About: The Economic Development Curmudgeon


The now infamous Economic Development Curmudgeon is the cranky, yet dark and evil side of the very nice and friendly editor Ron Coan. The Curmudgeon is the writer behind IN THE TRENCHES and you will notice that brooding presence enjoys the byline beginning in March 2011.

Recent Posts

Has State and Local Economic Development Lost its Ability to Innovate? Can We Practice what We Preach?

We are at a pivotal point in our history that compels a thoughtful assessment of ED strategies (innovation in particular) and reevaluation of America as an actor in global politics and soon-to-be second-largest economy. The post-WWII Age has exhausted itself. Transition into a new world era has major implications for how we conduct state and local economic development. “Can We Talk?” The Journal expands its mission in March to include a FREE online introduction to the History of American State and Local ED.

NIMBYism in Economic Development: Citizen Engagement or Just Kvetching? By Richard Cowden

Economic development professionals often must serve as arbiters between ambitious developers and skeptical homeowners. They must be prepared to identify objections based entirely on self-centered biases and those reflecting the best long-range interests of the community.

Use Three Wave History at Your Peril: Rediscovering Past American State and Local Economic Development

American state & local economic development enjoys a long and meaningful history yet is largely unknown to economic developers. Why? Our professional past has been collapsed into vaporous and ideological-laden “Three Waves”. Three Wave history polarizes and misinforms us about our three hundred year heritage/professional experience.
Isn’t it time we discover who we are as a profession?
The Four Eras of American state & local ED are an excellent start to appreciating the value of our professional history.