January 21, 2013

Larue County and the Future of its People

A recent warning from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack concerning rural America, concerning the fact Americans living in those areas are a vanishing breed, and consequently are becoming less important politically, may not bode well for those living in Larue county in the years ahead.

"Unless we respond and react, the capacity of rural America and its power and its reach will continue to decline," Vilsack said. "Rural America, with a shrinking population, is becoming less and less relevant to the politics of this country, and we better recognize that, and we had better begin to reverse it."

Just over the last 4 years, according to Vilsacck, over 50 percent of the rural counties in American had a declining population base.
Vilsack says more urgency is needed going forward. "It's time for us to have an adult conversation with folks in rural America," asserted Vilsack. "We need a proactive message, not a reactive message. How are you going to encourage young people to want to be involved in rural America or farming if you don't have a proactive message? Because you are competing against the world now and opportunities everywhere. Young people have all of these opportunities."

You can never tell when a government official talks what their motivation is, but in general, Vilsack does have a valid point, one which if not understood by rural communities, could catch many off guard in the years ahead.

The problem with Vilsack is that he is a government official that can only think in terms of people accessing funds from the government as the means of growth. He is totally wrong there.

We need to understand that the endless spending of Washington, propped up by the Federal Reserve, along with the trillions in unfunded liabilities, is unsustainable. It simply can't and won't go on before
there is a default of some type.

Rural areas need to look at scenarios where much of the past government funding is no longer available. For example, what will happen if a local police and/or sheriffs department have their funding cut be 25 percent or more? These are the types of things we in Larue County need to look at realistically if we don't want to be blindsided by the realities we face.
Another obvious challenge will be funds provided for highway repairs and other similar projects where infrastructure will need to be maintained.
We could of course go on and on with these types of issues. The point is none of the challenges we all face in Larue County will vanish in and of themselves, and unless there is a complete breakdown in government, rural America will struggle to grow and it will become difficult to provide a good place to raise a family.

There are at this time places like Elizabethtown that have job possibilities, and of course, Fort Knox, but it is highly improbable we'll ever see an America that existed in the past, as the Federal Government continues to make laws that are anti-business, while taking over huge swaths of the economy, such as with Obamacare.

The point is we need to think outside of the box more and more as time unfolds and government isn't able to fulfill its outrageous promises. That means we need to look to ourselves for answers, as the day isn't too far off when the money spigot will be tightened and government revenues for the area will slow down to a trickle.

It's unlikely to happen in the very near future, but in the next decade there is no guarantee that what is being spent in Larue County will remain at the current levels. As a matter of fact, it is a surety government spending will decline in the years ahead, and we need to start thinking what we're going to do about it when it does.

This isn't a call to change the makeup of Larue County, as most of us are happy to have it mostly remain as it is, with probably a few tweaks to improve it. But it is a call to say that we are sure to shrink and lose out in the years ahead if we think we will be able to rely on government programs to sustain us.

We need to look to God and ourselves as to the direction we need to go, or the situation unfolding in the nation will catch us unprepared for the rapidly approaching future.

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