Iowa's Off-base Economic Development

KHOI Local Talk reporter Greta Anderson interviews ISU economist David Swenson about Iowa's often off-base economic development strategies. We first look at a recent paper by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities in DC, showing how states' attempts to lure jobs from elsewhere are fundamentally flawed in their objectives, as only 3% of new jobs, on average, come from these often costly efforts. Dave also discusses how a shift toward attracting "investment"--rather than jobs per se--has exacerbated this situation. We discuss the Iowa Fertilizer plant in southeast Iowa, Principal Financial Group's taxpayer-subsidized renovation, and the state's recent $17 million giveaway to Dow-Dupont, and the myth that "creating jobs" in areas like construction, already employed at capacity, is the proper role of state government. The work of growing local jobs and incubating local businesses is messy, Swenson says, but this is where we should be putting our economic development efforts.

Listen Here Now Originally broadcast 02/22/2016
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