untreated dental problems tax our health care system. More than a million Americans a year show up at hospital emergency rooms with nontraumatic dental problems—costing more than $1 billion annually. In Minnesota, about 400,000 preschoolers were brought to hospital emergency rooms with severe oral conditions during a recent five-year period. The visits cost $80 million, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported last year.

pre-trial detention rates—that is, the percentage of people who serve time while awaiting trial—have tripled nationwide since 1970. Still, as urban pre-trial detention rates have dropped precipitously, they’ve risen the most in the country’s rural counties with fewer than 250,000 residents. Between 1970 and 2013, rural pre-trial detention rates grew some 436 percent ... Since 1970, the rate of people from other jurisdictions serving time in rural jails has grown 888 percent.

Rural communities, where on average 9.1 percent of working-age people are on disability — nearly twice the urban rate and 40 percent higher than the national average...from Appalachia into the Deep South and out into Missouri, where rates are higher yet, places economists have called “disability belts...in 102 counties, mostly within these belts...a Washington Post analysis of federal statistics estimates that, at minimum, about 1 in 6 working-age residents draw disability checks.

Power may be decentralized in the American system, but it devolves to the state, not the city. Recent events in red states where cities are pockets of liberalism are instructive, and cautionary. Over the past few years, city governments and state legislatures have fought each other in a series of battles involving preemption, the principle that state law trumps local regulation, just as federal law supersedes state law. It hasn’t gone well for the city dwellers.

If you had to guess how strongly a place supported Donald J. Trump in the election, would you rather know how popular 'Duck Dynasty' is there, or how George W. Bush did there in 2000? It turns out the relationship with the TV show is stronger. That’s how closely connected politics and culture can be. The cultural divide largely falls along urban/rural lines.

Trump overcame a tide of resistance in the largest metropolitan areas that allowed Clinton to carry the national popular vote, but not the decisive Electoral College. This election thus carved a divide between cities and non-metropolitan areas as stark as American politics has produced since the years just before and after 1920. That year marked a turning point: It was the first time the Census recorded that more people lived in urban than non-urban areas.

Addressing the country’s vast inequalities holds broad appeal in the countryside. The 2015 agrarian census — Colombia’s first since 1970 — revealed a 45 percent rural poverty rate, triple the urban rate. Farmers get little government support — 83 percent lack agricultural machinery and 90 percent do not receive any agricultural credits or technical assistance. Access to education in rural areas is also sorely lacking: 73 percent of people ages 17 to 24 have no educational opportunities.

In short, this is proving to be a fundamentally urban economic recovery ... And while suburban households still earn more, on average, than urban households, city-dwellers are closing the gap ... the biggest gains accrued to the 41 million households located in the principal city of a metropolitan area. They saw their incomes grow an impressive 7.3 percent ... in rural America. And it found that these households saw their incomes drop by 2 percent between 2014 and 2015: from $45,534 to $44,657.

The “zip” – with a two-metre wingspan – releases a small, parachute-equipped payload that drifts down into a dropzone without the zip having to land ... In its first phase, Zipline plans to make 50 to 150 deliveries of blood a day to 21 transfusing facilities within a 47-mile (75km) radius, later adding vaccines and other urgent supplies. Each zip, operating from bases called nests housing 15 autonomous devices, can fly a 75-mile round-trip on a single battery charge, including in wind and rain.

The federal government has been helping keep swaths of rural America on economic life support for years. Since 2000, it’s paid billions of dollars to 41 states hit hard by the timber industry’s decline. But that money, which has been decreasing steadily, could dry up soon ... A countywide tax levy could help stave off a public safety emergency. But efforts to pass one have gone nowhere ... [Josephine] Residents, meanwhile, enjoy the lowest property tax rates of any county in Oregon: