to worship with them.

‘Frontline’ reveals ‘Trafficked’ teens slaving on farms

As producers Daffodil Altan and Andres Cediel (“Rape in the Fields”) document, the young workers at Trillium Farms in Ohio, one of the nation’s largest egg producers, turning out 10 million eggs a day, found the American dream to be a nightmare. At one facility, captured on a bit of harrowing hidden camera footage, conditions were hellish, there were narrow halls barely big enough for a person, with rows atop rows of caged, squawking hens.“The manure falls in your eyes,” one worker says.Shifts started at 6 a.m. and, if workers were lucky, ended at 5 p.m.

Opioid crisis cost Washington state over $9 billion in 2016

A new report states the opioid crisis has cost Washington state billions of dollars in a single year. United States Senator Patty Murray released the analysis Monday, which found that in 2016 the crisis cost the state over $9 billion in fatalities, health care spending, addiction treatment, criminal justice and lost productivity.Opioid-related deaths had the greatest impact, costing the state $7 billion in 2016. According to the news release, deaths related to opioids cost the state more than $34 billion from the years 2012-2016.

Outdoor Recreation Driving Population Boom in Rural Areas

Every year, more people are moving to small towns tucked in the Flathead Valley so they can choose from a range of outdoor activities — camping, hiking, riding their bikes, even kayaking or skiing — throughout the year. Flathead County first hit 100,000 residents last year, after growing by about 10 percent since 2010, according to U.S. census estimates. It’s the state’s second-fastest growing county, after Gallatin County, home of Montana State University, and one of the fastest-growing rural counties with populations over 25,000 in the United States.

When Your Fixer-Upper Is Your Hometown

Darla Moore came from humble roots. She grew up in Lake City, S.C., an agricultural community with a population of 6,675. After college, she moved to New York, where she achieved tremendous success in finance. She was the first woman on the cover of Fortune magazine. And with Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, she became one of the first two female members of Augusta National Golf Club.About 10 years ago, Ms. Moore began spending more time in Lake City, where her grandparents had farmed and her father, a school principal and coach, was a local leader.

What role do immigrants play in U.S. labor force?

President Donald Trump and many congressional Republicans are pursuing policies to reduce legal immigration to the United States, with proposals to prioritize admission for highly skilled and well-educated immigrants over those with family ties to residents and by deporting undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the U.S.Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has fallen toward 4 percent, and employers increasingly say they're experiencing worker shortages.Economist Aparna Mathur at the American Enterprise Institute warns that reducing immigration to the United States over the comi

Rural population grows in counties witrha lower digital divide

When they live in remote rural areas, millennials are more likely to reside in a county that has better digital access. The findings could indicate that the digital economy is helping decentralize the economy, not just clustering economic change in the cities that are already the largest.


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