Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Op-eds say partial shutdown of federal government hurts rural areas and small towns that can least afford it

The federal shutdown is hurting rural people who can least afford it, writes Jim King in an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky. King is the president of Fahe, a collaboration of nonprofit organizations working to eliminate poverty in Appalachia.

The shutdown is having a big impact on wage earning, food and housing for people all over America. But "in places such as Appalachia that are dominated by small and rural towns, a shutdown is potentially devastating. Federal and related agencies are an important source of liquidity so the shutdown means a lack of finance flowing in our region. This coupled with years of disinvestment adds instability to families and communities that are already struggling," King writes.

The shutdown isn't helping the growing town of Estes Park, Colorado, either, writes mountain climber Kelly Cordes in an op-ed for The New York Times. Though it was once only a summer town that catered to tourists heading for Rocky Mountain National Park, in recent years the town has been able to build a sustainable year-round economy. "But now, with so many locals having banked on a small but steady stream of income tied in various ways to the park — the fourth most visited national park in 2017, with 4.4 million visitors — the government shutdown has upended the economy of this town and created apprehension and uncertainty," Cordes writes.

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