Economic development strategies for America’s heartland: How can local leaders - including governments, businesses, and individuals - put rural regions on track to thrive?
Dean Barber's talking points from the Southern Economic Development Council's Meet the Consultants event in Dallas are great:
- A corrosion of globalization
- Brave new world in today's office market.
- Batteries are the new oil.
- Home prices are going through the roof.
- Ever notice that quit and shit rhyme?
- Economic developers need not genuflect.
Mexico's Mexico: Traditional manufacturing centers like China are imploding, would-be replacements like India are a world unto themselves, while Mexicans have become so skilled that they are no longer competitive at the lower skilled work that once dominated the maquiladoras of the US-Mexican border. To put it bluntly, Mexico now needs a Mexico, and Colombia is by far the best candidate.
(From the soon-to-be-released book: The End of the World Is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization/)
(Economic developers: Brush up on your Spanish or start Duolingo!)
Bipartisan bill to create a permanent office for rural prosperity at the White House: The Rural Prosperity Act is meant to cut red tape and make it easier for rural Americans to access government services and economic development initiatives.
The case for American seriousness: We don't need aging institutions to pave the way for 21st-century dynamism. What we need is will. And audacity:
Build housing for the middle class. Build schools for the kids who want to learn math. Build next-generation defense capabilities with young people who grew up coding. Build PCR tests so that a nasal swab stops the nation from closing businesses at the mere sight of Covid case increases. Build trade schools. Encourage men and women to work with their hands again. Cut the red tape that stops us from building infrastructure fast. Build factories in America. Build resiliency in the supply chain. Build work cultures that support mothers and fathers so they can have more children.
The productivity pay gap is real: According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the amount of "stuff" produced by a typical worker in the US per hour (what an economist would call productivity) has gone up roughly 127% since 1975, but the real compensation of workers has only gone up by around half of that amount (63%). That's a far cry from the 1947-1975 period, when those two variables moved almost in lockstep.
How bricks might save clicks: Rising costs of doing business online is making physical retail more appealing for e-commerce brands.
How America’s farmers got cut out of the supply chain: As shipping companies concentrate on the most lucrative routes from China to California, almond growers are struggling to transport their wares.
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