Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rebuilding America's Productive Economy

“We believe that a new vision of the Heartland is taking shape. In contrast to the emptying towns and embattled farmers so often conveyed in the media, we see the Heartland as a potential hotbed of capitalist creation and innovation.” Joel Kotkin and Delore Zimmerman of the New America Foundation wrote in a fascinating report that I just finished reading.

They went on, “America’s economy may well be on the verge of a great resurgence largely unacknowledged by pundits, academics and the media. The Heartland will play a critical role in that resurgence.”

Some of their other points in the report are:

• “Over the past two years, North Dakota has in fact gained population, while Massachusetts, which few would describe as “forsaken,” was the only state to lose people.”

• In talking about rural areas in the Heartland they point out, “They are exploiting their advantages, which include a lower cost of living, good public schools and universities, and quality-of-life attractions for middle class families, to lure high-end business and professional service firms, information service companies, and diversified, innovative small manufacturers.”

• “Recent surveys of adults in the USA reveal that as many as one in three would prefer to live in a rural area.”

• “As one demographer suggests, ‘America’s love affair with suburban life may be winding down in favor of the countryside.'”

• “In contrast to the old industrial paradigm, where jobs were clustered in the most densely populated areas, economic growth now tends to move toward less dense areas.”


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