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September 24, 2011

News story provides abundant insights regarding economic development

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Written by: Bruce Snook

2011 has brought a good deal of attention to the subject of ‘economic development’ in St. Joseph County with much of the conversation focused on the so-called ‘Trine proposal.’  Although it did not materialize, the proposal did prompt much thought and discussion – and it’s encouraging to note that the topic is still being explored, but in less headline-grabbing ways.  And well it should be considering the challenges presented by the current state of the economy!

To add to the focus on ‘economic development,’ let me recommend a news story by John Eby, managing editor of the Dowagiac Daily News, an article in which he reports on a presentation by George Robertson, the economic development director in Kosciusko County, Indiana.  As noted in the cutline to a photo that accompanies John’s story, “His career has also taken him to Schenectady, N.Y., after it was ravaged by General Electric layoffs, and Louisiana after it was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.  He is South Dakota’s former development director.”

John’s article reported on Robertson’s recent address in Cassopolis, a presentation entitled “Earth Shift – New Directions and Paradigms of Economic Development.”  I found it to be a treasure trove of thought-provoking insights and observations about where we are and what we need to do to negotiate our way through an imposing landscape.  This quote from Robertson underscores the point:  “The reality of the new economy is that if you’re tired of change, get used to it because we continue to get faster in a global marketplace. On top of that, we have the worst economic recession of our lifetimes, which is a game-changer. We have some inklings of what’s different, but all I can tell is that it’s different and will never be the same again.”

To access the story, click on the following link and – after reading the piece – feel free to share any thoughts you may have on the subject by using the ‘Leave a Reply’ form you’ll find at the bottom of the page.  Here’s the link:  Small towns must get smarter

Bruce Snook
River Country Journal


  1. Pete Bennett

    A worthwhile read for persons concerned about education and/or economic development.

  2. Ernesto Green

    It was a well written article by Eby, but the problem is that Robertson is an old white guy stuck in the USA. There are several good and interesting points he makes, but I’m sorry to say that Robertson is still looking at the world like an old white guy. And when he quoted Ayn Rand……I felt sick to my stomach….

    For a better understanding of what we REALLY need to think and do, I suggest listening to or reading the following interview of Jeremy Rifkin by Diane Rehm from NPR:



    This country is so screwed up and beholdened to the dinosaur fossil fuel interests, that we can’t even SEE what’s going on, let alone accept it….. There is NOTHING that will bring our economy “back” as long as we are still using fossil fuels……NOTHING. But Rick Perry and Mitt Romney will make you BELIEVE otherwise….. All we need to do is cut taxes for rich people and corporate persons……what a lie.

    Sorry I’ve been “missing” all the fascinating stories and comments lately, but the website has become like circus peanuts….

    P.S. Bruce, just because you can have something on your website that scrolls doesn’t mean you should have something on your website that scrolls. It’s like Vegas ’round here….fluff.

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