I’m fairly new to the writing for a wide public audience. Seasoned writers know how to use works to conjure up the right images in the mind to make the point. The TJ editorial today used the phrase:
Sprinkling money on pet projects might be politically expedient, but it won’t stop the exodus of the most industrious young people from the north looking for better jobs.
I admit this is a rhetorical statement but that term “sprinkling money” actually provides us with an important economic development learning.
When you step back and ask if government giving money to businesses is having the right effect, in a global sense you have to say it doesn’t look like it – at least if your goal is a growing population and generating enough private business investment to extract enough tax revenue to limit our reliance on federal transfer payments.
So it seems to me that this term “sprinkling money” is a good one to study. Are we spending the public money wisely by sprinkling money around on hundreds of small projects – some without any incremental employment? Or are we wiser to take a step back and see if concentrating our money in a few tightly defined areas is a better way (even though the short term political ramifactions would be negative)?
Maybe this component manufacturing strategy put forward by ROC could actually work. Maybe we could attract companies and grow existing ones through sub-contracts in this area. Maybe this could be an excellent bridge economic development strategy for the north to fill in for the next 20-30 years.