Friday, 8 November 2013

Telling thoughts about the failure of regeneration...


Almost all our local economic policies target business investment, and masquerade as job creation efforts. We abate taxes, apply TIF’s and woo businesses all over the state, but then the employees who receive middle class wages (say $18 an hour or more) choose the nicest place to live within a 40-mile radius. So, we bring a nice factory to Muncie, and the employees all commute from Noblesville.”

Change the places - Muncie to Middlesbrough, Noblesville toStokesley - and you get the gist. We throw incentives at an 'enterprise zone' in South East Leeds - where do the people who take the resulting high skill jobs live? It won't be Seacroft or Beeston but more likely Tadcaster, Mirfield or Denby Dale.

The model doesn't regenerate (although big business and big government rather like it) - here's some more:

In short, the blue (Democrat) and the red (Republican) model produced some success, albeit in different modes (think San Francisco vs. Houston, Chicago vs. Indianapolis), for the “haves” side of the equation but haven’t yet proven equal to the “have nots.” The Economist makes it clear the totaly different policy configurations of the UK haven’t made a dent in it either. Post-industrial blight in much of Europe tells a similar tale. 

The beneficiaries of regeneration - three decades and more of investment - haven't been the poor and deprived. Despite this we carry on with the same approaches and the same strategies.


1 comment:

Yanto said...

And if you do insist on a percentage of local people being employed as was done with Aston Pride, they move out when they have stable jobs and stable incomes to better areas.

As you say, what we have been doing doesn't really work. Time to stop wasting money doing it and look at other strategies.