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Minnesotans have built a prosperous life from a land of fertile prairies, deep forests, and sparkling lakes and rivers. But the people and communities closest to these natural splendors, and who serve as stewards of these assets, are less well off on average than urban and suburban Minnesotans. Greater Minnesota is important, valuable and deserving of sufficient and strategic public investments to preserve and enhance rural communities and their economies.
These facts provide important perspective for developing a state strategy toward improved vitality for rural and non-metropolitan Minnesota:
Rural and non-metro Minnesota is significantly more reliant on public resources and taxpayers dollars than metropolitan areas.
Current and near-term economic conditions are not as dire as in the 1980s, but are still worrisome.
Targeted public investments that build the quality of human capital and infrastructure — not tax breaks to recruit specific companies — are the best strategy for renewal of our vital heartland.