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Abstract

Green and Hunt address the issue of whether the federal government should focus on "solving the nation's macroeconomic problems" with the hope that it will encourage local economic activity, or focus directly on "localities that are in social, economic or fiscal distress." They discuss and highlight the shortcomings of past federal initiatives to aid declining urban areas such as Hoover's Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Housing Act of 1954, the Urban Development Action Grant program, the Community Development Block Grant, the Area Redevelopment Act, the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 and the Reagan Administrations Kemp-Garcia plan. Green and Hunt compare these various initiatives to show that while broad economic approaches are not always the most efficient method of distributing government resources, using targeting criteria invites political and economic issues. However, Green and Hunt conclude by arguing that because infrastructure is the basis of economic development, the targeting approach is the best method to address the specific needs of urban areas in distress.

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