GN&R's Robin Saul, Doug Clark and Allen Johnson: "Strong [Economic] medicine"

"Greensboro’s economy isn’t in robust health,
but maybe it’s taking the right medicine.

Like the city's taxpayers losing at least $8 million per year
by not reopening the White Street Landfill
and not selling the methane?

"That seems to be the diagnosis of the 2012 State of the City Report
produced for the Greensboro Partnership
by Keith G. Debbage, a professor of urban geography at UNCG.

Greensboro continues to struggle
with the ongoing ramifications of the national recession
particularly regarding the region’s significant job losses
and high poverty rate.

Greensboro Partnership

Some critical symptoms, based on 2010 data, were alarming
— notably median earnings and per capita incomes,
which fell sharply.

...“recession began to eat away at our skilled workers,”
not just those in lower-paying jobs.


Per capita income levels continued a three-year decline
from a high of $25,560 in 2008 to $23,832 in 2010.

"...The substantive decline in dividend investment capital
due to the financial crisis and national recession of the late 2000s
may have negatively impacted per capita income."

...Retail jobs on the whole paid poorly
offering an average wage of just $25,933 in 2009 and $26,491 in 2010.

Only the arts and entertainment/accommodation and food industry
generated lower average wage rates...

"The poverty rate remained at a very high 20 percent,
tax-base growth was flat
and population growth lagged behind North Carolina’s other large cities.

But Debbage’s report isn’t an obituary.

In some ways, it previews what could be a rebirth announcement.

...A clear sign, found in other reports,
is 2.1 percent job growth from November 2010 to November 2011
for the Greensboro-High Point metro area.

Why would the Editorial Board
have to use data from "other reports"
to spin the "rebirth announcement" meme
if Debbage's report wasn't pretty bad?

One area quickening the pulse is advanced manufacturing:
“I become more and more convinced that is a sector
that will lead us out of recession,” Debbage said.

So let's build a Performing Arts Center with borrowed money
from a population that needs more manufacturing jobs
as per capita income fell 8.6% and the cost of everything
went up, plus:

22. Resolution providing for the issuance
of ...$4,550,000 Fire Station Bonds,
$2,000,000 Economic Development Bonds,
[to not subsidise new manufacturing jobs,
but more low job producing data centers?]
$3,500,000 Library Facilities Bonds,
$14,440,000 Street Improvement Bonds,
$600,000 Parks and Recreational Facilities Bonds,
$335,000 Housing Bonds
and $4,575,000 Natural Science Center Bonds.

Greensboro City Council Agenda Item

This is one of the industry segments
economic development leaders have focused on for years,
with considerable help from the education community.

...Other targeted industry clusters,
such as transportation and logistics...show promise as well.

How is this statement just not true?


...the transportation-related industry continues to lose market share
in terms of the percentage of jobs generated.

the percentage of all jobs in this industry noticeably decreased
from a 4.8% share of the market in 2009 to 3.4% in 2010.

More disconcertingly,
this represents the second largest relative decline
of any industry in Greensboro for the same time period.

It’s validation that “we’re doing the right things,”
said Pat Danahy, president of the Greensboro Partnership.


...growth in the County tax base has begun to stagnate in recent years.

Homeownership in Greensboro decreased
from 54.1% of the housing stock in owner-occupied units in 2009
to 53.4% in 2010 – a decline of 0.7 percentage points.

Those things include making strategic investments in education,
infrastructure and other assets.

Why not invest in new manufacturing jobs?

Debbage pointed to progress on reaching a city-county agreement
to furnish water to undeveloped areas

Which just got kicked in the groin
by Guilford County?

and the importance of having
“large, shovel-ready sites available
for whatever the invisible hand will do.”

A gift for a few from the many?

...There’s no quick cure.

Is killing downtown businesses for Roy
part of the cure?

27. Ordinance amending ...Ordinances
with respect to Buildings and Building Regulations
– Tents and similar temporary structures.

34. Ordinance amending ...Ordinances
with respect to Offenses and Miscellaneous provisions
– prohibit outdoor amplified noise.

Greensboro City Council Agenda Item

Greensboro was hit with a “double whammy,” Danahy said
— the loss of traditional manufacturing industries,
followed by a deep and persistent national recession.

Why not concentrate on new manufacturing jobs
as opposed to toys for the relatively wealthy
and hand outs to developers
that won't necessarily bring in new manufacturing jobs?

Recovery depends on taking the right medicine.

Robin Saul, Doug Clark and Allen Johnson

Our news reports should never be influenced
by the private interests of the owners or of any other group.

Our editorials should exhibit vigor and courage,
always respectful of contrary opinion,
never tailored to the whims of the editor or publisher.There are no sacred cows.

No territory of legitimate public interest is off limits
to fair and competent reporting and comments.

Frank Batten

"The first priority of Landmark newspapers

is to present a faithful and accurate picture
of the life of their communities...."


Business conflicts


1 comment:

W.E. Heasley said...

“Public policy makers and economic development practitioners have become increasingly concerned with maintaining and improving the overall quality of life of their political jurisdictions as a way to maintain their competitive advantage. Greensboro is no exception to this rule.”

Let us edit the quote slightly:

Politico policy makers and central planning practitioners have become increasingly concerned with maintaining and improving their political constituency as a way to maintain their political advantage. Greensboro is no exception to this rule.

________________________________________________________________ 15 CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS
• Greensboro continues to struggle with the ongoing ramifications of the national recession particularly regarding the region’s significant job losses and high poverty rate.

What insight! What a brilliant, foolproof study! These people should really be running our lives. Not!

The entire study is a jumble-bumble of statistics that lead to this mind numbing conclusion? Very nice!

Well, suppose one can’t expect too much from a professor of urban development in the Department of Geography. Of course when one is looking for grand insight into economic systems, one generally trots right over to the Department of Geography as it’s a Mecca of economic insight.