The Plan Without a Plan
Greater St. Louis, Inc. recently came out with a draft of its STL 2030 Jobs Plan, which is described as a plan “to create a significant number of quality jobs for the entire St. Louis metropolitan area.” But for a 93-page document, it really doesn’t say much. While there’s plenty of buzz words and mentions of “inclusive growth,” the plans discussed are very light on details, and there’s little explanation for how these plans will actually achieve the stated goals of Greater St. Louis, Inc. Additionally, no measurable metrics are identified that tell us how success will be measured. Just as important, it’s unclear how these things will be funded.
If the numerous initiatives introduced in this plan are privately funded, great! Individuals and businesses are free to invest in these initiatives if they deem them worthwhile investments. However, if this plan calls for public dollars, taxpayers should be wary. What is the plan for funding initiatives like the Brickline Greenway or lofty goals like an “entrepreneurial surge?” There is some mention of “public capital” and “sizable investments” in various organizations, but taxpayers ought to have a clearer explanation, especially if their tax dollars will be diverted to these projects.
Spending taxpayer dollars on vague endeavors is not the solution to St. Louis’s woes. The creators of this plan claim it will help St. Louis’s economy, yet there is no mention of things that research shows have positive effects on a city’s economy, like lowering taxes or lessening regulations. Recent population estimates show a decline in both St. Louis City and County, continuing a trend that’s been going on for years. St. Louis needs real policy reforms to pull the city out of its slump and the STL 2030 Jobs Plan simply doesn’t deliver that.