Promise Zones or Money Pits

By Zachary Alexander on

The last blog segment talks about the shortcomings of Promise Zones as a means of reducing income inequality. In this blog segment, you are asked to consider the all in costs of deploying Promise Zones. You are also asked to consider what’s left behind after the funding stops. Post-Globalists should be concerned about traditional government programs like Promise Zones because the benefits stop when the money stops.

Each individual community is allowed to determine how the money will be used. The challenge is determining the success of the programs based solely on the number of jobs created. A better determination would be what’s left over after the program reaches its conclusion. Will there be any innovation infrastructure developed that can be used by future generations or just a money pit were government disappeared.

A better option would be the development of strategic networks, which can produce industry clusters in a quarter of the time needed for them organically. Strategic Networks are community assets like roads and highways. They provide both sector specific funding unlike Promise Zones and strategic direction. Strategic Networks can also be dedicated to producing specific innovation infrastructure assets.

The alleged Governor Chris Christie scandal over the Sandy Relief Funding shows what happens when funding is not targeted. It shows what happens when large sums of money are block granted to states with no strings attached. The people who are in charge of the money tend to operate without any strategic intent. They make decisions solely on the basis of partisan politics.

Rent seeking was the most efficient way to get rich before the Great Recession. For those who are new to Post-Globalism, rent seeking is the process of getting the federal government to fund private sector development and then extort premium prices from a captive audience.  This means that post-globalists should view Promise Zones as a throwback to the bad times before the bottom fell out of the marketing in 2008.

Zachary Alexander