Business is not booming among our African-American community, according to our most recent quarterly statistical reminder: higher than normal black unemployment for a major city, and more of that employment in lower-paying jobs and industries than usual.
But the prescription is cloudy...
While it's good to celebrate our region's successes, it's time we started making more serious efforts to correct our weaknesses. We need to accelerate our economic and workforce development efforts, but we need to do it in a way that will benefit all of our region's citizens. (P-G, Harold D. Miller)
In what way is that? On his blog, Miller recommends lower business taxes; and more public investment in industrial development, infrastructure, education and public transit.
Yet how to accomplish those objectives, when so much of it is directly dependent on an economically conservative PA state government that fancies its own resources stretched to the bursting point? I suppose we could try to be as persuasive as possible that the state should simply cut lose with its budget, but maybe we need to increase our odds.
Making progress will take a lot of forward-thinking creativity on Pitsburgh's part: not just in pushing more publicly-assisted development projects down the pipeline (for we have been doing adequately, and should continue to do so) but leveraging opportunities in such a way that benefits trickle forth and multiply. Not to mention creatively working with our school district and making wise, knowing choices in regards to infrastructure investment.