IA-3 Congressional Candidate Austin Frerick Releases the Rurally Good Deal To Revitalize Rural Communities
“Incremental change isn’t enough,” Frerick says. “This is a new deal-style project to get rural Iowa thriving again.”
WINTERSET – Iowa Third District congressional candidate Austin Frerick today announced a series of New Deal inspired-policy initiatives known as The Rurally Good Deal. The investments are aimed at revitalizing rural communities across America.
Frerick’s plan calls for (1) free community college, (2) direct federal investment in high speed internet for rural communities, (3) national expansion of the highly-acclaimed Vision Iowa program, (4) doubling the funding for the Conservation Reserve Program, and (5) creating a series of advanced manufacturing hubs.
“When I’m out meeting with residents of the Third District, it’s clear to me that incremental change isn’t enough. Too many of our communities have fallen behind. This is a moment for bold action to revitalize our rural communities. The can has been kicked down the road too many times before,” Frerick says.
Frerick continued, “What I hear time and time again is that people want the chance to climb what Tom Harkin called the ‘rungs on the ladder of opportunity.’ People want both public sector and the private sector to make a positive change in their lives. Instead of giving huge corporations another tax break, we can make real changes that enable places like Red Oak and Atlantic to be the hubs that assemble new turbines or build hybrid tractors.”
“There’s a future for advanced manufacturing in Iowa,” Frerick added. “The problem is that nearly all manufacturing jobs since 2000 have required an associates degree. The Rurally Good Deal expands access to those jobs through free community college. And by creating advanced manufacturing hubs, we will give people the opportunity to get back to work, innovate, and create new industries.”
“It’s just up to us to build the communities we want. Not the communities that Tyson or Monsanto want,” Frerick said. “This plan not only creates good paying jobs, but it also improves the environment and quality of life.”
Frerick’s Rurally Good Deal proposal can be funded, in its entirety, by closing estate and gift tax loopholes.
Additional information on the proposal:
1. Free community college
- Would require a minimum GPA of 2.5 to maintain tuition free status.
- A similar proposal by President Obama was estimated to cost $6 billion per year.
- All manufacturing job growth since 2000 has been driven by jobs that require at least an associates degree.
2) Major investments in high speed internet
- Just over 50% of people in rural U.S. locations have download speeds above 25 mbps, which is what the government considers “adequate service,” compared with 94% in urban areas, according to a 2016 Congressional Research Service report.
- High speed internet is essential for the growth of precision farming technology
- Estimated to cost $80 billion.
3) National expansion of the highly-acclaimed Vision Iowa program
- Greatly expand the Community Facility Grant Program
- This program provides affordable funding to develop community facilities in rural areas that provide essential services to local communities for development.
- Estimated to cost $44 billion
4) Double the Conservation Reserve Program
- Marginal land would be removed from agricultural production for environmental benefits ranging from improved water quality to soil erosion prevention
- Double the number of protected acres from 24 million to 48 million.
- Doubling the number of protected acres would cost approximately $4 billion a year.
5) Advanced Manufacturing Hubs
- Based on a highly-successful German model, these hubs create a public-private partnership between universities and the private sector.
- I first proposed this idea for Iowa in a Des Moines Register op-ed.
About Austin Frerick:
Frerick is running as the first antitrust candidate in the country. He is an Iowa native and lives in Winterset. He has worked as an economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Policy, and at the Congressional Research Service in the Domestic Social Policy Division. He has published research on executive compensation, pharmaceutical corporate charity abuses, and the growth of monopolies in the U.S. economy.
He was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Grinnell College and completing his Master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin La Follette School of Public Affairs. To cover his tuition, he took out student loans and worked four jobs, including as a Special Needs Care Provider for the Arc of East Central Iowa.
About Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District:
The 3rd Congressional District covers Iowa’s southwestern corner, and includes Polk, Dallas, Guthrie, Warren, Madison, Adair, Cass, Pottawattamie, Mills, Fremont, Page, Montgomery, Taylor, Adams, Union and Ringgold counties.
Press for Austin Frerick