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Economic Strength

I’m no economist, but I can’t help but think that small disinvested towns across the US would do better being less consumers and more micro-producers. Big retail like Walmart sucks close to 90% of every dollar spent out of the town, right? Local micro-production where products never touch the international supply chain can be quite profitable compared to those on the bottom rungs of global supply chains. And for most industries those chains no longer even touch US shores. I wonder how many communities that have sunk so far into opioids would be much different if we saw ourselves as something other than employees and consumers? As dependent on global corporations that are abandoning us now? Could tiny things like the #SingleCrewWorkplace, the #FoodCart, and the #PortableShop help turn us around? Is our worst addiction not opioids but the #AddictionToBig? Big employers to big retail leave us powerless. Small opportunities bring hope. #ICanDoThat

I’m no industrialist nor am I a politician but I’m wondering: what if cities drove industry rather then industrialists driving industry? There will always be places where labor is cheaper than in the US, so the right decision for an industrialist is always to offshore the jobs. If cities chose to drive industry rather than chase industry, things could look very different. Industrialists know their industry, but cities know the region. An industrialist driving industry looks for scale; a city driving industry looks for opportunities for its citizens. A city driving industry first looks for products needed in the region. Next it tries to find ways to lower the threshold for its citizens to go in business making those products, and regulates them only as much as is absolutely necessary for their scale. Industrialists driving industry love the largest scale and hope to achieve it quickly. Cities driving industry love the smallest possible starting scale for their citizens and are patient with them scaling up, if ever. Some will want to remain at the craft scale forever. Don’t confuse #CitiesDrivingIndustry with cities owning industry; this is not communism. Rather it is cities doing the right thing for their citizens, rather than chasing industry and then sitting helplessly when it moves away in a few years. A craft-scale business selling regional-scale product is arguably the safest business to be in because big industry & big retail find it difficult to compete in markets that small. #CitiesDrivingIndustry should focus here.

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