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Los Angeles Business Environment - Hope for Integrity

Los Angeles sustainability - Recapturing the Dream: A Winning Strategy for the LA Region

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Earth global climate crisis Los Angeles sustainability is examined in "Recapturing the Dream: A Winning Strategy for the LA Region", a sobering look at our Southern California business environment. It's tough doing business here. But the silver lining is that when it's tough, people rise to the challenge and get tougher. And they get more innovative. That's where I see the green and sustainable business visionaries and entrepreneurs stepping up to the challenge.

By restoring the core productivity to business -- the strategy of putting healthy food on our families' and neighbors' tables, making reasonable housing and clothing available. And doing this with integrity, ingenuity and respect for one another and for our earthbound roots -- that's also the heart of the green movement.

When we can restore that green heart to the business community, the community will no longer scorn the business sector. They will again want their sons and daughters to work in business because it is honorable work and a way to care for their children's children.

This is my hope...because now more than ever, we need hope and a vision for getting there.

Carolyn Allen

One crucial reason for the economic problems afflicting greater Los Angeles lies in the increasingly ambivalent attitudes among local leadership about economic growth. In many instances, concerns about the environment or social justice are considered far more important that sustaining job growth and business creation. At present, there is an unprecedented disconnect between the priorities and perceptions motivating much of the public sector, media and intellectual elites and the business community.

As a result, much of the regional policy-making community no longer perceives the fundamental connection between fostering economic growth and enhancing the social well being of the citizenry. Los Angeles area leadership, especially the city of Los Angeles, is indifferent, if not hostile to business activity.

These attitudes have, in turn, generated adverse circumstances in such regulatory and policy areas as workers compensation, inclusionary zoning, and business litigiousness. Rather than encouraging the job growth necessary to elevate the social conditions of the poor and working class, regional leaders have focused on initiatives that reduce incentives for new employment and cause the economy to substantially under-perform.

This has all taken place within an environment increasingly dominated by the emergence of faster growing economies, both within the Western states, and, most portentously, in China and other emerging Asian countries. Increasingly these countries are challenging Southern California—and other advanced industrial regions—not only in lower wage jobs but also in higher end employment ranging from business services and technology to precision manufacturing and aerospace. Yet, despite these obstacles, surveys and focus groups indicate that there remains a core of entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles region still disposed to remain in the area. Climate, cultural attractions, pockets of skilled, specialized labor and the immigrant community's work ethic are all viewed as important economic assets.

Regional businesses, however, cannot be expected to thrive or expand in a community whose leadership remains fundamentally indifferent if not actively resistant to their endeavors. Los Angeles must reclaim its historic commitment to broad-based economic growth, and job creation as the single most effective way to lift people from poverty and achieve upward mobility. This in turn means rededicating Los Angeles to what remains the most important role of any great metropolis: creating and nurturing a middle class.

Leadership from the business sector is essential to help the larger community understand and support a vibrant economic base as the enabler of the quality of life we all seek. This is the key to a winning regional strategy.

Recapturing the Dream: A Winning Strategy for the LA Region
Joel Kotkin
Jack Kyser
David Friedman
Read the complete report at the Center of Economic Development

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| los angeles | business success | global economy | business |


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