Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rural and urban have rich connections that some urbanites fail to recognize, writer says

Our friend Bill Bishop, right, who edits the Daily Yonder with his wife, Julie Ardery, steps up to the plate and hits for extra bases today, taking on urbanites who "sweep rural America out of the conversation about the future."

His particular target is Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution, who inspired a February New York Times editorial criticizing presidential candidates for appealing to rural voters and wrote with associate Jennifer Bradley in The New Republic, "metros, not small towns, are where our economy is, where our population is, and where our country's future is." The article, playing off Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's small-town profile, was titled "Village Idiocy."

That's bunk, Bishop writes. "What we find over and again at the Yonder are the rich connections between rural and urban places. The creation of a rural energy economy is essential for urban growth. A fight by Great Plains ranchers for open cattle markets is essential for city consumers. People flow from rural counties to urban ones to work and live. There is simply no way to decouple rural from urban.

"Having lived in both small towns and big cities, I can assure Katz that rural residents spend far more time in urban areas than my city neighbors do in small towns. People come from the countryside to the cities to shop, do business, find specialized health care, attend arts events or visit friends. They are much more comfortable with urbanity than city residents are with rural places. They understand that rural and urban are neighbors. And neighbors take care of each other." (Read more)

1 comment:

Todd said...

Or as I like to say to rural-adverse urbanites:

"I'll give up advertising for a year, you give up food for a year. Then we'll get together and see how it works out."