Facing the Hard Facts of Economic Development

Can community building deliver more jobs than trying to lure back an industrial sector that's been leaving the U.S. for decades?

Everyone's looking for solutions to the jobs crisis, and you can't blame them for trying everything. However, Ben Brown points out the high price of trying to spark an industrial revolution that clearly is not in the cards:

"In June of this year, researchers at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy produced a report called Rethinking Property Tax Incentives for Business. Their conclusion: 'The use of property tax incentives for business by local governments throughout the United States has escalated over the last 50 years. While there is little evidence that these tax incentives are an effective instrument to promote economic development, they cost state and local governments $5 to $10 billion each year in forgone revenue.'"

"Strategies that favor 'Smart Growth' and 'sustainability' are under fire at the moment by the Tea Party and their sympathizers, who often have a legitimate beef about the way governments invest tax payers' money. But those who are serious about return on investment and about preserving choice will find their thinking migrating towards the very strategies they currently misidentify with waste and crony capitalism."

"It seems to me that when policy-makers stop dreaming of imaginary egg producers and start hatching realistic strategies for sustainable economic growth, they'll end up on the same page with New Urbanists and Smart Growth advocates. Even it takes a while."

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Chickens, Eggs and Economic Development: Imaginary assumptions = imaginary outcomes

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