Don’t you think it’s time we do things differently when it comes to managing and growing our local economy? I do and I’ve purchased the following book in hopes that it will provide the innovative guidelines it promises. I'll let you know what I think about it after I read it.
THE LOCAL ECONOMY SOLUTION – How Innovative, Self-Financing Pollinator Enterprises can Grow Jobs and Prosperity – Michael Shuman
Some books I choose because I think the author will validate beliefs that I have long held, beliefs that went against current wisdom and accepted (often mindless) ways of doing things. For example, all through the 1980’s and 1990’s and even into the early 21st century, USA economic development meant local government leaders licked the boots of multinational corporations in order to attract them into their communities. They literally gave away the store so to speak by providing tax incentives and even outright cash bonuses, free land on which to build their plants. Many communities even lowered environmental standards to the point of allowing these giants to pollute with impunity. With the greener grass in China in the late 1990s they left anyway like so many rats deserting the ship.
It still goes on, even today in the 21st Century. In 2010 for example, according to BaxStarr Consulting Group, Louisiana spent $196.8 million on film tax credits but only generated $27 million in tax receipts for the state and $17.3 million for local governments. Film subsidies, in other words, are financial losers for taxpayers who foot the bill.
I have ordered the book. The preface promises to be about how economic development can and should be done differently. It also promises to provide 24 models for economic development that could be done by the private sector at virtually zero cost to the public. I look forward to learning about these pollinator enterprises in addition to basking in my own smug self-satisfaction. I already like the idea of the embedded organic metaphor the author has used to label these business models as "pollinator enterprises." This metaphor mirrors the connectedness nurtured by permaculture design amongst the countless elements found in the natural and unnatural worlds we live in.
Another book with great potential for reshaping your local economy:
The SMARTEST places on earth - Why Rustbelts are Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation
by Antoine Van Agtmael and Fred Bakker
David Swensen, Chief Investment Officer, Yale University had this to say about this book: "Can Agtmael and Bakker paint an exciting picture of the future made possible by cooperative processes they call "brainsharing." Citing unheralded developments in specific places and industries, this extraordinarily well-researched book challenges the conventional view of a developed world in decline. The authors make a compelling case for connectors, who bring together a diverse collection of players required for collaborative success. This compellingly argued and lucidly written book is a must read for anyone who cares about the planet."