When I first started this blog, I received comments saying that Scranton was turning around because of new openings in retail. I immediately countered that retail jobs are not the basis of a sound economic foundation. The seasonality and low wage nature of retail jobs does not lend itself to being the sort vehicle to spur economic progress or change. Recently, news broke that Scranton faced increasing unemployment due to losses in the retail sector (here)
Touting retail jobs as progress is a deplorable and mistaken view of economics. In order to have real economic progress, there needs to be jobs that provide careers with growth opportunities. That would permit Scrantonians to have increased disposable income and be able plant roots in the city by starting families. Young people drive economics and young people go where the jobs are. Why aren’t their good jobs in Scranton? That’s simple:
- An unfriendly business climate due to high taxes and fees(here)
- An unsupportive and unresponsive local government(here)
- An entrench political machine that champions the nepotism and status quo(here)
Jobs come from innovation and invention. In order to have innovation, there needs to be room for experimentation and growth. The antiquated thinking champion by the Scranton government does not create the fertile ground to create growth or jobs. This is why businesses are constantly opening in major cities like Philly or NYC while businesses like Weis close up shop in Scranton. When government employees are making six figures but the median income is only 38k, you know you have a serious self-serving government in control.