I suggested an idea to a doctor I know. No way anyone I know would do that, she said. She went on to explain that people going into medicine wanted to make decent money, and their insurance was so high they had to make a lot of money, and the only way to do that was to go to urban and regional areas. But, I asked, what if?
What if insurance companies, in programs under-written by the government, agreed to create special rates to cover doctors and nurses who agree to open small local clinics in rural areas?
Think about how the country functioned 150 years ago. There are so many small towns, especially those in the Midwest and West (that are now dying). Some have tried financial incentives to get people to move to these places, and it did not work out so well because there was no connected, concentrated effort to seed the community with the services and professionals that serve as the infrastructure first.
Think of teachers: what if student loans were forgiven if professionals spend a certain number of years providing such infrastructure services in small towns? How about schools that have multi-year classrooms?
Think about who makes the basic infrastructure in a community and make it bloom: Electricians. Plumbers. Doctors, nurses, teachers, a lawyer or two, then shop keepers, maintenance persons of all types. Seed the community with infrastructure first, and invite creative small businesses to open next (think organic farming, small scale grass fed animals, etc.). Youll find, I think, that people will be drawn to such small communities very quickly.
The sprawling suburbs with insane commutes are in decay. Inner cities are experiencing gentrification, but only by those with the money that can afford to do so. There are many young people who see the future and think there will be no place for them but starting groups who choose to seed communities together, it might work on so many levels. Take this to your think tanks and see what happens. . .