Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Challenge

Here is a follow-up to my earlier post about Nathan Weller's "new vision" to turn Pullman into a center for center for high-tech industry by utilizing state programs and offering health care for everyone.

An article appeared two years ago in the Puget Sound Business Journal about Eastern Washington and the biotech industry. Theroretically, with the biotechnology emphasis at WSU, Pullman could be a new center for that industry in Washington. Here is a quote from that article:
[Associate Vice Provost for Research at WSU Ken] Spitzer says that unlike the UW's impact on Seattle's biotech industry, WSU will probably not create a similar transformation of Pullman into a top-tier biotech center any time soon.

"To be honest," he said. "the city of Pullman has not aggressively sought to attract the biotechnology industry. The university culture dominates this otherwise small college town. While Pullman is very attractive place to live, its location and small size present barriers for new companies. There is no large commercial airport; no resident venture capital, no ready source of entrepreneurial executives, and limited other business services. A company that locates here must find connections to the university and must employ staff who like living in a college town."
Notice that more government handouts and free medical insurance were not listed as issues holding us back. No, we need a bigger airport with more competition for fares and flights, more entrepreneurs like Ed Schweitzer, a conducive environment for private enterprise, and more services, inlcuding retail, to turn Pullman into a "Silicon Wheatfield." The politician that can deliver that is the politican that has my vote.

1 comment:

Joshua Coke said...

Well said, Tom. Our problems aren't going to be solved with universal county-wide healthcare. On the other side of the coin, however, it's quite easy to say that we need more Ed Schweitzers, but it is another thing entirely to actually have a community that welcomes them. As we've seen, this town can actually be rather hostile toward business provided it isn't coming in the form of one of the local boys making good, so to speak. Unfortunately, it isn't that often that we're going to be seeing local business owners amassing collections of jets that necessitate airport expansion. We need to provide a welcoming atmosphere that encourages investments in our community by those with the means to do so. That means welcoming ALL investors, not tapping into dwindling coffers in the hope of enticing individuals to stay with the carrot of socialized medicine.