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Reinventing Economic Development: Tourism to the Rescue

Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Featured, New Mexico Business Weekly | 0 comments

Reinventing Economic Development Tourism to the rescue Premium content from New Mexico Business Weekly by Mark Lautman, Guest Columnist, Guest Columnist Date: Friday, May 25, 2012, 4:00am MDT A couple of things struck me at last week’s annual state tourism conference in Taos. First, tourism people have way more fun than my economic development colleagues. Now I see why John Garcia used to call himself the Secretary of Fun when he ran the Tourism Department. The other thing that caught my attention was the prospect of a wider role for the tourism industry in the economic development of New Mexico’s communities. With the state’s economy down 50,000 jobs since the recession, and draconian federal spending cuts looming, many communities will have to get creative to avoid economic decline over the next decade. Tourism by some accounts is already the state’s largest...

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Reinventing Economic Development: Obfuscating on Thin Ice

Posted by on Apr 27, 2012 in Featured, New Mexico Business Weekly | 1 comment

Reinventing Economic Development ‘Obfuscating on thin ice’ Premium content from New Mexico Business Weekly by Mark Lautman, Guest Columnist Date: Friday, April 27, 2012, 4:00am MDT While coming up with an actionable plan for creating jobs is harder than it has ever been, it’s an equally bad time to be trying to fake one. Last year, a business leader from a community that won’t be named sent me a draft of an economic development plan they had commissioned. Along with redlining it like a plagiarized freshman English paper, she had scrawled a new title: “Obfuscating on Thin Ice.” She was furious. Instead of laying out a course of action that outlined the tough choices and lines of accountability required to make things happen, they got a mushy, unquantifiable, unenforceable list of vague, passive suggestions. Later she told me, “No...

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Reinventing economic development: Why not wing it?

Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in Featured, New Mexico Business Weekly | 0 comments

Reinventing economic development: Why not wing it? New Mexico Business Weekly by Mark Lautman, Guest Columnist Date: Friday, March 23, 2012, 4:00am MDT Imagine having a life plan to get married, have three kids, put them all through college, pay off a new house and go on a three-week vacation every year, all without a viable career plan. Pretty dumb, isn’t it? Chances are you’d crash and burn. Now imagine living in a community that has the same attitude. It has elaborate, long-range plans for the stuff it thinks it needs: transportation, utilities, parks and recreation facilities, schools, public health and safety programs and such, but nothing close to a plan for developing the economic base to pay for it all. Truth is, most communities are like that — they’re winging it — and you’re probably living in one....

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Reinventing economic development: Embrace the wickedness

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Featured, New Mexico Business Weekly | 8 comments

Reinventing economic development: Embrace the wickedness by Mark Lautman New Mexico Business Weekly Date: Friday, February 24, 2012, 4:00am MST   When we came out of recessions in the olden days, recoveries were led by government and corporate investment, followed closely by surges in job creation, increased consumption, GDP growth, a rising stock market and then rising personal wealth, more consumption, more investment and more job creation. Local job creation efforts were almost exclusively tactical. They fed off a steady stream of public and private sector job creation opportunities, which flowed from an ever-expanding national economy greased by easy credit and a rapidly expanding public sector. But for the first time since we started tracking this stuff, the recovery as defined by rising GDP, corporate investment and a rebounding stock market seems to have decoupled from job creation, consumption...

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Reinventing Economic Development: How not to lose sleep over income inequality

Posted by on Jan 27, 2012 in Featured, New Mexico Business Weekly | 2 comments

Reinventing Economic Development: How not to lose sleep over income inequality   New Mexico Business Weekly by Mark Lautman, Guest Columnist Date: Friday, January 27, 2012, 4:00am MST Recessions are a natural part of the economic cycle. They are how the market purges the excesses and inefficiencies of the economy so a new cycle of prosperity can begin. This one has been dubbed the Great Recession because its depth and length resemble that of the Great Depression. There are positive signs that the worst is over: U.S. GDP is back to prerecession levels, corporate earnings are up 15 percent, the stock market is up on the year, private-sector jobs are being added to the economy and the official unemployment rate is going down, the federal government is downsizing and the troops are coming home. A closer look reveals that...

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