Neal Peirce reviews a Brookings Institution report that proposes a bold new vision for the 'economically stagnant' Great Lakes region.
"With the exception of Chicago, Minneapolis and a few other metro areas, Austin finds the Great Lakes' citistate regions 'economically stagnant, old and beaten up, plagued by severe racial divisions' and continuing 'to bleed mobile, educated workers.' The normal diet of cures for such ills ranges from tax breaks for footloose industries to scattered worker retraining programs. But the new Brookings report envisions something far broader. It urges an array of expanded research and development programs engaging lead regional scientists, a multistate energy independence compact, tapping state and local pension funds for investments in new technologies, multiple billions for restoration of the lakes, high-speed rail networks and more."