Written by The Economic Development Curmudgeon
American state and local economic development (ED) has been around since Day One (1789) of the American Republic—it didn’t start in 1937, 1945 or 1965. Recognizable forms of many current ED strategies, tools and programs can be found by the 1880’s. My recently-published “History of American State and Local Economic Development, 1789-1990: As Two Ships Pass in the Night” (As Two Ships) presents our historical evolution from George Washington to 1990—all 752 pages of it. My next two issues of the Journal will present twelve observations (six per issue) drawn from As Two Ships. I will infuse them with additional insight to provide perspective and a foundation for future issues of the Journal and make them easier to apply to current events. These observations will provide a background and a base from which to rethink one’s ideas regarding the history–and purpose–of American state and local economic development. They will open you to new ways on how to approach your job, research, and your profession.
This issue will discuss the core fundamentals of my history and also will introduce what the book labels the “Chapter One Model” .