Monday, August 15, 2011

Two GOP Governors stuck in a 1950s Economy

I heard Wisconsin governor Scott Walker speak in Madison a few months ago.  His economic strategy for the state?  Smokestack chasing and belittling Illinois--in fact, I think he said "Illinois" (followed by various synonyms for "sucks") more often than he said "Wisconsin."  He did say he loved teachers though--sort of the way husbands say they love their wives after they are arrested for assaulting them.

Now Rick Perry says in his campaign announcment:

The change we seek will never emanate out of Washington, D.C. It will come from the windswept prairies of Middle America, the farms and factories across this great land, from the hearts and minds of the goodhearted Americans who will accept not a future that is less than our past…patriots who will not be consigned to a fate of less freedom in exchange for more government. We do not have to accept our current circumstances. We will change them. We are Americans.
Farms now produce a little more than one percent of GDP.   And while the US is still the world's leading manufacturer by output, automation has continued to reduce jobs in manufactuning--a reduction that will continue in the years to come, regardless of the health of the economy.

Where does change come from?  From Silicon Valley.  From Route 128.  From the Research Triangle.  From labs at Cal Tech and MIT and, yes, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Texas.  Also from Hollywood, from fashion designers in New York, from sneaker designers in Oregon, and, like-it-ot not, from Pharmaceutical Companies in New Jersey, New York and Indianapolis.  These are things we do that the rest of the world envies.  These are things that happen in cities. And yet not a word about any of it.


David Barker said...

Absolutely right. But the federal government redistributes income from cities to rural areas. (Albouy, JPE 2009) This redistribution is inherent to the U.S. political system. The best thing for cities would be drastic cuts to the federal government.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Perry has a plan to repatriate urban intellectuals to the countryside? Y'know kind of a Khmer Rouge/Pol Pot thing. If I remember correctly, it was a smashing success that lead to increased employment, wealth, and stature on the world stage for Cambodia.