The Commission on Rural America, established by President Bush, is charged with recommending a new rural development policy. In assessing the problems and needs of rural America, the Commission has talked with many people across the country including professionals working for local and state governments and regional planning councils. Many of these professionals automatically associate community development pol icy with grants. Consequently, much of the Commission's input is related to grants and subsidies. The mind-set is understandable. But it is time to recognize that a grants policy leads to substantial inefficiencies, and that it is time to shift the focus of rural development policy from places to people.


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