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Economy up [sort of]. BERC out [please].

   An economic development theme to today's Buffalo News Opinion section editorials.

- Signs of recovery
    Consumer confidence is ticking up. The Christmas shopping season didn’t tank. A Commerce Department report released Tuesday showed factory orders posting surprising gains in November, largely Groundhogday from demand for steel and industrial machinery. Movie tickets have been selling briskly. And the Fed has rolled out a place for banks to let their money — when they have any — take a nice, safe rest rather than ignite inflation or underwrite the next investment bubble.
   Like the groundhogs of Feb. 2, it appears that economic actors from Ben Bernanke to Connie Consumer are poking out of their holes, blinking their eyes and greeting 2010 with what promises to be a self-fulfilling cautious optimism. If all involved, and that means all of us, can re-engage the economy without overheating it, that will be the fruits of a lesson painfully learned.

- Time for a change
   The Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corp., the city’s main economic development agency, simply isn’t producing enough to justify its annual $4.7 million cost. At a minimum, it needs to be overhauled, but we tend to agree with North Council Member Joseph Golombek Jr., who says the problems are too significant to be resolved in any way other than starting anew.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News



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