Press-Republican

Columns

June 10, 2012

Grasso takes the helm at TDC

There is an Achilles heel of capitalism. Its very strength is its weakness. The competitive model stresses the energies and inspirations of myriad economic agents, each trying to outsmart, outproduce and out-innovate others. They each glean the signals the market offers and develop strategies to earn their profits. They do so without coordination.

The alternative has not worked very well. All-knowing central authorities that fully understand what resources are at their command and what everybody wants have proved elusive. Even if the government could know these things, the lack of a profit motive often produces wastefulness, lack of initiative and a failure to produce at competitive prices. Most every government that once subscribed to a centrally planned economy has realized its folly.

This leaves us with the competitive model, with its strengths in innovation and in the pursuit of efficiency. However, its weakness is that, in the independent pursuit of profits by myriad capitalists, signals get crossed. One entity pursues a strategy, sometimes at the expense of, and at other times in ignorance of, the greater goals of others and of the economy as a whole.

The result is the occasional coordination failure. We have been experiencing one on a global scale for the past four years. At these times, we require someone to lead us away from our own worst economic enemy, ourselves.

While I have all but given up on the ability of our national and global leaders to come together, some local groups have proved more able. Agencies like the Chamber of Commerce and The Development Corporation (TDC) in Clinton County can facilitate economic coordination. Garry Douglas has shown great success in aligning disparate forces. I predict that the new president of TDC, Paul Grasso, can do the same as he begins his new job tomorrow.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time