A rural strategy for the Democrats

Timothy Egan had a thoughtful and troubling essay in last Sunday’s “Week in Review” about the decline of rural America. The piece points out that most rural workers are no longer in agriculture, so the money that gets showered on agribusiness mostly misses the point. (Forget about the fact that giving money to landowners was never a good approach to helping rural workers.) Why not make assistance to enterprises conditional on location rather than industry, and make broadband access the new version of rural electrification? Sounds like good policy, and maybe even good politics. Let the Republicans have the Farm Bureau; try to make the Democrats the party of rural non-farm workers and entrepreneurs.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com