Economic Development vs. Economic Opportunity :: Werner For Oregon

News / Issues

Jul 6, 2016 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Issues

While parts of Oregon are doing well economically (Portland/Willamette Valley), Klamath and Lake counties continue to struggle, trying to keep their heads above water in a post-Obama Great Recession world. There are two answers to this problem: Economic Development or Economic Opportunity.

Economic Development is a key buzz word used by leftists and central planners. They believe your tax dollars should be funneled in a manner they determine in order to bring about jobs and prosperity. The problem with this method is that excess public money is spent with little accountability — worse, the return on investment is poor and seldom are there tangible results of any significance. These Economic Development masterminds think they know best. If they can bend certain economic conditions (with your tax money) then maybe a stray business or two will come to our part of Oregon. Economic Development advocates are very skilled at public relations and also good at creating lots of activity — meetings, forums, trade shows, etc — in order to appear as if they are making progress. They often grab the headlines by talking about “job creation”. However, in the final analysis the only real jobs and economic certainty created are their own jobs and future. This is wrong. Beware of anyone who extols the catch-phrase of “economic development”. Empty results are the reality for the rest of us.

There is a better way. Economic Opportunity is an open path for everyone—without controlling masterminds and central planners. Instead of using your tax dollars to fund special projects and political insiders, government gets out of the way. By lowering taxes and regulations for everyone, everyone benefits from those who already are here and those who are thinking about coming here. By presenting a clear picture that Klamath and Lake Counties are less expensive to do business than anywhere else in the region, businesses will respond accordingly. Economic Opportunity upholds the principle that people and businesses know best how to direct economic resources, not central planners and biased leftists. Economic Opportunity understands that businesses are savvy and will take advantage of lower costs of doing business in a less costly, less regulated area.

I am running for State Representative to stop wasted tax dollars, such as those spent on Economic Development. Centralizing economic control is a failed model by leftists. Centralized control is completely contrary to the principles of what made Oregon and America great. In the pioneering days, people did not come to Klamath and Lake Counties because of burdensome regulations and well funded public services. What drove people to this area is the same thing that will drive them here now — economic opportunity. The suggestion that centrally planned public projects will lure new business to our area puts the cart before the horse. It is economic opportunity that lures people and businesses here, which then creates the jobs and tax base to fund those public projects. Anyone who says otherwise is playing a shell game with your money and our community’s economic future.

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