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Does Migration To Cities Lower Poverty?

Rural issues aren't solved by leaving

If things are bad, it's right to move

 Getty: Scott Olson / Staff

There are many deeply ingrained issues involved in rural poverty and simply telling people to move away won’t solve them, argues Sarah Jones of the New Republic. Encouraging people to move to urban centers, means only those who are able to can follow through. The ones left behind tend to be the elderly, leaving rural communities even worse off. While people in the countryside don’t make as much as city-dwellers, they can rely on family and friend networks to support them. Moving to the city doesn’t guarantee a high salary. Supporting rural areas with healthcare, community schools, and social services could be the best way to empower them.

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Humans are naturally nomadic. Whenever their lives weren’t great, they migrated somewhere else to improve them. Wasting investments to improve rural communities that can’t succeed long-term isn’t necessary; residents should simply move on to greener pastures, holds Nick Gillespie of Reason. Telling people to stay in places that don’t give them opportunities to lift themselves up is wrong. Just like the Irish and Italians left poor communities behind for better ones, rural Americans should pack up their things and find a home that will allow them to improve their lives. People have always migrated to cities, that trend will never be reversed.

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