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While there are numerous forces altering the opportunity set for rural policy deliberations in the U.S. and elsewhere [OECD 1990 & 1993] there are three of particular interest: (1) the growing documentation and awareness of the diversity of rural; (2) the growing sensitivity of the federal budget (surplus/deficit) and its perceived effect on the choices the federal government has to address national issues; and (3) the increased social-political-economic attention paid to the changing role of government in the affairs of people. These forces provide an opportunity to rethink how we might address the issues concerning the 20 percent of our population that reside in rural America.


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