If you've lived in Maine for any length of time - especially if you've lived through a few campaign seasons - you've heard all the bad news. Taxes are too high. We're losing manufacturing jobs. Kids are leaving the state. Government spends too much. And chaotic growth is wrecking our rural character. Of course, there's some truth to all of that, but it's not the whole story. Now, a major new study published on October 5 by the Brookings Institution says Maine is poised for an era of dynamic growth-if we can pull ourselves together, make smart investments and stick with them over time.
Brookings says that Maine has two of three key ingredients for success, namely a strong brand name based on our quality of life and a long history of resourcefulness, quality and innovation. All we need, they say, is the third ingredient - the discipline to make some tough decisions
The new economy actually favors Maine
It turns out that in the new mobile economy - where people and companies can move anywhere - places like Maine, with an attractive quality of life, are going to be the winners. This is more significant than it sounds. It means Maine's age-old handicap - our remote location - is becoming less of a problem. It means the old divisive choice between "payroll or pickerel" is bygone rhetoric. Today, jobs and quality places go hand in hand. It will be even more so in the future. As Brookings likes to say, Maine has "good bones." That puts Maine in the driver's seat.