Tweet of the Week, and Our Response
This week's tweet of the week comes from Steven Pedigo.
Steven is the founding executive director of the LBJ Urban Lab and a professor of practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a distinguished fellow at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate. In addition to his academic roles, he leads the economic development and strategy practice at Resonance Consultancy, a leading advisor in destination development, real estate, and placemaking.
Our take: Steven is spot on. The economy won't get back to normal until the pandemic is over, so anything that delays the ending is bad for business. People who feel unsafe don't spend money, whether personally or professionally.
But more than that, he's right about the brand damage that Winter Storm Uri and the no-more-masks mandate do to Texas.
The self image of Texas is based on the idea of freedom: "Rural, Western and ruggedly independent."
Government, in this Texas in this Texas mythos, has only on real job: to protect you from evil. If your property is stolen or damaged, the law helps you recover it – either via the courtroom or the Texas Ranger. That's great for business. And great for the economic interests of the individual.
If you want to make money, the state mostly stays out of your way. Texas's small government, low taxes and regulation are a great boon for everyone. It's why Texas keeps growing.
But COVID-19 isn't evil. It is an evil.
It isn't unlike hurricanes of the Texas Gulf Coast. On their own, hurricanes are just natural weather events but when they make landfall and damage communities they are an evil.
When a hurricane is imment to make landfall, the government (mostly, the counties) reacts. They urge the community to shelter, or if necessary, to evacuate. They prepare the high water vehicles for rescues.
If the government did nothing in response to the destruction that hurricanes bring, the populace would consider that bad. If the government actively worked against the bare minimum safety of their residents during hurricane-season that'd be even worse: bad for business.
Business can deal with risk – they manage it everyday. Business can deal with regulation – they optimize and reconfigure their operations in a quest for profits against any number of changing regulatory hurdles throughout the year. What damages business, and damages the brand of Texas, is not knowing.
Right now, that means not knowing when the pandemic will end.
This isnt a new story, or a new debate. But, Texas, in choosing to side with personal liberty in regards to masks is siding against, economic freedom.
How to Use LinkedIn for Economic Development
A reader asked:
Has anyone successfully used LinkedIn to target corporate decision makers? If so, how?
And we answered. Read it here.
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