Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Game for Children

The Position Page (blog of the Orlando Sentinel’s editorial board) begs the question – are taxpayer incentives for business necessary to remain competitive as a community? Regardless of your point of view, it’s clear that incentives can be a zero sum game for the communities involved in the process. And I’m sure any community can point to resources squandered in an unfulfilled corporate presence. Still, just because the game isn’t fun, do we chose not to play? The whole issue speaks to the idea that we first have a responsibility to create an environment of entrepreneurship. Why try and recruit companies when it’s so much more effective on a cost basis – if not a time basis – to grow your own? Secondly, we have a responsibility to the companies that are already here. The support and business-friendly approach of government is key. But most importantly, we have a responsibility to ourselves. If this community is a dynamic, interesting, vibrant place to live, we will be in a much better negotiating position when it comes to the Chutes and Ladders game of incentive-driven economic development.

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