President Joe Biden devoted much of his inaugural address to acknowledging the rifts in America and talking about healing and uniting the country. “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural vs. urban, conservative vs. liberal,” he said. To follow through, Biden might start by making the challenges facing rural America a federal priority and investing in its future, argue three law professors who work with distressed communities.

That requires more than just bringing broadband to regions with little to no internet access. Instead, it’s about fixing fundamental problems in the systems that rural regions depend upon, explain Ann Eisenberg of the University of South Carolina, Jessica Shoemaker of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lisa Pruitt of the University of California Davis. They suggest five ways Biden can help rural America thrive.

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Stacy Morford

General Assignments Editor

President Joe Biden talked about healing the rifts and uniting America in his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2021. Michael S. Williamson/Washington Post

5 ways Biden can help rural America thrive and bridge the rural-urban divide

Ann Eisenberg, University of South Carolina; Jessica A. Shoemaker, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Lisa R. Pruitt, University of California, Davis

A new federal antipoverty program for both rural and urban areas is part of the solution, but the power of Big Ag, lack of internet and struggling towns need attention, too.

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