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Monday, Jun 5, 2023

The Wish List for an Encouraging New Year

After just editing our report in this issue on what to expect in 2007 in our local business world, there is reason to feel good about the new year. Economists say there will be steady growth as consumers still spend, interest rates stabilize and jobs get added. The last item is especially helpful since many of the jobs being added, sources tell us, are of the higher paying, higher skilled variety used in the information and technology industries which are strongly represented here in the greater Valley area. Something will probably be done about the state’s health care mess this year, but it makes me tired already knowing that business advocacy organizations and those of us who promote a healthy business climate will be dodging grenades and bullets in the form of wacky proposals that will try to put all the solutions to covering the uninsured on the backs of employers. Well, I guess it gives us something to write about. Seriously, hopefully 2007 will be good for all business interests and even better for everybody personally. I wish you all good health. There are a few good things that we have now that I hope we hold on to in the new year and there are a few things I hope we don’t see in 2007 or ever again. Call this my quick dual-purpose wish list. First the good stuff: – I hope that the higher-skilled jobs that have proliferated here in recent years (see Mark Madler’s report on page 1 of this issue) become a sustained growth trend that will lead to a continued refining and maturation of our economy. Translation: I hope we can continue to keep more of the good stuff (in this case, higher paying jobs) than we have in the past and not lose it to other places. – This brings me to a very important thing that I hope we continue to build on here, especially in the San Fernando Valley positive identity. The fact that we now get census information broken down for our area is a huge step in keeping the momentum going. We can now see on paper that the San Fernando Valley is a wonderful place to live and do business. And so are its immediate neighbors in our surrounding valleys. We’ve got a great climate, good wages, good services, an educated work force, high housing prices (oops, I should have left that one out) and hundreds and hundreds of other things that make our area attractive to businesses and other people just wanting to live here. We just need a massive marketing plan that puts all this stuff into action and gets the word out. (I’ll talk about this in future columns). And now for the bad stuff. I hope we get rid of: – There’s just one thing I really, really hope we can lose indifference. We let our politicians and bureaucrats do too much (or too little). We forget that many of these people in those offices lack vision. In the case of politicians, they sway to current political winds and often just want to hold on to their careers. The result is that they go with what is most popular. And often what is most popular at the current moment isn’t the best (take Paris Hilton for instance). As long as many of our lives are not disturbed by some law, policy, action that defies logic or reason we won’t question it or even attempt to educate ourselves more about it. Take a look at Greg Lippe’s column above this space and look at these ridiculous proposed bills that were intercepted last year that would have been just disastrous for business in some cases. If no one had questioned anything, they’d be law. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at jschaff@sfvbj.com .

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