As tempting as it is to keep writing about issues and politics, I just don’t feel like taking on immigration this morning. I know the president gave a speech about it last night. I’m sure that half the country is aflame with hate and spewing vitriol this AM, but I just don’t have the heart or the energy to do the usual binary shuffle this early in the day. Although……
Speaking of vitriol, me and the newly re-elected governor rarely see eye-to-eye on any issue—that being said, three of my best five days for blog stats in 2014 involved posts centered on good ole’ Paul LePage—like this one on NASCAR and economic boondoggling. The next four years should be good ones for anyone buying stock in the LePage Blogging Industrial Complex. Continue reading
The Maine Open for Business Chevrolet. (Associated Press photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
The governor has decreed that Maine should hang its economic fortunes on the Maine Is Open for Business Chevrolet and Austin Theriault’s skill as a driver. This seems to be a foolhardy plan at best, hearkening back to economic development principles known as “smokestack chasing,” which arguably worked in the 1960s and 1970s, but are about 50 years out of date. Here’s what Peter Boothroyd and H. Craig Davis had to say about the practice in their 1993 report titled, “Community Economic Development: Three Approaches,” from the Journal of Planning Education and Research—I have a hunch that the governor doesn’t have a subscription to it.
Traditionally, growth has been espoused and promoted by chambers of commerce, unions, and politicians who have grasped at any opportunity to attract investment in order to increase the size of the local economy. This traditional, often haphazard approach to growth promotion has been labeled “smokestack chasing” by its detractors.
Yet, the governor and I’m guessing his economic development gurus, John Butera and George Gervais, apparently cooked this up and think this is a viable strategy. Butera’s economic development claim to fame is FirstPark in Oakland, another example of “putting all your eggs in one basket,” hoping for a home run by attracting a large employer to ride in on a white horse and bestow hundreds of jobs on a community or region. Continue reading