Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rural Georgia & its Mounting Problems

Significant portions of rural Georgia are in trouble. For some parts of rural Georgia, the slow slide to no longer being viable—economically,socially, or politically—is within sight. At the same time, without intending it, we are headed back to a rural Georgia of the rich and the poor—of resorts and pockets of persistent poverty.

I have no idea if the governor or the majority republicans have a rural policy for rural Georgia, but its time for one & now. The policies of the current Perdue Administration & the GOP do not meet the needs of rural Georgians and communities for the past, present, nor the future.

The middle class are leaving many parts of rural Georgia—particularly the isolated and low amenity,resource-dependent areas. They are leaving because they cannot find the opportunity they want to support their families. Many don’t want to leave. They want to stay for moral and cultural reasons—small towns are a great place to raise kids, they can count on their neighbors to help, they are part of a community.

A fundamental goal of rural development in rural Georgia must be the survival of the middle class. Without the middle class, rural Georgia will become the involuntary home of the poor and the chosen home of the pleasure seekers, producing a "rural ghetto" and a "rural playground". We can already see where the playground will be.

Time's a wasting & this issue needs to be tackled head on by our next governor.

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