Springfield, Ohio: A Shrinking City Faces A Tough Economic Future

Springfield, Ohio: A Shrinking City Faces A Tough Economic Future

As it transitions away from manufacturing, the city relies more on service jobs, like in call centers or nursing homes. But they don’t pay well. So local officials are looking for something — anything — that gives the city an identity, a way to distinguish itself.

One of them, quite modestly, is geography. Some trucking distribution companies have come to Springfield because it’s convenient to two big interstates. And incomes did tick up last year. But that doesn’t get Springfield closer to the knowledge economy of tech or finance or design.

Via Uri Berliner/NPR.

A Piece Of The Past, A Price In The Present: Paying For The Erie Canal

A Piece Of The Past, A Price In The Present: Paying For The Erie Canal

Business is growing for the New York State Marine Highway Transportation Company, according to co-founder Rob Goldman. His crew has found steady work towing barges of stone and sometimes oversized cargo like fighter planes along an expanded Erie Canal, also known as the New York State Barge Canal, that was completed in 1918.

“Let’s face it: a barge can’t deliver to your front door. A truck can,” Goldman admits. “But if we work with the trucks and we work with the rail, we can each be as efficient as possible and use as little fuel as possible because we’re efficient.”

New York’s entire canal system, including the Erie Canal, had revenues of $1.5 million in 2014 against $55 million to operate and maintain itself.

From Hansi Lo Wang/NPR.

In Praise Of The Land Value Tax

 

In Praise Of The Land Value Tax

Jeff Spross‘ argument on a land value tax (LVT) as a means for local governments to raise additional revenues.

The cool thing about an LVT is it really reveals how an economy is really an ecology. Everything is interconnected, no man is an island, and no single act of productivity can truly be carved out from the cooperative whole. No one can create more land and no can make land itself intrinsically better, so when the value of land rises, that is literally an ecological phenomenon. In truth, a sizeable portion of the wealth our economy creates really does belong to no one and everyone at the same time.

[photo via Mike Mozart]