Friday, July 13, 2012

Let's Play Serious Hardball!

Let's not kid ourselves -- we're in competition with other states and cities when it comes to getting corporations to come here.  If we're going to succeed, we have to play up our assets and minimize our limitations. 

So what do we have going for us?

1.  We have a good supply of workers  who have an excellent work ethic that are not constrained by union contracts.

2.  A willingness to make concessions to corporations for locating in Alabama.  Former Governor Bob Riley really showed the way on this.  His farsightedness is paying off with the automobile assembly plants near Vance and Montgomery.

3.  A reasonable transportation grid.  I know there's backwoodsy areas, but they're not going to be where this kind of development will take place.

4.  A good, accessible port city (Mobile).

5.  High tech presence in Huntsville.

6.  The Medical Center in Birmingham.

7.  Good major universities (Alabama and Auburn), and strong secondary ones like Jax State and UNA.

And what are our deficiencies?

1.  Frankly, the overblown history of racism and backwoods politicians.  When George Wallace was in his heyday, the politicians in the North ate that shit up:  he was shooting Alabama in the foot, and making us appear less desirable as a place to move to.

2.  Limited natural resources for extraction.

3.  Birmingham, with its high crime rate and it being bankrupt.

4.  Some of the clowns we send to the legislature in Montgomery.

What do we need to do?

1.  Attempt to develop Birmingham or Montgomery as an airline hub.

2.  Work on the highway corridor between Memphis and Huntsville, ultimately linking with I-59 near Chattanooga.

3.  Get rid of the residue of blue laws.

What is not where to go?

1.  Tourism.  Our one tourist asset is the Gulf Coast.  And we don't have as much of that as Florida.

2.  Play up the Civil War and Confederate flags.  Sorry, but it makes some people uncomfortable and unnecessarily divides us.  If we're going to win this thing, we better get this into our heads that, white or black we're in this together.  I'd rather the good stuff come here than elsewhere.


  1. I feel that way too. Too often we shot ourself in the foot.

  2. '..and cities..'

    Recently a Walmart left a city that had given it a TIF (that had run out) to move to another city two miles away for a new TIF.