Cory Newton – Chief Economist at Newton Economics, Inc.
Remarks delivered to the Ulster County Legislature on December 17, 2014
“Good Evening, I’m Cory Newton from Wawarsing.
I find it necessary to explain the differences between what real economic development is, and the type of economic development advanced across New York State and in Ulster County.
Economists who specialize in economic development analyze changes in the standard of living, in low to medium income countries. Some of the economic development constraints in the 3rd world countries they analyze include:
low labor productivity, the inefficient use of labor, severe scarcity of general technology and education, a lack of natural resources, inadequate financial institutions, and inadequate capital infrastructure. Compounding these constraints are unstable governments, high rates of malnutrition, high rates of infant mortality, and low literacy rates.
I find it very insulting, that the term economic development has been high jacked by policymakers across New York and in Ulster County to be used as a catch phrase, in a failed attempt to centrally plan and legislate a comparative advantage in tourism, agriculture, recreational trails, casino gaming, light manufacturing, green technology, and 3-D printing.
If the aforementioned industries had actually obtained a comparative advantage in Ulster County, it would be unnecessary to prop up these industries; by implementing discriminatory policies that promote economic inequality and skew the entire market structure of Ulster County through the use of public-private-partnerships, industrial development agencies, technology incubators, and clusters of complementary businesses.
The first key component of economic development advanced across New York and Ulster County is an idealistic wish list of industries that must be propped up through intervention.
The second key component is the actual intervention that reallocates resources in a manner that focuses on the redistribution of the economic pie, instead of the growth of the economic pie.
The economic development regime advanced across New York and Ulster County has nothing to do with economic development and has even less to do with economic growth. Real economic development and economic growth are two entirely separate processes with distinct definitions that cannot be used interchangeably.
Economic growth is focused on increased productivity and increased output.
The four keys to economic growth are increases in capital stock, increases in resource availability, technological innovations, and improvements to the rules of the game.
The path toward economic growth begins by improving the rules of the game in Ulster County to specifically increase capital stock, resource availability, and technological innovations across the board, without picking and choosing which industries will receive preferential treatment.
I hope everybody has happy holidays and a great new year.”
Remarks on Wawarsing growth plan made at the Wawarsing Town Board meeting on December 18, 2014
“In light of Nevele Investors being denied a gaming license, I come here this evening to advance a bold plan for robust economic expansion in the Town of Wawarsing. Economic development has failed in Wawarsing and economic growth is the only way forward.
The four keys to economic growth are increases in capital stock, increases in resource availability, technological innovation, and improvements to the rules of the game.
The way forward in Wawarsing, is to improve the rules of the game to specifically increase capital stock, resource availability, and technological innovation right here in Wawarsing.
In order for this to be successful all the rules of the game in Wawarsing have to be put on the table. The zoning laws, the comprehensive plan, the building code, the Town Code and every other resolution and statute that governs economic activity in Wawarsing; should be reviewed, revised, and reformed, to improve the rules of the game to increase capital stock, increase resource availability, and increase technological innovation.
Earlier this year the Town Board unanimously improved the rules of the game in Wawarsing, to accommodate international casino gaming oligopolists under the banner of economic development.
The time has finally come for the rules of the game to be improved for the local households and firms of Wawarsing, under the banner of economic growth.
I suggest the Town Board commission an Economic Growth Task Force, composed of qualified volunteers, who are members of the community, to review the rules of the game and make recommendations for their improvement, in order to begin the economic growth process.
This holistic and organic approach to economic growth in Wawarsing is what is needed to break the cycle of economic malpractice, which is continued by focusing on economic development instead of economic growth. The economic development regimes of Ulster County and New York State have failed Wawarsing.
The time to act is now, this window of opportunity between the failure of the Nevele yesterday and completion of the revaluation in February is approximately 9 weeks. If a solid robust plan for economic growth and economic expansion is not in the production phase when the reval hits in February, 2015 is going to be a rough year in Wawarsing.
I predict that when the dust settles from the reval, the revaluation will end up being revenue negative instead of revenue neutral. In that case, the only way to bridge the budget gaps will be through robust economic expansion which cannot occur unless the rules of the game are specifically improved to increase capital stock, resource availability, and technological innovation in Wawarsing. I urge you to establish an economic growth task force, and I look forward to submitting my application.
I wish everyone a happy holidays and great new year.”