To all who read the following, please publicly call for the Greensboro Partnership to release the study behind their 2012 Strategic Plan

"...The Greensboro Partnership lists seven key initiatives
in its 2012 strategic plan released last week.

No mention of the fact that GN&R Editorial Board Member and Publisher
Robin Saul
was one of an undisclosed list of participants
surveyed for the secret study, whose purpose may be to sell more debt
to City of Greensboro and Guilford County taxpayers?

It presents several strategies for achieving objectives under each initiative.

Friday morning, I clicked on what I thought
was the Greensboro Partnership's link to 2012's Strategic Plan
only to find the underlying study
conducted by Garner Economics LLC.

I copy and pasted some interesting stuff,
although I didn't get the names of the 92 "participants"
that were interviewed.

I went home for lunch and tried to bring up the study again
and found that it had been replaced
with the Partnership's "Strategic Plan,"
that didn't include a whole lot of info from the study.

I called J. Patrick Danahy
President and CEO of The Greensboro Partnership
for the list of participants,
and he denied my assertion that I saw the study
until I emailed him what I had.

He called back
and told me it was in the best interests of the city
that the study remain confidential, and that he refused to comment.

...The seven initiatives are:

-- Targeted industry cluster focus.

They need support — with workforce development programs
or placement of infrastructure in likely growth corridors.

From the unreleased study:

The City of Greensboro has an assistant city manager
whose responsibilities include economic development assistance.

Who was previously a Greensboro Partnership lobbyist
and is now the interim City Manager?

How many "lobbyists" were "study participants"
or are children of some who may profit from the "plan"?

Many businesses want construction-ready sites.

I believe many study participants which Danahy refused to disclose,
of which I think I remember about 15
of whom some would most likely personally profit
from the "construction-ready" site idea
that would be paid for by our community's taxes.

Caterpillar looked at five sites in Guilford County
but none was ready for immediate development,
Greensboro Partnership President Pat Danahy said.

The company built its manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem instead.

Errors like that lose games.

So Greensboro's taxpayers should build infrastructure
including water and sewer,
to the far out locations in Guilford County
so a select few property owners can market their real estate
for personal profit, and everyone else pays for it?

-- Higher education assets.

...One proposal is to increase the higher education presence downtown,
a plan supported in principle by chancellors and presidents.

“I think everybody’s excited and enthused,
and we will find a way to do it,” Danahy said.

From the study on education:

In 2010 Guilford County Schools composite SAT scores
were below the state, nation...

Were there not many local higher education leaders
included in the "study" the Partnership did
that may overemphasise what "they" want
as opposed to what may really bring in new high paying jobs?

Here's one from the study that didn't make it into the "plan":

Free Wireless in the CBD:
The City of Greensboro should install free wireless broadband
in the central business district.

This largely symbolic effort downtown will show mobile entrepreneurs
that the community has embraced technology
and supports mobile entrepreneurs
(people who can work anywhere but select a community
based on the quality of place and physical assets of a location).

-- Center-city development.

...“Plan and deliver a signature corridor on Lee Street/High Point Road from the Gateway University Research Park to the Koury Convention Center.”

...-- Government relations.

From tax policy to support for higher education to transportation,
economic growth requires support, not opposition, from government.

The Partnership should engage the University of North Carolina
...to conduct a Cost/Benefit Analysis of consolidated government,
or at the very least, consolidated services in Guilford County.

...- Economic vitality and quality of life.

Attracting and retaining young professionals should be a priority.

This isn’t as easy as pitch and catch.

Almost all new jobs in the U.S. are created
by entrepreneurial and innovative firms,
with an average age of 25 years (firms) and in all sizes.

Economic growth of a community
typically drives small business start ups.

...it’s imperative that any entrepreneurial program
be focused on those companies and individuals
that have the greatest chance of being economic generators
for the community and export goods and services,
which is a wealth generator.

A consultant hired by the Greensboro Partnership
found weaknesses in the city’s game, [mostly undisclosed?]
such as shortages of skilled industrial workers, technicians, scientists and managers,
and reasonably priced sites for development;
high property tax rates; and poor air quality.

Over the last ten years,
growth in real values for the average wage per job in Guilford
has increased by just 0.7 percent ($226),
and in the last five years has declined by 1 percent (-$379)

As of May 2011, total employment in Greensboro-High Point
is down 9.1 percent or 33,900 fewer jobs.

The rate of job losses over the last five and ten years (-7.4 percent)
is greater in Greensboro-High Point than in the nation,
state and all benchmark geographies

The Greensboro Partnership strategic plan lines up all the bases.

It should not become a bench-warmer."

and the Greensboro Partnership Study
that President and CEO Patrick Danahy
refuses to release or comment on

Why didn't the Greensboro News & Record
mention the Regressive Tax

Both the City of Greensboro and Guilford County
ranked 2.73 and 2.70 respectively in business climate rankings
from all respondents that weren’t part of the government focus group
(on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being the best),
clearly noting that no one should accept that it is business as usual
or that the status quo is acceptable.

Engage ideas of Leadership Greensboro and other young leaders;
old guard needs to step back and let fresh ideas flow

Special interest groups should be careful
when attempting to influence policies;
listen to what taxpayers want,
not just what they think is important.

According to the John Locke Foundation,
Guilford County has the 14th highest tax burden in NC out of 100 counties.

"...rent-seeking is an attempt to obtain economic rent
by manipulating the social or political environment
in which economic activities occur,
rather than by creating new wealth.

...spending money on political lobbying in order to be given a share of wealth
that has already been created.

...People accused of rent seeking typically argue
that they are indeed creating new wealth (or preventing the reduction of old wealth)
by improving quality controls,
guaranteeing that charlatans do not prey on a gullible public,
and preventing bubbles.

Many current studies of rent-seeking focus on efforts
to capture various monopoly privileges stemming from government regulation
of free enterprise competition.

The term itself derives, however,
from the far older practice of appropriating a portion of production
by gaining ownership or control of land.

...the expenditure of resources attempting to enrich oneself
by increasing one's share of a fixed amount of wealth
rather than trying to create wealth.

Since resources are expended but no new wealth is created,
the net effect of rent-seeking is to reduce the sum of social wealth.

Rent-seeking generally implies the extraction of uncompensated value
from others
without making any contribution to productivity.

...a more common example of rent-seeking is political lobbying
to receive a government transfer payment,
or to impose burdensome regulations on one's competitors
in order to increase one's market share.

...such behaviors may result in substantial social losses.

Studies of rent-seeking focus on efforts to capture special monopoly privileges
such as government regulation of free enterprise competition.

The term "monopoly privilege rent-seeking" is an often-used label
for the former type of rent-seeking.

Often-cited examples include a farm lobby that seeks tariff protection
or an entertainment lobby that seeks expansion of the scope of copyright.

It is important to distinguish between profit-seeking and rent-seeking.

Some will try to say that rent-seeking is a creation of wealth.

However, profit-seeking should be understood as the creation of wealth,
while rent-seeking includes the use of the power of the state or government
to distribute wealth between different groups of individuals."


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