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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the month “January, 2019”

New Economic Development Group

www.stltoday.com/business/local/leaders-of-st-louis-business-groups-form-new-economic-development/article_2d76145e-377e-554c-ad34-da672377a750.html

I question whether we need this. There are too many economic development groups already with lots of high paid staff and little in the way of results. Many question the need for economic development organizations. Written by Paul Dribin

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Missouri Constitution Must be Amended to Unite St Louis City and County

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/why-change-the-missouri-constitution-to-unify-st-louis/article_9f9426a5-5b9d-527f-862d-1921b7eb7ac7.html

Lambert useage increases

www.stltoday.com/business/local/lambert-passenger-total-jumped-in-to-highest-level-in-years/article_d85e3588-2cec-57d5-bae7-3c4b333063dc.html

this is good news

Announcement if Better Together Plan

www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/metro-city-better-together-launches-a-two-year-effort-to/article_c2f6dca1-c450-5aba-b837-9802da767f88.html

more on this later

Good op ed about need for city and county to unify

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/it-is-time-to-unify-st-louis-city-and-county/article_a0430cdc-78a5-59bd-92c1-60b93fa066e9.html

Merger of Governments in St. Louis County

There has been quite a lot of talk recently about merging governments in the St. Louis region. There is a proposal led by Better Together to have a statewide vote on the issue, putting all the communities in St. Louis County into one government. This has fostered a statement by local government leaders to develop their own plan.

I believe the fragmented governmental structure of the region is so poisonous to our development that something needs to be done. I don’t know if one government is the answer but we need to eliminate all the small inefficient units of government. Written by Paul Dribin

Individual Responsibility

I have stolen this thought from David Brooks. He wrote a column some months ago in which he opined that progressives and conservatives both get it wrong with regard to poverty. Conservatives believe the entire responsibility for poverty rests with the individual. Progressives believe the responsibility totally is caused by societal injustice.

In reality the truth lies in the middle. There is no question that individuals from impoverished backgrounds are up against the eight ball from before they are born. The effects of racism and privilege are real. Nevertheless, individuals make poor choices that significantly harm their lives. It is not asking a lot to expect families to complete high school, avoid crime, and not get pregnant as teenagers. I fully understand that poor people have no margin for error when they make bad choices while wealthier people may sometimes get off the hook. Written by Paul Dribin

Economic Development Myths

I frequently hear claims made for some development project claiming that the project will create either some large number of jobs or billions of economic development dollars. New projects are all tied to this “great” initial project which in its’ own right may be of dubious value.

There are several obvious misconceptions with this thinking. First, it is very difficult to tie a dollar value to any given project beyond the initial expenditure. Metro is claiming billions of dollars due to Metrolink, a very dubious proposition. There are claims the trolley in Kansas City has created billions of dollars in investment. The main flaw in this thinking is that this secondary development would not have happened if not for the initial development. How do we know? It is safe to say that the Cortex project would have taken place with or without Metrolink.

In conclusion, we should be highly suspicious of economic development statistics. Written by Paul Dribin

Choteau Greenway is Moving Ahead

www.stltoday.com/business/local/chouteau-greenway-project-aims-to-knit-st-louis-neighborhoods-together/article_55fea4e6-6829-5c80-9168-313305b4e3bb.html

this is good news. I don’t see any downside to building this greenway. It will connect neighborhoods provide safe biking routes, get people to exercise and maybe create economic development. Written by Paul Dribin

This article talks around the vacancy issue

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/st-louis-has-a-plan-for-vacancy/article_039ec2ca-751d-5451-b039-f6f60baa239d.html

what is a chief resiliency officer?

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