A Rural New Deal for the 21st Century

Sep 12, 2023 | PDA Blog, PDA News

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) in partnership with the Rural Urban Bridge Initiative (RUBI) introduce the Rural New Deal, a ten pillar policy platform designed to reverse decades of economic decline, and cultivate long-term rural and small town prosperity and resilience through federal investment in bottom-up solutions.

Overall, things have not been going well these past 40+ years for the people, communities, and environment across the great geographic expanse of the United States. From the mass foreclosures on family farms during President Reagan’s first term, through the shuttering of tens of thousands of family-owned stores on Main Streets across the country in the ’90s, to the domination of U S agriculture by a handful of multinational corporations (i.e. monopolies) in the present – a pattern emerges: the productive capacity and hard-working people remain, but the profits go elsewhere.

In the first decades of the 21st century, the sense that rural and small town America is in crisis has become commonplace.  New problems emerge, they go unaddressed, and become part of the landscape: homelessness, meth and opioid addiction, healthcare desserts, underfunded schools, declining life expectancy, on-and-on.

Equally familiar to anyone paying attention is that the Democratic Party has virtually evaporated across “Red State America.” The consequences of this are devastating, as the GOP’s small government/low tax orthodoxy deprives the people of the best instrument they have to reverse course, let alone provide relief.  Of course, the dominant faction of the national Democratic Party, the “moderates,” still espouse market solutions to social problems, and do not propose ambitious programs commensurate with the scope of the problems in rural and small town America.

Fortunately, we Progressive Democrats are different.  Today we announce our Rural New Deal program.  Read the full document here.

The Ten Pillars of PDA and RUBI’s 21st Century Rural New Deal:

1. Rebuild Farm, Forest and Food Economies
2. Reward Work and Ensure Livable Wages
3. Dismantle Monopolies, Empower and Support Local Business
4. Invest in Community and Regional Infrastructure
5. Re-Build Small Town Centers
6. Cultivate Self-Reliance and Resilience
7. Invest in Rural Healthcare
8. Fully Fund Rural Schools
9. Make Rural and Small Town Housing Affordable
10. Re-Localize Rural and Small Town Banks
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  1. S

    Our farmers give us sooooo much, it is time to give back to them!!!!!

  2. S

    Sounds Great. Our farmers give us soooooo much, it is time to give back to them!!!!!

  3. Connie Madden

    Marvelous idea…How real?…

  4. Jennifer Becker

    Franky, this ROCKS for America. Why not put this as a tab/link on your website, please?

  5. Keith Kessler

    I live in Beckley, West Virginia, and a Rural New Deal is so needed. The people here are suffering and placing their hope in phony politicians who are the very people that keep them poor.

  6. Don McCoy

    I am a small acreage owner with a share of water with livestock and orchard grass/alfalfa production. Small towns and rural areas are ideal high technology 21st century economic development. 5G connections and dispersed models for manufacturing and business combined with inexpensive real estate offer great opportunities.

  7. George Robertson

    This campaign has a great name but without the full text of what you propose , WHY WOULD ANYONE BUT A COMPLETE FOOL SUPPORT THIS? Its a pig in a poke. Dont disrespect progressive voters with black boxed solicitations like this.
    If you really want support send me the details You have my contact info below.

    • Chuck Willer

      George, I find your comment disingenuous. Which is to say you are “not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness.” As if you really care about ‘progressive voters.’

    • Ed Jones

      Like George I’d like to see the details. What kind of budget will you ask for? Can you work with some Republicans who actually care about their constituents? Does the New Deal still resonate in rural communities? And if so can this bill be framed as a New Deal for rural America?

    • paul wermer

      The link (from the black box/white text reading “Download A Rural New Deal for the 21st Century Now!” above) gives a pretty good outline with objectives and approaches, and also makes clear that because rural areas are so different, the local/regional details really need to be developed with local participation, not just gifted to a community by outsiders/

  8. Brig Spearman

    This is a good idea where we actually can support that the green new deal. Yes, this is amazing. I agree with everything.


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