In a recent editorial in the San Antonio Express-News, two prominent Texas economists suggested ways to revitalize the rural economy in Texas.
Many people in Texas yearn for small-town life, write Thomas Tunstall and Gil Gonzalez, but their rural work options are limited. An investment in rural infrastructure, including broadband, would help this problem.
Meanwhile, as broadband spreads and workers move to the countryside, Texas may be at a disadvantage due to relatively low educational attainment of its children. The Lone Star State must increase its investment in rural schools if it wants to bring the rural parts of the state up to par with urban areas.
Ultimately, the economists conclude, the best opportunities for growth in rural Texas lie in the areas of agriculture, oil and gas, manufacturing and tourism. Combining agriculture and manufacturing could prove particularly promising.