Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

What We Think

January 23, 2014

Austin Scott brings pragmatic perspective

-- — It was refreshing Thursday to meet with a congressman so well grounded in his district, but Rep. Austin Scott seems to have an excellent grasp of issues and concerns affecting south Georgia.

A pragmatic businessman, Scott said that the backbone of any healthy economy is agriculture and manufacturing. Someone has to make something in order to stimulate growth.

And his comments regarding the lack of job growth in our region as his primary concern validates what The Times has been addressing this week in editorials — the lack of new job creation in recent years. Since The Times' Sunday editorial, the overwhelming response from the community has ranged from “It’s about time someone said it,” to “Please don’t stop talking about it.” The only negative feedback has been from those responsible for job creation and elected officials.

The two issues that Scott cited are inter-connected. When America moved away from encouraging manufacturing and agriculture in recent years to a concentration on the service and high-tech sectors, the number of jobs has fallen drastically and the economy has suffered. A story in the New York Times back in 2011 addressed this new economic fad as shortshighted and detrimental to the country.

The NYT article interviewed the president of MIT, who assembled a commission at the prestigious university to study the state of American manufacturing and its affect on the economy. The study found that 17 to 20 million new jobs would have to be created in the next decade just to recover from the recent downturn and meet growing needs.

The article points out that information companies create shareholder wealth but few jobs. Facebook and Google have fewer employees combined, worldwide, than the working population of Valdosta, while a manufacturer like General Motors has several hundred thousand employees. In 2011, MIT and others began working on ways to reinvent manufacturing in the U.S.

The Times has addressed the lack of local support for the agriculture and manufacturing sectors several times in recent years, and been harshly criticized for outdated thinking. Given the state of the local economy today, given the lack of new job growth, given the lack of new manufacturers and industry locating in Valdosta, it would appear that this lack of support has damaged our community and jeopardized its future.

The New York Times, the president of MIT, and a well-respected Congressman, among many, support the newspaper’s message. The concerns are valid. The local economy is suffering due to the lack of jobs and those who are responsible should be held accountable.

Text Only
What We Think
  • Feed the hungry, adopt a duck

    If you haven’t already adopted a duck, you have a little more than a week to do so.

    April 17, 2014

  • If I were mayor

    Each year, the City of Valdosta holds an essay contest, “If I Were Mayor,” with students in the area writing their ideas about what they would do as the head of the city.

    April 16, 2014

  • The real lessons of a mock drill

    Valdosta High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions held a powerful mock demonstration Monday morning on the school’s campus.

    April 14, 2014

  • Kudos to VPD

    Followed by a stellar report on Sunday about the drop in the crime rate in the City of Valdosta, city police officers prove their worth once again by arresting a dangerous fugitive in our community.

    April 13, 2014

  • It just plain stinks

    After every rain event, the pungent smell of sewage can be detected around the rivers and streams of south Georgia, and Florida residents brace for more to float their way.

    April 13, 2014

  • Pennsylvania school stabbings: Why?

    The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10:

    April 11, 2014

  • European bans on emails unlikely in America

    Several European countries are banning work emails to employees before and after normal working hours, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., in an effort to curb the perceived abuse of employees by corporations.

    April 11, 2014

  • Strength of character

    It was an unusual friendship — a tiny 8-year old girl with long blonde hair and the 6’10” Michigan State basketball player.

    April 10, 2014

  • Daly’s return a boost for Valdosta

    Flashy, colorful and always a hit with the fans for his long drives and humble demeanor, John Daly’s return to Kinderlou Forest and the South Georgia Classic is a boon for Valdosta.

    April 9, 2014

  • Too many pinwheels

    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, with numerous volunteers assisting the Child Advocacy Center in placing pinwheels on the lawn of the Valdosta City Hall. Each pinwheel represents one child that was a victim of abuse in 2013. Volunteers placed 887 pinwheels in remembrance.

    April 8, 2014

Top News

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results