The stunning election of Donald Trump as president throws the future of urban policy into doubt. During the campaign he promised to bring new jobs and improved infrastructure to the inner cities, but so far he has furnished no details. Some of the strategies carried out by cities and states in the past may offer the incoming administration some guidance.
Are Economic Developers Still Held Hostage to the Mobility of Capital?
Written by The Economic Development CurmudgeonEconomic development's most deep-seated axiom is that capital is mobile, people can exit, and business can move to greener pastures. These are bone-crushing realities for "place-based"economic developers who work for a city, county, metropolitan area or a state. If capital, people and business can pack up and move whenever they perceive sufficient reward for doing so, it's our job to nail them down or attract replacements. How do we get our collective hands around the sad fact nothing is tied down, and our job description/paycheck require us to wave some magic wand and make the problem go away? Paul Peterson's classic City Limits (1881), questions whether a city can overcome the mobility of capital. For Peterson local government can't either tax or regulate local firms without driving them out of the city or risking urban fiscal instability. Let's update Peterson and see how things have changed. Continue Reading...