March 09, 2011

Toche Station vs Anchorhead & Mos Eisley

Been sitting here reading Ezra Klien's stuff on cities and rural areas.

Yesterday afternoon, I got an e-mail from a “usda.gov” address. “Secretary Vilsack read your blog post ‘Why we still need cities’ over the weekend, and he has some thoughts and reflections, particularly about the importance of rural America,” it said. A call was set for a little later in the day. I think it’s safe to say Vilsack didn’t like the post. A lightly edited transcript of our discussion about rural America, subsidies and values follows.
Each have their own strengths and problems. We grow corn and cows, people eat cornflakes and steaks. Its all good. Every farmer needs a market and every urbanite needs some food.

Which do you prefer? A rural setting or a more urban setting. Personally with the internet and technology I find that boundary is increasingly blurred. I can live amongst the hayseeds and cows in relative quiet, then I can drive to the city and get all it has to offer. But more and more I don't have to drive to the city. I can do it all from right here. And with the price of fuel these days, even folks in the burbs are doing a little home/work these days.

There are more high tech business in rural areas than one might think and agriculture is very dependent on urban and export markets.

As small farms gave way to larger operations, rural folks used to have to give up the lifestyle and go to the city to make a buck. Technology is making it increasingly possible to both keep the lifestyle and compete in large markets.

The real strength of America is that we have both strong cities and vast rural resources. At least I think so.

By Howie at 08:15 AM | Comments |