Sunday, April 19, 2015 08:37am
North Adams, MA now: 39 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
What will the Berkshires look like in 20 or 25 years?
By: Allen Jezouit, @BerkshireCountyBusiness On: 08:00AM / Tuesday August 10, 2010
Important
0
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0

I read with some interest an article on iBerkshires entitled Economic Expert Says Pittsfield Economy Weakened (Nicole Dupont, 8/2/2010). The picture presented by Charles Murray of the American Institute for Economic Research is not a pretty one.

“We look at wages and employment,” he said. “And we’ve concluded that the strongest areas have multiple primary industries such as farming, transportation and manufacturing. The weakest have smaller populations, an overdependence on a primary industry, or are overly reliant on consumptive industries such as tourism, construction, large local governments, services and retail trade.”

Later in the article, Ms. Dupont quoted an interesting comparison Mr. Murray made between the economies of Pittsfield and Fargo, ND. Evidently both cities were ranked similarly in 2004 with Pittsfield at #100 of the 366 metro areas studied and Fargo at #95. Since then, Pittsfield's economy has fallen to #245 while Fargo's has improved to #25. Mr. Murray attributed this substantial shift to Fargo focusing on primary industries (manufacturing, agriculture, and finance) while Pittsfield focused on consumptive industries (tourism, retail, and culture). Further, Mr. Murray suggested that our aging population locally is also a substantial drain on our economy. While not providing a comparison with Fargo on this factor, Mr. Murray pointed out that Pittsfield's aging population cashed over $400 million in Social Security checks in 2009.

So, where will Pittsfield and the rest of the Berkshires be in 2030 or 2035? Based on our recent past, the trend lines are not encouraging. Yet, on the one hand, Massachusetts was ranked a stunning #5 of the 50 states in "best places to do business" study by CNBC recently. And, on the other hand, for the "cost of doing business" portion of CNBC's evaluation, MA ranked #45 out of 50. Cost, of course, is a huge driving factor in any corporate investment decision. MA just isn't competitive for new investment by primary industries and we have no raw materials to exploit on the scale and scope required for massive investment. If we are going to reverse the trends, we need to address the fundamental cost of doing business issues that we have allowed to flourish here over time. (It was really easy to write that last sentence, but boy is it a mouthful!)

The 6th grade class at Williamstown Elementary School will have 45 kids in it this year, which is down from about 90 just 4 or 5 years ago. Half! Are other communities in Berkshire County seeing the same thing? Are we really on the right track here? We seem to know how to bring people to Berkshire County for a weekend in October, but we can't seem to figure out how to bring them here for a lifetime.



0 Comments
Tags: Berkshire County      
News Headlines
North Adams Little Leaguers to Appear on NESN Broadcast
State Secretary Ash Preps Berkshire Leaders For Baker's Economic Plans
Clark Art Unveils Super Bowl Prize
BFAIR Speaker Example in Overcoming Challenges
Business, Education, Political Officials Eye Growth Of Innovation Economy
Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 17-23
Pittsfield Food For Fines Program Ends April 18
Casting, Opening Dates Set for Shakespeare & Company’s 38th Season
Pittsfield Woman Tapped as New Executive Director at Snow Farm
Downing Named One of the 'Good Guys' by Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus


Categories:
Economy (11)
Finance (4)
Marketing (17)
Sales (4)
Archives:
Tags:
Books Chamber Of Commerce Unemployment Sales Small Business Marketing Entrepreneur Nobel Prize Berkshire Direct Budget Search Engine Optimization Berkshire County Seo Election Survey Seminar Security Public Safety Measure Education Advertising Financials Marketing Bigcommerce Ecommerce Cnbc Deficit Massachusetts Facebook Cash Flow Analysis Custom Business Solutions Economy Social Media Civil Liberties Web Security Williamstown
Popular Entries:
JC Penney and "black hat" SEO
Why does "Tea Party" have to equal "Right Wing" or "extremist"?
Easier and easier
Holy cow!
Nobel Prize in Economics Awarded for Theory on Why Unemployment Remains So High
Chamber Seminar: Email Marketing
What will the Berkshires look like in 20 or 25 years?
Is anyone else feeling this way?
Leadership
That didn't take long
Recent Entries:
Chamber Seminar: Email Marketing
That didn't take long
Holy cow!
JC Penney and "black hat" SEO
Easier and easier
Chamber Seminar on eCommerce
Gotta love 2011 so far!
Mass., NY could lose more seats in Congress
The 12 Days of Holiday Revenue Maximization for Your Online Store
5 New Online Services Perfect for Small Businesses


View All
STEM, Industry Forum
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and the Berkshire Chamber of...
BFAIR Annual Meeting 2015
BFAIR holds its annual breakfast meeting at the Williams...
3rd Thursday Events 2015
Director of Cultural Development Jen Glockner and Mayor...
Berkshire Chamber Nite @...
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce held a networking event...
Tennis: MM Girls @ PHS
Monument Mountain girls tennis team won 5-0 over Pittsfield...
Tennis: MM Boys @ PHS
Monument Mountain boys tennis team won 4-1 over Pittsfield...
IS183 Versace Tchotchke Gala
IS183 Art School of the Berkshires' annual over-the-top...
Tennis: MG @ Lenox
Cami Sachetti and Emily Czelusnick battled to a 7-5, 6-4...
St. Joseph High School Play
Students at St. Joseph High School are putting their own...
Wahconah Spring Musical '9 to...
Wahconah Regional High School students rehearse for the...
Pittsfield Eggstravaganza...
Youngsters scrambled for treats on Sunday morning at...
Girls Lacrosse: PHS vs MG
Spring has slightly sprung in Williamstown as the Mount...
Schantz Exhibit at Berkshire...
Attendees mingle at a reception Thursday for the opening of...
Freeman Center Sex Assault...
The Elizabeth Freeman Center held a rally to raise...
Tyer Announces for Mayor
Linda Tyer, Pittsfield city clerk, announced her candidacy...
Pittsfield Vietnam Memorial
A memorial service was held in Park Square for those killed...
STEM, Industry Forum
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and the Berkshire Chamber of...
BFAIR Annual Meeting 2015
BFAIR holds its annual breakfast meeting at the Williams...
3rd Thursday Events 2015
Director of Cultural Development Jen Glockner and Mayor...
Berkshire Chamber Nite @...
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce held a networking event...
Tennis: MM Girls @ PHS
Monument Mountain girls tennis team won 5-0 over Pittsfield...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved