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Speak Your Piece: Digital Parity Will Help Rural Turn the Corner Economically

Published by Daily Yonder on April 18th, 2019 

By Roberto Gallardo

I would like to share a different perspective of what seems to be a growing narrative on a decaying rural America and giving up on it. Not long ago, Eduardo Porter argued this view on his December 14th 2018 piece while Paul Krugman’s did the same on his March 18th 2019 piece.

I disagree.

In my work with rural communities across the country over the past 15 years, there are countless rural leaders that have welcomed me—an immigrant—to help with their efforts to turn their communities around. The problem is that the playing field is far from being level.

Krugman implies in his March 18th 2019 opinion piece that rural areas are all about agriculture and extractive industries. This assumption is wrong. A growing body of research shows that innovative businesses are common in rural areas and the National Governor’s Association argues that the creative sector is a proven economic catalyst for rural.

Obviously rural cannot compare with urban economic dynamism (yet!) and because of this reason, should not be analyzed, and much less, measured to the same expectations. But this should not overlook the fact that some rural areas are thriving thanks to high-speed internet, place making, civic engagement, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Read the original article here