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Thursday, November 05, 2009


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Great introductory post. Welcome to the world of blogging and best of luck in sparking a needed conversation.

Thanks for covening the community college initiative and for your support and encouragement. As I received notice of your blog I am in Berlin on a program funded by the German Govt called "Transatlantic Climate Bridge". We are spending a week with German entities talking about their climate goals and progress. Interesting.

This is exactly the issue that has been on my mind lately. I look forward to reading your posts.


I heard your very interesting presentation at Oakton the other day and it got me thinking. I was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa, went to college at Iowa State and never went back. The reason was that I never was offered a job in Iowa and the jobs I was offered were fulll of opportunity--a common story.

However, I've wondered about the culture of the Midwest. Does not our history of successful innovation and the golden years of agriculture combined with a strong tradition of conservatism create a sense of complacency and entitlement that is more risk averse than other parts of the country? When you begin to talk about economic developemnt, you need to include the availability of venture capital. Why are the East and West coast more able to attract venture capital? Why is Midwest "venture capital" largelu focused on mezzanine financing? Most likely it's a safer bet than start-ups which remain starved for support.

A regional approach, as you suggest, may be better equipped to deal with this issue than a city or state. If risk aversity is a cultural issue, then it needs to be addressed. This coversation has been going on my whole adult life and not much has changed.

Hi Dick - Thanks for starting this blog. Now that the issue has been identified, what are the growth issues.
Broadband - status and goals
Graduation rates and talent development
Educational transformation from industrial model to technology/life long model
The maximization of the bio-mass and protien component of the Midwest economy
Creating a Midwest, in a stronger US, in globalization.
Overcoming suburbs and rural areas as drags to urban progress, while becoming full partners wjith in growth (HUD-Commerce-USDA have to get together).
Focus on real economic analysis and thought rather than common observation and "feelings" in setting agendas and policy. (I.E. Pigovian carbon tax)

Thanks for being a thought leader on the Midwest, Dick. Look forward to working with you as we create a strong innovation and tech-led economy in the Cedar Valley of Iowa.

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