Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development

An Introduction to A History of American State and Local Government: As Two Ships Pass in the Night


Dr. Ron W. Coan

Editor of the Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development

Senior Fellow, Council for Community and Economic Research

A New Way to Think About State and Local Economic Development

 As Two Ships:

A History of American State and Local Government: As Two Ships Pass in the Night

 Yogi Berra supposedly claimed "the future ain't what it used to be" --- well either is our past. Back to the roots of American economic development.

How we got to where we are today. 

Latest Articles

August 2012

The American Dream

Hardly anyone talks about economic development and the suburbs. Why should they-they are all the same: rich, white pillagers of central cities and purveyors of sprawl. In a world composed of mega cities, SMSAs, and multi-county economic regions, does anyone care what is going on in the suburbs? Saint that he is, the Curmudgeon does! In this review, he discusses Bernadette Hanlon’s Once the American Dream: Inner-Ring Suburbs of the Metropolitan United States.

July 2012

Innovation: A Dirty, Sloppy, Time-consuming and Unfair Process

Innovation is too important a concept, too serious a strategy to be treated with the casualness, simplicity and inevitable benevolence that we read in current literature and blogs. Innovation has become so trivialized we have lost sight of its Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader two edge sword complexity. Instead we have an “everything is beautiful” and it’s “so easy we all can do it” atmosphere. It’s time we sobered up and remember that Innovation is a wonderful but dark, dirty, greedy, timeconsuming and very sloppy economic development strategy.

June 2012

The Triumph of the City

An instant best-seller, Edward Glaeser”s, The Triumph of the City, is an unabashed love sonnet for the world’s largest cities. Triumph appears to be a clarion call and a focused strategy of ensuring these large central cities are able to maintain their cutting edge as the engines of world prosperity. But does Glaeser want to save all cities? Or just a chosen few?

May 2012

Is This Time Any Different?

Our discussion on the New Normal and the Post-Financial Crisis centers chiefly around two important publications. The New Normal label was developed by Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of America’s largest asset manager, PIMCO. The second conceptual position is drawn from Reinhart & Rogoff’s, This Time is Different. El-Erian put his concept together in 2008-2009 period and Reinhart and Rogoff in early 2010. They have been mostly right thus far into 2012.

May 2012

May 2012

The Big Sort

The Big Sort may be one of the most underappreciated books applicable to local economic development. Dealing with how the culture wars emerged in our cities and towns over the last serveral decades, the Big Sort provides some valuable perspective about the links between culture, politics and local economic development.

May 2012

December 2011

December 2011

Richard Florida and the Great Reset

The New Normal has acquired a new label — Richard Florida calls it “The Great Reset”. Ever heard of the “Spatial Fix? Discover what Florida believes to be opportunities arising from our present, rather dismal world. Warning! You must be talented and creative to enter this brave new world. Once again the Old Curmudgeon offers his usual fare of blather, summary, and critique–alongside a few morsels of real information and perspective.

October 2011

Business Climate in the New Normal

The Curmudgeon thinks State Business Climate will be a very prominent economic development strategy during the New Normal period–for the wrong reasons. Sadly, that poor withered soul strongly believes that the concepts and methodologies, which underscore business climate as an economic development strategy, are seriously flawed. In his warped mind he sees the business climate strategy rests upon indexes constructed […]