President Obama and his GOP rival Mitt Romney both talk about how many jobs they would create if elected in November, but neither is likely to create very many at all. Whoever wins the election will be in the position to create some government jobs, perhaps, but not many. The government is cutting back its job growth. Some agencies are constricting. You aren’t likely to see much in the way of federal job growth, if any, over the next couple of years.
The same goes for California politicians. They aren’t going to grow government because they are trying to make it smaller. Some would make it smaller than others would, but the state right now doesn’t have the money to expand government job growth.
Jobs generally become available on the local level. A business owner, or a professional practice or a farmer has some work that needs to be done, so someone will be hired to do it.
So, if you want new jobs, you have to have new or expanding businesses first.
The best thing any community, including Madera, can do is encourage new businesses to locate in that community.
That requires vision, a vision which creates a reason for farmers, or businesses or professional people to invest their time, talent and treasure in Madera instead of elsewhere.
A few years ago, the city wisely conducted a year-long planning process that resulted in Vision 2025, a long-range statement of what Madera should be like in 2025 — which now is only 13 years away.
Now, the city needs another visioning process — economic development visioning, to attract businesses which in turn could hire people.
This year we will be electing for the first time an atlarge mayor to lead the city for four years. It would be a good thing if that mayor could make it a principal goal of his or her first term to develop an Economic Vision for Madera to help the city increase opportunity over the long term for all its citizens through the creation of economic vitality and stability.
(Tomorrow: Some ideas for economic growth and stability.)