Privatized economic development still controversial

October 11, 2010
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The old debate in Indiana over whether economic development can be accomplished better outside of state government is spreading to other states. But the there’s no more agreement than ever.

Indiana replaced the Department of Commerce with the privatized Indiana Economic Development Corp. in 2005. At the time, newly elected Gov. Mitch Daniels said private operation, including board members appointed from the private sector, would help the agency move faster to attract jobs.

Ohio and Iowa are the latest states to consider the idea, as Republican candidates for governor in those states call for abandoning their state-run agencies.

“No more bureaucrats, no more bungling, no more tripping over one another,” said U.S. Rep. John Kasich, who has been supported by Daniels in his run for governor of Ohio.

Indiana’s IEDC collected mixed reviews in an Associated Press story about the trend. House Speaker Pat Bauer, a Democrat, was noted for his call to reform IEDC following reports of job commitments that didn’t materialize. John Krauss, who directs the Indiana University Public Policy Institute and was a deputy mayor under former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut, a Republican, opined that private operation allows for attracting private donations in an era of angry taxpayers.

Scandals aren’t unique to either public or private agencies. In Iowa, allegations of fraud, abuse and sloppy bookkeeping cost the jobs of five workers in the state’s film promotion office; Florida’s privatized organization doled out millions of dollars in incentives to companies that joined the group’s board.

In your mind, what works best—public or private? Any thoughts on how you like IEDC now that it’s been in operation for awhile?

 

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  • Privatized Economic Development
    Either model works, i.e. public or private, as long as everyone is on the same page with regard to long-term strategic plan. Injecting politics into economic development never works.
    • What Say You?
      Huh? Public policies create the environment for businesses to succeed or fail while providing the quality of life services to the public. Maybe you can revise and extend your remarks?

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    1. Now if he'd just stay there...

    2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

    3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

    4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

    5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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