California just developed an economic growth plan. According to Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (a proud Irish American), it is the first one that has ever existed. Remember, California has only been a state in the Union since 1849 so it hasn’t been around all that long, but 162 years is still considerable.
The Plan was immediately criticized, not for what it said, but for the fact that he was stating the obvious. The Plan is focused on the creation of jobs as the trigger to reinvigorate the economy. Some might say, WTF, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
Although the devil is in the execution, the plan offers 38 specific ideas including strategies to expand exports, reinvigorate manufacturing, promote innovation, accelerate the green economy, improve education of the workforce, rebuild the infrastructure, focus on regional strengths and consolidate the clutter of duplicative government agencies dealing incoherently with economic development.
A few specifics it calls for: reestablish overseas trade offices, rationalize the regulatory system and make it easier to navigate, reinstate a manufacturers’ sales tax credit for equipment purchases, expand career tech education and establish a single Cabinet-level office to deal with economic development.
As one reporter said, “Chalk one up for Newsom, It may not be new, but at least it exists. His head was exactly in the right place, focused on California’s most important issue: how we can compete with other states and nations in a sophisticated, cutthroat global economy.”
What’s desperately needed is a comprehensive strategy to create jobs across a broad spectrum of California’s economy.
There are lessons here for Ireland. Even a plan that states the obvious is better than no plan. There might be a plan put forward by any one of the groups vested with improving the economy in Ireland, I just haven’t seen it. If my guess is right, there are a lot of plans and not all that coordinated. I hope there is one.
A plan may state the obvious, but I do know one thing from my years in big organization change: Without a plan with dates and measures and thresholds and specific responsibilities, nothing changes.
And, someone’s job should be at stake based on whether or not the plan is implemented well.
If someone was really smart, he or she would get the California Plan, replace Ireland for California where it fits, and present it as if delivered by the Saints.
The full report can be found at the Office of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom