Despite 70 years of federal effort to address the imbalance, rural America remains significantly less prosperous than urban America, prompting new thinking about how to stem its decline.
The "new thinking" is entirely about how government might finally get it right.
Maybe it's me, but if private-sector efforts had failed at something for 70 years (or a lot less time than that), we'd be flooded with demands for the government to do something. But here we have a case where governments have failed miserably after all that time and what we're flooded with is . . . demands that government do something.
As Albert Jay Nock wrote in Our Enemy, the State (1935), "It is a curious anomaly. State power has an unbroken record of inability to do anything efficiently, economically, disinterestedly or honestly; yet when the slightest dissatisfaction arises over any exercise of social power, the aid of the agent least qualified to give aid is immediately called for."
Of course the case at hand is worse than the kind Nock alludes to because the failure is clearly government's.
(Cross-posted at Liberty & Power.)