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Albany situation not the worst, economist says

Aaron Johnson

Aaron Johnson

ALBANY, Ga. -- "Misery loves company" is a famous old saying. "Slow and steady wins the race" is another. According to Aaron Johnson, assistant professor of economics at Darton State College, both of them should help Albany residents feel better about their relative position in these trying economic times.

At a Dougherty County Rotary County meeting Tuesday, Johnson, who is also on the board of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, discussed Albany's current economic situation and the basics of what could to be done to improve it.

"When I think about economic development, I'm thinking about creating an environment conducive to job creation and investment," Johnson said. "In Albany, we face barriers such as poverty and low educational attainment, but those are the types of barriers you might find anywhere you go."

Johnson said to achieve success in Albany and Dougherty County the focus must be on our positive points, including a low cost of living, a wealth of natural resources, geography and public transportation.

"(The EDC) is changing (its) focus to be more collaborative," Johnson said. "It's going to take us as a community, but to be truly successful we need business and industry leaders who are intimately involved in the process to make our community more attractive to investors. We need effective city and county governance, and school administrators as well."

Johnson mentioned the annual Georgia Quail Hunt as an important way to attract industry to the area, calling it "our chance to show off, our chance to build up contacts and to increase future prospects."

According to Johnson, the manufacturing sector continues to represent the same percentage of the U.S. economy as it did 20 years ago -- but creating fewer jobs. In view of continually changing times and technology Albany must consider ways to take advantage of the changes, Johnson said.

A recent economic study of Brunswick, Valdosta and Dothan, Ala., showed the cities roughly equal when all the indicators were considered, Johnson said.

"We're not the worst," Johnson said, "and we're making progress. We're closing the gap. The key to economic recovery is making slow and steady progress."

On a national note, Johnson believes the nation to be "out of the woods" in regards to a possible "double-dip" recession, which was feared by some, he said. His view remains contingent on avoiding the upcoming "poison pill" legislation to cut government spending across the board -- legislation which could injure the Georgia economy.

Comments

bigbob 1 year, 7 months ago

No quality company is going to come to Albany with this school system. Don't you really think any good company would check out why MCLB wants to send their children to Worth & Lee County.

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VietVet1 1 year, 7 months ago

Growth is coming to Albany. The amount of babies produced for welfare funds is alive and well in Albany.

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ontario1966 1 year, 7 months ago

What down right lie! Albany stinks bad!

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ittybittyme 1 year, 7 months ago

Apparently, this guy has been in the koolaid.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

I agree with him it's not the worst........yet. Four more Years of His Royal Highness Barack Obama and a Democrat House and Senate..........THEN THAT WILL BE THE WORST.....EVER!!

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whattheheck 1 year, 7 months ago

"In Albany, we face barriers such as poverty and low educational attainment, but those are the types of barriers you might find anywhere you go."

While such barriers "might" exist in other places, the extent of the barrier here seems to be grossly understated. We seem to pride ourselves in being an "entitlement city" and search far and wide to gather poverty funds which in turn bring in poverty to suck them up. On the educational attainment scale, we need to go up a ways to reach low.

Quite likely the problem is too many years in academia where the real world always looks different to those who are paid to spout meaningless dribble to a captive audience who is paying to be dribbled to.

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