Small Town Natalism

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Last Saturday I argued that “The Future is Rural.”  With the rise in urban violence (that seems to turn up every presidential election year) and unsustainable living costs, coupled with the spread of telecommuting and improved Internet access, I predict that more and more Americans will flee to the countryside.

Even with the tide turning in favor of rural and small town life, local and county governments can take some proactive steps to attract residents.  If the goal is to attract working families consisting of committed parents, localities need to get creative.

The usual approach to building up revenue in small towns is to spend lavishly on parks and sports fields.  Large cities famously subsidize the NFL with billions in stadium construction, but small towns routinely fall into these construction boondoggles.  The premise is that new softball fields will bring in summer travel leagues, generating local tourism dollars, which is always how new ball fields are sold to the public.  Of course, the maintenance of these facilities are added into a locality’s annual budget, becoming recurring expenses, on top of the initial cost of production, which is often debt-financed.

Rather than spend public money on baseball diamonds and—even worse—soccer fields, small towns hoping to attract working families should use that money for something far more precious:  children.

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4 thoughts on “Small Town Natalism

  1. Honestly, it’s not something that actual American, i.e., “rural”, towns should do unless they’re willing to say, “fuck you” to certain worthless laws in order to properly vet the content of the character of the immigrants.

    Just look up all the issues that California expats are causing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A great point, jonolan. I do worry about that. That’s why I think the marriage requirement would weed out many (but not most) progressives/regressives (I go into that in a bit more detail in the portion of the post behind the paywall). I’ve only got a broad sketch of small town natalism at this point, and definitely see some problems to work out (primarily the cost of administering the program while preventing fraud).

      Like

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