Friday, November 21, 2008

The Athens Super-Regional

As I've noted before here, I'm all for regional planning and regional economic development, but this seems kinda much to me. It has some potential, but it's also pieced together be some tenuous logic.

For instance, Atlanta Regional Committee member Tad Leithead's suggestion that 'it would be far better for us to lose a deal to Charlotte than to lose it to Singapore or London' doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I mean, if a business decides to locate its operations in North Carolina rather than Georgia that is surely better for the former than the latter. I mean, using Leithead's logic, Athens-Clarke County shouldn't be concerned that Solvey opted to go elsewhere.

In fact, there are considerable reasons why locating in Charlotte rather than, say, Atlanta is better for the former and worse for the latter ... namely increased tax revenue, influx of population, increase in employment opportunities, immigration of trained personnel, potential for greater adult education opportunities, rise of complimentary businesses and industries, etc. and etc.

It makes sense to have neighboring communities work together to reap benefits, but such broad stretches of collaboration may look awesome on paper, but I don't know if they carry the same impact.


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