The chicken and the egg of development

Great post this morning on Dayton MostMetro.

I highly recommend taking a look.

Dayton – Dayton Topics
So what about jobs? Yes, we are losing many people in this region because of a lack of “good” jobs – the kind that people with college degrees are looking for. But the answer may not be in offering big tax breaks and other “incentives” to lure businesses to locate here (or to stay). The kinds of businesses that we need in order to keep the region’s best and brightest aren’t looking for tax breaks and free land in the burbs. They are looking for something much more valuable to them: talent. If the talent isn’t here, then all of the free land, buildings and tax incentives in the world won’t attract businesses that rely on cream-of-the-crop talent.

The key to attracting business isn’t a tax break or corporate welfare- a business can get those anywhere (and if our legislature didn’t depend on donations from corporations- we would ban these “tax incentive” programs nationally). The key is just simple, basic marketing- What makes your product unique and valuable?

Back in days of old- a city had value because it was on some sort of water. Either to drink- or to move things by boat. Next came Railroads, and then highways- but by that point- the playing field was pretty much level. So, it became other things- warm weather, sunny beaches, cool places to shop and play- get the picture?

So, now, instead of investing in a brick building for a company like CareSource- why not invest in a huge public park, ice rink, whitewater course, public sports program, public arts programs, festivals, cheaper better education (like Sinclair) as ways to suck companies and people here? Make the Oregon District a real party destination- create sportsplex on the Parkside homes location- make it easier to convert old buildings into new ones, celebrate the diversity and what makes us different from cookie cutter suburbia and developments like “The Greene”- get the picture?

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