Rural America is changing rapidly in the 21st Century as people move to the countryside in search of the "wide open spaces." The US is unique among developed nations in the degree of mixing of farms and development in the rural countryside. People insist on surrounding themselves with open space, and national policy has made it all possible. David Rusk describes a "national suburban policy" of programs that encourage population dispersal - credit subsidies for home ownership through FHA and VA to help young families have their new single family homes in the suburbs rather than in older urban neighborhoods, a secondary mortgage market through "Fannie Mae" to increase funding for private mortgages in the suburbs, income tax deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes absorbing some of the private cost of home ownership.
By Lawrence Libby