Economic Development Questions

I received a letter with questions from the Northeastern Economic Developers Association. I don’t think they’re going to like my answers:

NEDA Questions

Q1. Given declining fiscal resources, how will you restructure the way that economic development is delivered? How do you propose to increase the role of the private sector in economic development?

Answer:

My principal focus as a candidate is cutting spending. By doing so, we will be able to lower taxes and that will encourage private sector economic development.

New York State’s budget includes $3 billion a year in spending on economic development. I will eliminate that spending.

This goes with other specific spending cuts I would make.

- Cap public sector pay at $100,000 a year
- Cap public sector pensions at $75,000 a year
- Eliminate specific agencies, such as NYSERDA, Office for Technology, and more
- Voter Say on Pay: Any increases in politician pay would require voter approval

These and other cuts are explained in detail at: http://wredlich.com/ny/issues/

Q2. Economic factors don’t recognize State borders. What are your ideas about and/or commitments to cross-border co-operation? How would you work regionally across State borders to pursue economic development opportunities and/or solve problems?

Answer:

This has not been a focus of my campaign at all. I would, of course, work with other States (and provinces like Quebec and Ontario) as appropriate on any issue.

I do support the use of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas drilling, and there may be opportunities to work with Pennsylvania on that issue.

Q3. “Mature industries never produce the next innovation because they are too attached to what they initially created.” Do you agree? If so, how will you apply this premise to encouraging investment in the next generation of growth industries? If not, how will you balance the need to preserve and possibly grow existing businesses with the need to participate in the growth of new business sectors?

Answer:

It is not the role of government to make such decisions. Government should not attempt to predict or influence which industry is the “next generation” nor should it attempt to preserve or grow specific businesses.

It is inherent in the nature of government that such choices will actually be made by politicians who favor the special interests that finance their campaigns or otherwise influence them.

The key to economic development in New York is reducing taxes, regulations and other burdens that deter private investment. Tort reform is another example of a way I would alleviate problems that impair growth.

Q4. What metrics/standards will you use to measure the effectiveness of economic development efforts?

Answer:

Government should not specifically measure “economic development efforts.” The private investors who create such development will monitor that on their own, and they’ll be happy if I stay out of their way (or cheer them from the sidelines).

I would look to the overall economic performance of our State. Cutting spending, cutting taxes, and reducing regulations and other burdens will spark outstanding growth. Perhaps the overall economic numbers would prove me wrong, but I’m optimistic about the private sector doing a well with minimal government interference.

Q5. How will you improve the State’s overall business climate?

Answer:

I would cut government spending dramatically, cut taxes, reduce regulations and other burdens. You can read more at: http://wredlich.com/ny/issues/

There is one other thing I would do that would spark economic development. I would look to privatize specific state assets, such as the MTA. The private sector would do a far better job of running transit than we see from the current public sector failure.

Along those lines, I would auction off right-of-way on interstate highways and other highways for private sector development of mass transit. Privately run transit functions well in Japan. Permissive zoning (or none) around stations would encourage development along the rails. In the long run, this would reduce costs both for business and for people in general, provide significant environmental benefits and ancillary benefits such as reducing drunk driving.