The Rationale for a Policy on Population Distribution.
Lacking any national policy on the spatial distribution of our population, federal and state policies unintentionally exacerbate our problems by attracting the prosperous away from the poor, which tends also to separate the races. Without elaborate precautions, new cities are likely to destroy the old ones. The spontaneous migratory flow of young adults could be redirected without interfering with individual freedom of choice by acting to make certain selected destinations more attractive than others. Resettlement programs and on-the-job training at specified locations could be offered to a calculated mix of migrants. Public and private employment opportunities are powerful magnets, but private industrial location has been difficult to influence, and the localism of American politics is a formidable obstacle to making public investment a workable instrument of any policy. Nevertheless, we must formulate our goals. This --with the attendant ventilation of issues --is the necessary first step in marshaling a commitment to act. (Revised for the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.) 21 pp. Ref.