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BBA Economic Digest

Whoever Saw a ... It was a common refrain during the Civil War among the infantry of both sides: "Whoever saw a dead cavalryman?" The meaning -- We (the foot soldiers) do the hard fighting and they (those fellows on horseback) don't. A few years back, I attended a conference in which the attending economic developers were polled as to their biggest beef with site consultants. The answer: Arrogance. Which leads to the question, "Whoever saw a humble consultant?" No doubt, over the years, I've probably put on airs at times and have "been above my raisin'," as my grandfather used to say. It's not becoming. But the older I get, the more I'm no longer afraid to say, "I don't know," when a questio

BBA Economic Digest

Ride for the Brand Economic developers could learn a thing or two from cowboys of the Old West who would "ride for the brand." Back then, the brand went beyond that of a ranch’s symbol permanently marked on cattle to show ownership. When a cowboy rode for the brand, it meant that he was a dedicated team player, absolutely committed to the ranch and his employer. “Son, a man’s brand is his own special mark that says this is mine, leave it alone. You hire out to a man, ride for his brand and protect it like it was your own,” wrote Red Steagall, in his 1993 book, "Ride for the Brand," a collection of poetry and songs embracing the cowboy culture. I'm old school in my belief that if you work for

BBA Economic Digest

An Essential Infrastructure It is no coincidence that states that have fallen furthest behind on broadband access also have some of the highest levels of poverty. Inequality and the lack of broadband access have become inherently intertwined. Without reliable high-speed internet access, it is difficult for people to apply for jobs and educational programs and escape poverty. Similarly, those on limited incomes struggle to afford broadband access even where it's available. Broadband has become a requirement for meaningful participation in society. It is essential infrastructure in our digital age. But about 3 in 10 low-income Americans do not have access. Economic developers and policymakers

BBA Economic Digest

Affordability Matters High housing costs have reached a breaking point in some big metro areas, thwarting talent locating there, according to a new report from LinkedIn's Economic Graph team. The report, based on a study of recent job-migration patterns in the 20 largest U.S. metro areas, found that migration is slowing to high-cost regions such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale. That in itself poses potential recruitment opportunities to economic developers in less-expensive communities. One obvious strategy: Go to those high-cost cities, especially the West Coast's biggest cities, where housing costs can top 40 percent of residents' income. You just might get

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