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So we should just abandon our rural areas? That seems backwards.

It's already happening for loads of other, often good reasons. It's called urbanization. You can try to resist the future but you cannot stop it. You might just as well embrace it. How exactly does that seem backwards?

The situation is already problematic for agriculture. Further decreasing population density in rural settings just makes that worse (e.g. instead of going to the grocery store 10 miles away that happily supports a population of 5,000 people, you instead get to drive 2 hours to Costco in the nearest city to get enough groceries to make the trip worthwhile)

Just don't forget that even those urbanites still need resources that come from rural areas, like food. Yes, the service/information economy is clearly the future. But being able to domestically supply essentials to the service/information sectors is overall a good thing from several perspectives, including environmental health.

When China is the dominant economic superpower I doubt they will care much about abandoning the rural United States.

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