Selling The Rust Belt Short

An editorial by Bruce Katz and Mark Muro urges presidential candidates to discuss the Rust Belt's struggling cities and metro areas.

With the presidential campaigns focused on Midwestern "swing" states, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry should recognize that boosting the education levels and quality-of-life of the Rust Belt's cities and metropolitan areas can renew the region's economy, write the program's Bruce Katz and Mark Muro in a new commentary.The essay, published in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, at once notes the campaigns' reticence about urban and metropolitan issues and reviews some of the pressing issues being left out of debates about the Rust Belt's future. These issues include Rust Belt cities' low stocks of college-educated workers; those states' struggles with slow growth and fast sprawl; and the heavy burden of "brownfield" contamination on the region's urban centers. By speaking to these problems, the campaigns might well work out a politics of renewal "equal to the tribulations and potential of America's economic heartland," argue Katz and Muro.

Thanks to Chris Steins

Full Story: Selling the Rust Belt Short

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