Monday, August 29, 2005

Editorializing at the Speed of Light

August 24th: Mullinix Packages, Raytheon and Centennial Wireless announce plans to bring about 190 new jobs to Fort Wayne in separate expansions.

August 29th
: The News-Sentinel editorial board reaches an "informed position" on the expansion:
It would be premature to say that this area has recovered. In fact, it always ought to be premature to say that we’ve recovered enough to relax efforts to develop economic opportunities. But these are significant advances for northeast Indiana and its workers.
I know what you're thinking: thank goodness they took the time to think on this, lest we be blest with such profundity.

The Journal Gazette, it should be noted, was much quicker on the draw, revealing its opinion on August 28th.
A manufacturer, a defense contractor and a cell phone company last week demonstrated their belief that Fort Wayne is a good place to do business. All announced investments to their local facilities and plans to add jobs, growth that is symbolically representative of the city’s hopes for economic development.

Manufacturing may never dominate the local economy as it did in its post-war heyday, but it continues to play a significant role. The key part of Mullinix Packages’ plans is not so much the new jobs but the fact that the investment includes $12 million for new, state-of-the-art equipment, vital for manufacturers to compete.

The announcements serve as a reminder that the city still has much of what it takes for economic development.
Hey Pollyanna, here's an opinion for you: when some local companies announce that they are hiring a grand total of 190 new workers, and this qualifies as front-page, above-the-fold news AND merits a visit from the governor, that's a pretty clear sign that we're awfully desperate to promote any economic news that's positive.

Which would imply that we're in pretty bad shape.

(Time spent reaching an informed position: five minutes.)

UPDATE: Bob the Blogger points to some information which I was not aware of and which tempers my righteous indignation in a big way:
One point that you may want to be aware of... the governor did not come to FW to announce the job creation. He was in town to "guest teach" classes at IPFW. Raytheon had planned to do the announcement and when they found out the governor was in town, roped him in to coming over after class. Then the FW Economic Development folks convinced Raytheon to make the other announcements part of the event.

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