Friday, May 25, 2018

Quick hits: Rural folks worry more about money; bump stock bans hit bumps; there is a rural creative class . . .

Here's a roundup of stories with rural resonance; if you do or see similar work that should be shared on The Rural Blog, email

Personal finance: Americans' anxiety about their finances is worsening across the board, but rural residents are even more pessimistic: according to a Pew Research Center report, only 36 percent of rural Americans believe their financial situation will improve in the future, as opposed to almost half of those living in urban and suburban areas, Jacob Passy reports for MarketWatch.

Guns: Months after a deadly Las Vegas shooting, seven states banned the sale and possession of bump stocks, which enable semiautomatic rifles to fire at the rate of fully automatic rifles, and several other states are expected to pass bans soon. But states that have passed the ban are having a hard time enforcing it. New Jersey residents were supposed to turn in or destroy their bump stocks by mid-April, but "So far, New Jersey State Police say, they have not received a single one," Matt Vasilogambros reports for Stateline.

Rural innovation: "One of the most persistent myths in America today is that urban areas are innovative and rural areas are not. While it is overwhelmingly clear that innovation and creativity tend to cluster in a small number of cities and metropolitan areas, it’s a big mistake to think that they somehow skip over rural America," Richard Florida reports for CityLab. A series of studies from the Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service digs into the drivers of rural innovation, and finds that not only are innovative businesses common in rural areas, but that rural innovation gets a boost from the arts. Read more.

"For all the ways Americans are divided today along urban and rural lines, the two groups are at least united in this: Majorities of both, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, believe that everyone else is looking down on them," Emily Badger reports for The New York Times.

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