Monday, March 10, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
Cutler points to North Carolina as an example of a state where people came together to hammer out and implement a plan, raising their per capita income from 71 percent to 93 percent of the national average over little more than a generation.
His plan would focus on these areas:
• Use Maine's attractiveness as a competitive advantage.
• Invest in the development of Maine's brand.
• Unlock the potential of Maine's natural resources, particularly in agriculture, to grow jobs.
• Promote more year-round and cultural tourism.
• Support the creative economy in arts, manufacturing and research.
I would push back a bit against the tendency of politicians and government to try to pick winning sectors of the future. Instead, we should be supporting the people who can grow companies that build or grow quality Maine products for sale to the world, in whatever industry sector or region of Maine they exist.
Overall, though, this plan is a big improvement over the majority of Maine's economic plans of the past, which regularly seem to urge us to do everything better without focusing on the drivers of the next economy.
It's a strong plan that will help raise the level of discussion in this upcoming campaign, and is available at www.cutlerformaine.com.
Alan Caron is president of Envision Maine, a nonprofit organization that promotes Maine's next economy, and a partner at the Caron & Egan Consulting Group. He can be contacted at: