And there's another reason that is critical. Heavily rural areas are usually inhabited by strong and good people who pay their taxes, don't cause problems and generally just want to live the remainder of their lives in peace. They can accept change that doesn't destroy the character of their lives, but when a large corporate structure and developers enter the area they have no such intention. They want to use every square inch with no protection for their neighbors. Actually, they push hard to drive their neighbors out, usually from land and homes that many have lived in for generations. Tax assessment increases, new regulatory and special taxes to pay for the infrastructure that is never paid for by the developers, and the loss of serenity all combine to help do the job.
Welcome to the Sunshine State, which now in the twenty-first century is operating in the traditions of great con artists and swindlers like David Levy Yulee and Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, great land schemers as well as governors of Florida in the days of cheap land that was often unusable when purchased by out of staters responding to the ads for a tropical paradise of joy in the mosquito infested Florida swamps.
Here in Alachua County in North Florida, one of the last bastion areas of Old Florida, the push is on. On top of the rezoning efforts, changing swamp and floodplains into multi-use designation, now comes the push for a twenty-first century multi-modal transportation roadway right through the "land of the earth that floats". With unbridled support from the Chambers of Commerce and Governor "I've never seen a square inch of earth that I don't want to develop" Rick Scott, right of ways will be purchased and properties condemned, largely those belonging to residents identified by a Florida Department of Transportation task force member as "the weakest and most vulnerable" property owners to attack. That is code for those who are not wealthy and able to afford a top notch attorney and/or those without political clout.
How bad will it turn out and will it be a total disaster for not only the dispossessed but many others in the area? It's still too soon to know, but this much is known. Just because something is legal doesn't make it morally right and a society that sacrifices the lives of people who are long time residents, most whom are either elderly or of modest means, by pushing them aside for newcomers is not supporting sound economic development. Sound economic development always looks for a win-win, not a win-lose. How they can sleep at night is a mystery in itself but, then again, the Lord never said that the true and righteous who believed in Him would rule the world, only that they would join Him in Glory one day.
I'll keep you posted as the push continues. And if you are rural anywhere in the good old USA, these types of actions are happening across the fruited plain. You just might be next.