Restating the ground rules

A few people have asked me why I allow ‘negative’ posts about economic development. They say it is kind of defeating my point. Actually, no. My point from day one back in October 2004 was to start a dialogue about economic development. That’s why I comment on the radio, write a column in the TJ, etc.

I go back to the earliest days of the Lord administration. I have used this story before but it is well worth repeating. My employer at the time, now called Enterprise Greater Moncton, convened a meeting with the new MLAs – John Betts, Joan Macalpine, Pepsi, etc. I think there were 6-7 of them in the room. There knowledge of even the most basic principles of ‘economic development’ were non-existent. John Betts wanted to know why EGM wouldn’t support funding for a ‘Christian’ bar in downtown Moncton.

It was at that point in 1999 that I realized the seriousness of the problem. When you have elected officials with such a skewed view of how economies rise/fall and what is the proper role of government in fostering an environment that leads to economic development, it is likely you will get nowhere.

So, the blog is about sharing opinions. Any commentary that doesn’t include profanity or abusive language or outright personal attacks – is in. The best way to get clarity around your view of things is to read the viewpoints of another. It forces you to get beyond the surface of your arguments and refine your arguments. Ultimately, you are stronger in your position. Or, alternatively, you see the holes in your position and are open to change.

I realize some folks take this stuff very seriously and are passionate about it. I wish we could see passion more broadly in the culture on this issue.

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0 Responses to Restating the ground rules

  1. mikel says:

    I’ve actually never seen any ‘negative’ comments about economic development here. ‘Richard’ had some cantakerous things to say about economics but he’s always pushing universities being economic incubators-so that’s not really negative.

    There are plenty of negative things that COULD be said about economic development, the whole globalization thing. Although I’ve sometimes brought it up, most maritime globalization protestors are quite keen on ‘economic development’-just a different kind of ED than what AIMS is shooting for.

    Sometimes I and others dispute Mr. Campbell’s opinion, that’s not ‘negative’, thats just a different opinion. Without that all that is left is an ideological zealot with an updated pamphlet. Those kind of sites tend to not last long, since its quickly obvious that the only people listening are other ideological zealots who already share the same point of view-so whats the point?

  2. Anonymous says:

    It seems today’s environment encourages and rewards reactionary behavihour. More political points are scored and positive PR gained for flying into town and bailing out an organization or industry than putting in place the seeds for a business/industry to grow for future prosperity.

    We all know McKenna was not perfect but one thing he did seem to create was a positive atmosphere for ED. Newspapers and business people scrambled to attend press conferences for the latest announcements. Media buzzed with rumours. Reporters (and competitors) followed his movements in effort to speculate and detect the next announcement. Communities proactively got involved to make sure they were considered for future developments. Federal funding agencies approached our provincial government to learn what they were working on and how they could help.

    We can debate and use hindsight to measure the benefits of McKenna’s efforts, but there is no disputing he created a positive buzz about ED.

    As you suggest, we need some of this ED buzz now.