Saturday, April 07, 2007

Maybe "rural" is more of a state of mind...

It seems much of our "rural development" money finds it way into influential urban Congresshumans' districts, despite need or any actual rurality.
All told, the USDA has handed out more than $70 billion in grants, loans and loan guarantees since 2001 as part of its sprawling but little-known Rural Development program. More than half of that money has gone to metropolitan regions or communities within easy commuting distance of a midsize city, including beach resorts and suburban developments, a Washington Post investigation found.

More than three times as much money went to metropolitan areas with populations of 50,000 or more ($30.3 billion) as to poor or shrinking rural counties ($8.6 billion). Recreational or retirement communities alone got $8.8 billion. [More sad reading]
No wonder there isn't much money for rural broadband assistance. Or rural water systems. Or rural 9-1-1 upgrades.

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