Paying attention to rural America

Paying attention to rural America

by Pininvest Analysis

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An ‘opinion’ published on Politico Dec. 1 by Bill Hogseth, chair of the Dunn County (Wisconsin) Democratic Party is a call for action

In measured words, all the more powerful for being non-partisan, Mr Hogseth sets out how voters in his County – population 45 000 – came to support Donald Trump in 2016 and again in 2020

Rural America’s future is dire and the economics of Dunn County’s farmers and small businesses are caught in a downward spiral

source - Politico Magazine - Dec.1, '20 - credit B.Hogseth

Squeezed by agri-business selling the seeds, fertilizers and tooling, and taking delivery of the grain, milk and meat, farmers stuck in unprofitable enterprise have little option, except to grow by taken on more and more debt…

Small business dependent on farming suffers, the local economy keeps sinking, healthcare (and hospitals) crumble and the youth leave

Mr. Hogseth’s call for action is finely tuned by advocating for broadband in America’s rural communities (28% are lacking high-speed Internet in rural Wisconsin), health coverage (176 rural hospitals closed in America since 2005) and rebalancing corporate power in the agriculture system (farmers' share of retail food dollars was 50% in  the 1950's and is 15% today...National Farmers Union data)

As in echo, and possibly not by chance, the Thomas Friedman interview of President-elect Biden, published in the New York Times the next day, Dec. 2, seems to take up two of these recommendations – broadband : yes, $20 billion must be committed – healthcare : yes, by extending Obamacare and increasing reimbursements to the hospitals

While treading cautiously around corporate agri-business, Mr. Biden recasts rural America in terms of dignity and respect

Though Mr. Hogseth has every reason to feel let down by the Democratic Party, Mr. Biden insists “I visited 15 rural hospitals”

A tall order to bring rural communities back in the main stream...

With more to come ?