Asking the Right Questions

November 2, 2015

If you try to put social and cultural development ahead of economic development, it doesn’t work. You have to do it all together.
-Aga Khan IV

Although China has moved to a state-managed capitalist system, China’s communist party still maintains the practice of developing a five-year plan for its economy. This article points to 10 objectives of China’s economic plan for 2016-2020. While China’s objectives are broad, they are also strategic and not diluted with the issues of the week.

China’s economy is very different from ours, but it is instructive to study an economic competitor. It should cause us to ask important questions about how we maintain and increase growth in the U.S. economy:

  • How do we transform economic development? How do we transform our economic development system (federal, state, local) to adapt to a changing economy?
  • How do we adjust and enhance the structure of industry? How do we close the growing gap between Wall Street and small and mid-sized businesses? How do we reform policies that allow us to attract and retain companies that employ people and create a sustainable tax base?
  • How do we propel innovation-driven development? Where does the public sector intervene? What should it fund and where should it back off to allow for creative destruction and innovation?
  • How do we speed up the modernization of agriculture? How do we strengthen rural economies and ensure food security for our growing urban areas?
  • How do we reform institutions and policies to be catalysts for economic growth? How do we better prepare a globally competitive workforce and reverse the trajectory of poverty?
  • How do we promote coordinated development? How do we promote development in all parts of our country, and in all kinds of communities (urban, suburban, rural)?
  • How do we promote ecological civilization? How do we develop land, build infrastructure, and provide energy that will promote growth and protect the environment?
  • How do we enhance livelihoods? How do we induce growth in the middle class and develop industries that provide career opportunities?
  • How do we push for poverty relief? How do we change the way we that we have traditionally, and largely unsuccessfully, reduced poverty?

Finding the right answers sometimes starts with asking the right questions.

Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Congratulations to Atlanta Pacific Equipment Inc., Bell Incorporated, ComResource and Grote, who have announced plans to expand in the Columbus Region! These companies combined represent the addition of 350 jobs and over $31 million in capital investment.
  • Speakers have been announced for this year’s Economic Development 411. They’ll provide thoughtful insight about how marketing, technology and infrastructure impact communities.