Saturday, November 24, 2007

Why You Should Oppose 'Economic Development'

Economic development seems quite the fashionable occupation in many state and municipal circles these days, and why not? Who can argue with efforts by the government to bring in new business, to facilitate job creation, and bolster the tax base? That's what government is for, right?

But lost amidst the litany of public sector truisms is a glaring disassociation between goals and objectives. Economic development is a term so overused, so vague, and so misunderstood that its employment in public discourse has become the convenient wildcard for government to impose its various, indeterminable designs. Have a hankering for a new waterfront? Issue bonds and call it economic development. Looking to lower unemployment? Wield public funds to subsidize otherwise wary corporations into setting up shop for a little while. But what is it we're really trying to accomplish? It stands to reason that the impulse for myriad economic development programs - implemented for their own sake - might be supplanting long-proven policies of economic growth. In a sense, we're losing sight of the forest for the trees.

Unfortunately, all too often, folks with policy-making responsibility are either foreign or indifferent to the differences between development and growth: whereas development represents the byproduct of economic strength - effective infrastructure, bolstering human capital, and strong employment - growth is the traditionally prescribed, and proven, mechanism for putting dollars in our pockets, allowing the markets to naturally stimulate development. Id est, after economic growth may follow expansion, higher tax revenues, increased employment, and more investment. Instead, political interests have attempted to cut out that critical ingredient from the picture and leapfrog onto development, hoping that public monies can be applied to create the veneer of growth, of economic health. And all too often, the result is problematic economic consequences and an over-drafted bank account, resulting in elevated clamor for new taxes, more federal and state aid, and - ironically - more economic development programs.

Such is the case today. Here's a dirty little secret about economic development: across the United States, there is a depressing correlation between the incidence of economic development programs and low levels of economic growth. That's right - statistically, the more economic development programs you have in your state, the more likely it is to be mired in sclerotic annual growth levels. Is this just chance? Maybe, but probably not.

A perfect example of this phenomenon is tiny, proudly anti-tax Delaware. A feisty little state of hardly more than 700,000 people, it wields an impressive Gross State Product of over $60 billion and grew 3.3% in 2005. Compare this with neighboring Pennsylvania, a state inundated with layers upon layers of economic development authorities (see: Pennsylvania Economic Development Association, Governor's Action Team, Team Pennsylvania Foundation, Delaware River Port Authority, et cetera and et cetera), who registered barely more than half that growth (1.7%) in the same year.

At the end of the day, the key to promoting growth - and actual economic well-being - does not lie in politically motivated development programs so much as making careful investments in the mechanisms that do traditionally encourage and sustain growth: good governance/institutions and stabilization policies.

More here



Religion of Peace is a very informative site -- too informative. It has been "filtered" by several internet censoring companies as "hate speech". To get the filtering lifted they had to remove certain pictures. Pretty obnoxious!

Don't EVER get on an Indonesian airliner: "A chunk of wing dropped off an Indonesian passenger plane carrying 144 people minutes after take-off, forcing the aircraft to return to the capital, an airline official said yesterday. The incident at Jakarta airport renewed concerns about the safety of flying in Indonesia following two major air accidents this year. The Boeing 737-400 operated by Batavia Air landed safely and none of 138 passengers and six crew members were hurt, said Anton Situmeang, a spokesman for the airline."

What a laugh! Blacks score badly at school because of "insensitive" teachers? "Teachers in California may be required to take racial sensitivity training next year. The training would help close the "achievement gap" between students of different races; white and Asian students score higher on tests than their black and Latino classmates." [There sure must be a lot of insensitivity about!]

Bungling British bureaucracy kills: "An investigation has started into the criminal justice failings that resulted in a bus passenger being killed by a man who should not have been released from prison. Richard Whelan was stabbed seven times after trying to stop Anthony Joseph throwing chips at his girlfriend on the top of a double-decker bus. Joseph had been released from a young offender institution hours before the attack, despite a warrant being in force for his arrest on another matter. He pleaded guilty yesterday to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, after jurors failed to reach a verdict on murder. He is being treated for paranoid schizophrenia at Broadmoor secure hospital."

Surge of Anglicans embracing Rome: "The Pope will discuss how to deal with the increasing numbers of disaffected Anglicans wanting to join the Roman Catholic Church at a meeting with cardinals from around the world. Benedict XVI, who is making the reunification of Christendom a goal of his pontificate, is considering requests from at least three US Episcopal bishops for reception into the Catholic Church. He has also been approached by an entire breakaway group of traditionalist Anglicans. The meeting in Rome comes on the eve of the consistory to create a tranche of new cardinals and as the Anglican exodus over gays continues."

Muslim denial: "Islamist imams and Muslim "civil rights" groups in the United States continue to attempt to shut down free discussion about their beliefs. They seem to have no legitimate explanation or defense of their own words, or of the actions of their coreligionists who kill in the name of their 'religion.' They attempt to silence any criticism of their beliefs, showing that apparently they are too weak and childlike to reform them. They attempt to pass their beliefs off as benign, and accuse anyone who knows better and says so of being a bigot, or a proponent of hate speech. They don't represent all Muslims -- but they do represent some."

Is the U.S. government infested with jihadist moles?: "Looks as if it is. And it is, of course, because of the government's politically correct eagerness to hire Muslims, to show that the war on terror is not anti-Islam or anti-Muslim. And because no one in the government is studying the jihadist ideology, no one has the faintest idea how to screen applicants for it -- or any interest in doing so".

Eleven-year-old girl wants to play judo wearing hijab: "Stories like this one make the news more frequently these days. I don't get it. Muslim reps always say, "No one is making me wear a headscarf. It is an expression of modesty", blah blah. Well: is it mandatory or not? If not -- and you say it isn't, not me -- then the girl can remove it to compete. The rules say you can't wear such a scarf. So take it off and follow our rules. Oh but wait: suddenly the scarf IS mandatory. See why we get annoyed?"

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race and IQ.


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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