Another Of CT’s Economic Problems

This is typical of state politics. It’s called, let’s keep the state from growing under any circumstances.

This is a classic case.  A small group of homeowners stopping needed infrastructure improvements regardless of the consequences to the rest of the state.  I know that many states have NIMBY problems, but Connecticut takes those problems to a whole new level. At this point it is virtually impossible to get vitally needed infrastructure improvements started, let alone completed. This has been a trend here in CT since the early 1980’s or so. Small groups of politically connected very vocal  citizens block a highway, pipeline, power plant, large store or other development or infrastructure improvement strictly on narrow self interest.  About 1/2 mile from me a quickly created “citizens group” was formed to “protect the Merritt Parkway” blocked a badly need interchange improvement.  It turned that this “conservation” group was the creation of a lawyer who owned a building next to the interchange who would have had cars passing a few feet closer to his building. Never mind the fact that the parkway was built in the 1930’s as a make work project and that the interchange desperately needs improvement if for no other reason than to prevent accidents.

This is not an untypical case.  The state is littered with highway stubs and empty lots that were businesses that, for whatever reason, never got off the ground.  All too frequently that reason was a “concerned” whatever looking out for their narrow self interest over the potential growth of the state.

In many ways the state is still stuck in the 1980’s economy without the 1980’s economics. Or for that matter the 1980’s tax base.  Some of this was masked by the Fairfield County Hedge fund and corporate headquarter boom from that time, but in my lifetime I’ve seen much of the old industries close and go away, leaving the state ever more dependent on fewer and fewer businesses for revenue. Meanwhile, the strong NIMBY attitudes on the Shoreline and the Gold Coast along with the compliant lawmakers in Hartford are happy with the way things are at the ongoing moment. with proper improvements like an income tax, of course

What’s happened over the last thirty years has been a slow and measured decline in the various high tech, high value companies that used to make Connecticut the treasure that it was.  These companies have not only been driven out by the high taxes. The creaky 1970’s highway system, the dead rail system, high energy costs and high space rental costs because no modern space has been added for twenty years all contribute to the problem.

The failure if Connecticut can be measured in the things we don’t have as much as the dead economy.  In previous economic bad times Connecticut was always one of the first to recover as the state created new jobs building the next round of innovative tools for the next generation of new technologies.  That’s seemingly gone now and that can only hurt the states prospects. Certainly our politicians don’t seem to realize what they are doing.

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