So you may be wondering what the country crooner George Jones has to do with development. Well, the possum may not have been talking about over zealous government, but a lot of his songs sure do fit the ticket. As Ronald Reagan said in his 1981 inaugural address, “government is the problem”. Here is the good news, well sort of; both parties at all levels of government have bloviated regarding their opinions and passed law after law that inhibits development and growth in our communities. So….let’s hear what George has to say about this predicament.
The minute an entrepreneur in this country has a spark of ingenuity and embarks on a project, the race is on. As the dreams of progress become mired by government requirement and intervention at all levels of government, “my tears are holding back” and “my hearts out of the running” as the hope of business is scratched from the race. As we think about business prosperity and where it’s been for the last 200 plus years, don’t you wonder Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes, “who’s gonna stand that tall”, who’s gonna rebuild the American dream with a constant flood of requirements being flung from all levels of government?
If you have had a project that had to go through the NEPA process lately, you might feel like you’re Still Doing Time. With all the money we have spent in this nation to rebuild our failing infrastructure, and there are places on I-25 that bounce you so hard you think that If Drinking Don’t Kill Me these potholes probably will. As American business hurries to kiss the Golden Ring and find the right combination of advocacy and influence to speed up the process, it makes us all just want to grab a bottle of Tennessee Whiskey and think about a world of days gone by where government stepped away from the table and let American business do what it does best; create prosperity. One thing we can all agree on in this country is that we are dis-satisfied with the current situation. According to Real Clear Politics, 64% of us are dissatisfied with the direction of the country and the Choices we have made as a nation. Unfortunately, now we are “living and dying” with the choices we’ve made.
Some of you are saying to yourself that while the national scene is a mess, we smugly think our state and local situation is lined out. Interestingly, no matter what state your live in, you tend to think the problems are worse somewhere else. Wyoming doesn’t crack the top half of rankings for business friendly states, hardly anything to crow about. Wyoming has become A Picture of Me Without You as our children and businesses flee to seek jobs and reasonable regulatory environments. We must do better if we want businesses, entrepreneurs, and workforce to feel about Wyoming: I Always Get Lucky With You. The state who has this all figured out is… well Her Name Is - you will just have to listen to the song to find the answer.
How about county and local development environments. We currently have a survey regarding local and county development and the results are a little perplexing. The survey is still open so you can weigh in on the topic. I just have to ask, Why Baby Why, you make me cry baby cry baby cry baby cry. Why can’t we just get out of our own way and let business flourish? A good rule a colleague promoted in his chamber was the 2fer rule. The principle was for every local regulation the chamber supported, 2 should be removed from the books.
If you think this article is depressing, it isn’t. Just like the character in He Stopped Loving Her Today, our business people love our community, our state, and our nation and they will stop loving her the day they die. We just need government to give business a chance to do what they do best: build prosperity, and subsequently this nation. We Don’t Need No Rocking Chair, quite the contrary, we need to accelerate the business pace in this nation. As your Chamber of Commerce, we are committed to fighting for businesses of all sizes and situations to help you achieve your aspirations, because your aspirations are the aspirations of America, and that my friends, can make this nation feel higher than White Lightn ever could.
Thanks for the lesson Possum!