From The Atlantic: The Rust Belt Didn’t Have to Happen

Vice President Mike Pence’s hometown of Columbus, Indiana, thrived while other cities declined, because J. Irwin Miller, its wealthiest and most prominent industrialist, remained deeply rooted in and committed to his city. He used his clout, money, and a visionary progressive approach to build up Columbus for long-term success. A new biography of him called J. Irwin Miller: The Shaping of an American Town, by Nancy Kriplen, reveals not just the story of a city but one of a lost model of American leadership that the country badly needs to recover if many of its communities are to ever turn around.

Miller’s approach was superficially similar to many of today’s public-private partnerships. The difference is that his program invested in building up public goods and services, whereas all too many of today’s partnership’s are about enriching private parties at the public’s expense.

That moderation also helped Cummins and Columbus avoid the labor strife of other Midwest cities. When national unions attempted to organize Cummins, the employees instead elected to form their own, independent Diesel Workers Union, over the objections of the United Automobile Workers. The relationship between the Diesel Workers Union and firm was much warmer than usual, with Miller given honorary union membership. As he put it, “Unions are management’s mirror. They tell you things your own people won’t admit.”

The results speak for themselves. Cummins has remained a successful global enterprise. And Columbus has prospered, never experiencing a major period of decline. Today it’s still growing in population and adding jobs faster than the nation as a whole. It’s more educated than the country at large and boasts a GDP per capita higher than Portland, Minneapolis, and Houston.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/the-rust-belt-didnt-have-to-happen/603523/

Worth reading.

The key take away is that Columbus Indiana’s story is not one of laissez faire tax cuts and deregulation. It’s one of the private sector making use of public goods and then funding those public goods. It is one of human capital development, trade and shared prosperity.

Sadly there is no sign Pence learned anything from his home town.

The US startup is disappearing

Historically, startups have been the engine of US economy. By creating new jobs and surfacing new ideas, startups play an outsized role in making the economy grow. It’s too bad they are a dying breed.

via The US startup is disappearing

It’s not taxes and regulation. It’s lack of investment in science and technology.

Blame Obama Please

Remember when Obama negotiated with the GOP over an extension of the Bush tax cuts and allowed the GOP to take the budget hostage? This phony debt ceiling crisis is directly related to that. If he let the tax cuts expire we wouldn’t be in this mess as the GOP would have been discouraged from further hostage taking.

Yglesias on The Conservative Recovery

conservatives should wake up to the fact that their economy theory is nonsense. On their telling, the state of the economy is bleak due to Obama’s socialistic policies and if we just trimmed back government the private sector would come roaring back. The truth is that under Obama the private sector has been growing and the public sector’s been shrinking. But public sector shrinkage hasn’t spurred private job growth, it’s been a drag on it. Which is exactly how it should be. Your town’s firefighters are also customers for your town’s stores and plumbers. Cutbacks in bus service make it more difficult for people to get to work and participate in the economy. If we’d had more stimulus—specifically more fiscal aid to state and local government—then those public jobs wouldn’t have gone away (lowering unemployment) and the income streams attached to them wouldn’t have gone away either, spurring private employment and further improving the labor market.

From Yglesias » The Conservative Recovery

If cutting taxes promoted growth or entrepreneurship and all, the 8 years of W would have show some evidence of it.

Yglesias on The Conservative Recovery

conservatives should wake up to the fact that their economy theory is nonsense. On their telling, the state of the economy is bleak due to Obama’s socialistic policies and if we just trimmed back government the private sector would come roaring back. The truth is that under Obama the private sector has been growing and the public sector’s been shrinking. But public sector shrinkage hasn’t spurred private job growth, it’s been a drag on it. Which is exactly how it should be. Your town’s firefighters are also customers for your town’s stores and plumbers. Cutbacks in bus service make it more difficult for people to get to work and participate in the economy. If we’d had more stimulus—specifically more fiscal aid to state and local government—then those public jobs wouldn’t have gone away (lowering unemployment) and the income streams attached to them wouldn’t have gone away either, spurring private employment and further improving the labor market.

From Yglesias » The Conservative Recovery

If cutting taxes promoted growth or entrepreneurship and all, the 8 years of W would have show some evidence of it.