It is recognized by just about everyone except radicalized ideologues that economic progress in advanced countries must have (1) the support of private business, (2) an energetic, educated and skilled labor and (3) government support and nurturing. Conservatives of course only recognize the role of the private company. To them labor is the enemy and government is worse than being the enemy, it is what stands in the way of progress.
It is also well known and accepted that clusters of business investment, educated and trained labor force and government support primarily in the form of education and infrastructure are the basis for economic success in such places as
Silicon Valley, Seattle
and other places. Perhaps the best
example is the Research Triangle in North
There more than 40 years ago government partnered with business to
create one of the strongest economic regions in the world.
The Triangle part of the Research Triangle was three lines connected
Durham and Chapel Hill. At the edges were three great universities,
Duke, UNC and . The state of North Carolina
State North Carolina, working with those colleges
and others in the region developed the area inside that triangle as an
industrial park for business. Also
aiding the success was the fact that the airport that served those three cities
was located inside the Triangle. All in
all the Research Triangle is a monument to and a model of successful government support of
business and education.
A similar success has happened in South Carolina, with a great dose of irony.
But for a hopeful look into
America's future, just
visit the Greenville/Spartanburg corridor, a good example of the type of
manufacturing "hub" powering growth throughout the U.S.
Drive by the big BMW auto plant, the General Electric gas-turbine factory, Michelin's North American headquarters, and the scores of suppliers, chemical companies, and fabricators sprinkled along Interstate 85.
How has this happened in one of the poorer regions of the South? Part of the success is a non-union workforce and low taxes, but take a look at this diagram and notice the dominant presence of state educational institutions. Notice also Interstates 85 and 26 which connect the region to the east coast markets and ports. Major infrastructure/transportation projects, Greenville Spartanburg airport, a very easy to use regional facility located in the middle of the region, and Charlotte International airport are not shown, but both have been very important to the growth in that region.
The lesson, government has to have a role in economic growth and development. The irony,
South Carolina is
dominated by Conservative Republicans who don’t believe that. The reality, it’s there right in front of