Pittman Misunderstands Economic Development
Pittman's answer is "Government is the solution" when we've seen how the opposite is true,
In an op-ed yesterday for The Capital, Wealthy Horseman Steuart Pittman pretended that he was interested in economic development. Here is what I took as the key takeaway from his column:
So set politics aside. Look at where we stand through the eyes of a business person, a social scientist, an economist, or a county executive. Economic development today in our region and county is workforce development. It’s community college. It’s high school, middle school, and elementary school. It’s kindergarten readiness. It’s quality, affordable child care, public transportation, affordable housing, and health care. It’s performance-tested prison re-entry programs, addiction prevention and treatment, and mental health services. And it’s training.
It’s very hard to take this seriously given Pittman’s record as Anne Arundel County Executive. His record indicates somebody who doesn’t take economic development seriously, and this definition of economic development confirms that. As does his proposed solution to the problem:
As we recognize Economic Development Week, I hope we can look with enthusiasm at the opportunities that this moment offers: higher wages for our most vulnerable residents, a consensus that government can and should play a role in delivering a job-ready and healthy workforce, and a recognition that we are all in this together.
That is a very interesting solution here that Pittman proposes insofar as he shows that he has learned no lessons from the first three years of this administration. He clearly didn’t get a copy of “Basic Economics” for Christmas.
Just look at Pittman’s record in the first three years:
Tax increases on all Anne Arundel County residents, including job creators and workers alike;
Fee increases across the board, predominantly targeted at businesses and job creators;
Excessive restrictions on businesses compared to our surrounding counties and according to state guidelines, particularly like he did at Christmas last year before the Courts shut that down.
His continuing efforts to raise taxes on middle class taxpayers and job creators through higher tax brackets.
Steuart Pittman likes to pretend that government has : role in delivering job-ready and healthy workforce.” But it’s hard to imagine that he is paying particular attention to that since he wants to make Anne Arundel County a place that’s too expensive to live in the first place. It’s hard to develop a ready-to-go workforce when the workforce can’t afford to live here anymore.
Even his commitment to education and health is questionable given comments like this from Pittman and his administration:
Anne Arundel County established the Office of Health Equity and Racial Justice in April 2020 with the mission to address racism as a public health issue and implement health equity and racial justice initiatives in the county.
“In 2019, we made the commitment to address racism as a public health issue,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman.
That’s not showing Pittman’s commitment to “delivering a job-ready and healthy workforce,” it shows instead Pittman’s commitment to politics and to dividing our county instead of uniting it.
If Pittman were truly serious about economic development, he would work toward lowering taxes, reducing the red tape that businesses have to put up with, and in making meaningful changes to improve our public schools. Instead, he is proposing even higher taxes, even more red tape, and protecting the status quo of our schools.
The best economic plan for Anne Arundel County is not what Steuart Pittman proposes, it’s replacing Steuart Pittman.