Harvard professor Edward Glaeser has made a stir with his challenge of the region's economic development strategy. In a nutshell, he argues that instead of investing in buildings, the region should put its money into people.
He addressed about 300 people last Friday at WNED-TV. Here is a link to a video of his appearance, along with his Power Point presentation. Also, here is a link to the original piece he wrote for City Journal.
Among his observations about the futility of government policy here:
"Since the 1950s, the federal government has showered billions upon billions of dollars on Buffalo and other failing cities, seeking to revitalize them. The spending reflected a natural, humane impulse. But none of it worked, as Buffalo’s entrenched poverty and shrinking population testify."
"A sensible federal approach for upstate New York would invest in people-based policies that improve the economic futures of the children growing up there."
Given the track record of current economic development efforts in this region, the professor is worth listening to.