With unemployment numbers showing a very modest drop in unemployment warrant a discussion on what is really needed to help Albany recover not just from this recession, but the funk this town has found itself in since Firestone shut down almost three decades ago.
For my money, I believe that we need jobs that don’t just shuffle money around town, but instead brings it in from the outside. Jobs like manufacturing jobs fit the bill just fine. Unfortunately, those jobs are few and far between in this country anymore.
However, they’re not as rare as one might suspect. Cottage industries tend to thrive in the United States where lower volume makes import duties less tolerable since the costs can’t be spread over as many customers.
There is also a possibility that bears some exploring, and that’s refocusing efforts at job creation towards the creation of locally owned manufacturing concerns. Now, I say this as someone who’s not a fan of government subsidization of private industry, and I also say it as someone who has been doing some plotting towards opening a manufacturing business at some point in the future.
The disclosures out of the way, it’s a project that bears looking at. Locally owned manufacturing companies would bring in outside dollars that are the key to Albany’s recovery. This would help keep more of it here in town, which will help insure that the recovery would continue.
It’s not a sure thing; nothing in business really is. What it would do, though, is help perhaps jumpstart a few key industries that may help not only boost the economy but also help reshape Albany’s identity. Right now, we’re the town that’s been on almost every list you don’t want to be on. We need to change that, and there’s only a handful of ways to really make that shift on the national stage.
With some luck, there’s a shot at making things happen. It’s my most sincere hope that we can do it without spending taxpayer money on private concerns. However, if we’re going to spend it anyways, how about we at least do it where it will do the most good?
Written by Tom Knighton. Read his blog at laws-n-sausages.com. A lifelong political junkie, Tom started out his adult life as a journalism major at Darton College before leaving school to serve his nation as a U.S. Navy Corpsman. Through the years, he has watched government from outside and inside. A former Reagan supporter, then later a Democrat, Tom now finds himself quite comfortable as a card carrying Libertarian and currently serves as Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Southwest Georgia.