Tag Archives: economic development

When reverence for our past blinds us to our future….

I love Vermont. I’ve lived here seventy years, and like my father, I’ve turned down opportunities to move away and earn more money. But I don’t trust the Vermont myth of ‘exceptionalism.’ We’re a microcosm of the world around us. Our communities and our natural, working, and built environments make us a wonderful place to live, but I worry that our tendency toward self-adulation calcifies belief systems that often impede our progress. Change happens whether we like it or not and it’s critical to understand and accommodate it without compromising our values. To ignore change puts our future at risk. I love a well-framed barn, in fact, my first home was one. I love and use hand-made tools. But I …
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Economic Development?

I no longer believe in economic development. There, I said it. Now, let me clarify. I believe the best business development strategy is being a great place to live, educate, and conduct business, as the Business Roundtable likes to say. I’ve become pessimistic about conventional “tools” in the economic development tool box designed to entice businesses to locate or relocate here. Historically the location of most businesses is serendipitous, occurring because the owners chose to live here full or part-time for a wide range of reasons. I believe seductions such as tax incentives or green cards for foreigners are a race to the bottom. In 2005, Toyota was locating a new auto assembly plant and chose Ontario over Southern states …
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