I Always Wondered about those Signs Myself

From a Wall Street Journal article on government austerity and economic development in the United Kingdom, making the point that efforts to rejuvenate regional economies have a mixed track record in the UK and elsewhere:

Stuart S. Rosenthal, an economics professor at Syracuse University, remembers driving through Virginia in 1997 and seeing a sign saying, “You are entering southwest Virginia’s high tech corner” [sic — the sign said “corridor].

“And all I could see was cows and farms,” he said. Recent employment data shows that aside from one pocket, little has changed.

Ouch!

Are those signs still up? If so, someone please take them down.


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7 responses to “I Always Wondered about those Signs Myself”

  1. Anyone who thinks the US is the spear tip of economic disaster ought to read this:

    "Where the Crisis Has Wreaked the Most Damage"

    " It has wrought a sort of economic reset, slowing down growth for years to come.

    Our reporters focused on the United States, but the longer-term scarring is actually far worse outside American borders, according to this paper recently published by the Brookings Institution."

    " They were interested in what expectations for growth were around the world before and after the financial crisis.

    For many countries, for example, the rate of growth in the medium-term outlook is significantly slower than the rate recorded in the period before the crisis hit:"

    there is a chart and a map worth taking a look at that clearly demonstrates that the problem is not a US-only problem much less an Obama-caused problem.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/where-the-crisis-has-wreaked-the-most-damage/

  2. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Jim,
    Good point! One of my favorites is in North Carolina, the Global TransPark, which has signs on I-95 in Eastern NC telling you are entering and leaving its "zone."

    The TransPark is at the airport of Kinston, N.C., a tiny tobacco and pork and turkey processing town. It used to be a small Army airfield and serves as a regional feeder airport. Years ago, some of the local "leaders" with an eye towards federal and state grants and tax breaks created the park as a free trade zone. In at least two decades, it has never lived up to what its promoters said it would.
    But the signs will likely be on I-95 forever.

    Peter Galuszka

  3. My facebook friend sent me a picture of a red stoplight.

    It had a sign next to it that said "This light never turns green"

    I like the one on the road that leads to the cemetary in Manassas.
    "Dead End"

  4. these "economic" zones I have found out are not popular with existing businesses ….

    they want to know where their incentives are….

  5. It's Friday. Three more banks lie in their coffins. Funeral expenses paid by the FDIC totaled a mere $503 million.

  6. The phrase of the day is:

    " Quantitative easing"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_easing

  7. Not your father's economic developer Avatar
    Not your father’s economic developer

    These signs are the sad last legacy of a failed regional planning effort from at least a decade ago (maybe 2?).

    Its nothing new though if you follow historical markers. This book: http://tinyurl.com/28bhqtc
    chronicles anachronisms and outright lies littering our roadsides.

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