For far too long one of the only narratives about rural America has read something like this: YOUNG PEOPLE FLEE RURAL AMERICA. There's another story, however, about young people and professionals returning.
I recently read an article discussing how younger, college-educated people are drawn to life in a city. One source pondered, “Why wouldn’t a college grad be drawn by the allure of life in a big city?” He assumes there are few rural opportunities for young people and that nothing can change that.
We know by experience that without regulation, unscrupulous operators hurt people and undermine the common good. By cutting corners, they gain an unfair advantage over good farms and businesses that do things right. But regulations designed for big business and cities often don’t fit small enterprises and small communities.
I am no expert on regulation. But I hear a similar refrain across rural America. Policy makers should design alternative approaches for regulating small businesses and places to fit their circumstances, but still protect the public.
By Paul Hosford, Albion, Nebraska (distributed with permission from the Omaha World Herald) By reclaiming the best of our pioneer heritage, by applying past lessons to the future, we can, like the original pioneers, make rural areas prosper. These ideas are as applicable now as when I first wrote them in 2010 (Omaha World Herald, Midlands Voices: Re-pioneering important to revitalizing rural areas, February 1, 2010)… perhaps even more so.