By Any Means Necessary?

August 13, 2018

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
-Albert Einstein

Economic growth, labor participation and development indicators are strong. For many people and communities growth is as good as it has ever been, but we also know that not all is right. Too many of our citizens are still at risk, and the weight of our future obligations is growing exponentially. Sanctions and repudiations are flying around the global economic system like beers at a college party. Even the most optimistic economists see a horizon to this growth, and there are glimpses of massive socio-economic changes due to swift technological adaptations.

Visit most cities in the United States, and many abroad, and you will see cranes in the air and endless construction on the streets. Let us be forewarned, economic growth always comes with a cost and occasionally a reckoning. The payments are often made on the backs of those who have gained the least and worked the hardest.

We all know that economic development does not come easy. It involves planning, risk and a willingness to compete, along with private sector leadership and political will. The economy makes or breaks leaders of cities, states and countries. As with all things, balance is the key. The pursuit of economic gains has to be balanced with a community’s ability to keep pace with the infrastructure and adequate social services. Are we doomed to repeat this cycle of growth and economic pain over and over again, or can we find a way to pursue growth that is more sustainable?

It seems possible in today’s day and age to weigh economic and political gains, maintain a capitalist system, and deliver growth for all. However, the question remains: Will we fall prey to the ambitions and ideology of the leaders that seek growth at any cost? Or instead, will we rise to meet the needs of the overwhelming majority and leaders who seek economic development and the development of communities with great physical and mental health systems, transportation infrastructure, attainable housing, and the promise of a quality education?

Growth certainly comes at a cost, but as the experts are reporting, there are so many reasons to be positive. We are experiencing great growth and there is no crisis. We have more tools at our disposal than ever before. We have the data, the trends are predictable, we are more globally interdependent and, to be frank, we should be more motivated because we have more to lose than any generation before. This week, and the weeks ahead, let’s work to build diverse, durable economies, protect those who need protection, and seek the green shoots of development that extend and enhance the quality of life of those we serve.

-Kenny McDonald


One Columbus Update

  • This week, the One Columbus team is hosting companies considering the Columbus Region. Our team will also be attending the Consultant Connect NEXT in Chicago.
  • One Columbus is partnering with Columbus CEO magazine to publish a special section in the October issue. Advertising opportunities are available The deadline to reserve your space is approaching! Contact Susan Kendall at 614-410-0692 by August 18.
  • We look forward to seeing One Columbus investors at the One Columbus Investor Update and Summer Social on August 22. Click here for more information and to RSVP.
  • A fantastic lineup of speakers will be at the Retail Summit on August 23, sharing about the energy and diversity of the Region’s retail industry. RSVP today! Contact Jess Laughlin at