Federal Activities in Urban Economic Development
Deals exclusively with federal policies and programs. There is a continuing and pervasive regional and suburban decentralization of population and employment accompanied by a convergence in per capita income among areas. Slow growth or decline has led to fiscal strains in some cities, necessitating either service cutbacks or increased taxes, or both. Federal policies on procurement, capital depreciation, and housing have generally reinforced regional and suburban decentralization. Primary influence is exercised not by the modest cluster of direct programs but by, e.g., federal purchase, tax expenditures, and regulatory policies. Direct programs have had only moderate effects on development. Large, multipurpose programs successfully address only one class of problem. They often fail to aid the economically disadvantaged. Four major policy issues deserve further analysis: job creation and worker mobility, fiscal assistance to local government, aid to specific places, and geographical considerations in policy formulation.