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18 August 2011

Nance: Missouri Main Street Convention, America Declining?

In the District

This past week I attended the” Missouri Main Street Connection Awards Ceremony” in Kansas City where two Excelsior Springs projects received awards. Jim and Ginger Nelson received the” Stick-Out-Your-Neck-Award” for their efforts with the buildings they have renovated on Broadway. Brent McElwee received an award for “Top Façade Rehabilitation under $10,000” for his work on the old Broadway Market which is now the “Broadway and Penn” building. Their work in Excelsior Springs is being recognized by others.

I met with Eric Busick and Brenda Smith on Thursday as the new Elms’ owners set up a Community Improvement District. I was asked to serve a two year term and be part of the District’s CID Board.

On Friday I went to the Metropolitan Re-entry Coalition for Transitional Jobs Summit in Kansas City. Six different groups including the Kansas City Crime Commission shared the need for temporary jobs for those transitioning from prison to the community.

The Missouri Department of Transportation has completed three bridges on Route C as part of the Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program. These new bridges replace structures more than 65-years-old.

To date, Ray County has received 18 new or improved bridges, leaving four remaining bridges to be replaced. The remaining structures are scheduled for this fall. Each bridge is located on Route 10; three just west of Hardin and the fourth located west of Richmond, and have been postponed until flooding is no longer a threat for the area. Route 10 will be the designated detour.

The Beach at Watkins Mill State Park is closed due to bacteria levels.

Downtown Excelsior Springs will be packed this Friday and Saturday with over 50 entries in the “Barbeque on the River” event.

America Declining?

We constantly hear that America is in decline. Ann Curty-Case, a local financial advisor recently gave me information I would like to share. She acquired it from an article in Oxford Club, August 4, 2011, written by Carl Delfield.

Here are a few bullet points.
  • America is still the leading manufacturer in the world with 22% of global manufacturing primarily in advanced, capital intense manufacturing. American manufacturing workers are eight times more productive that Chinese workers.
  • The American economy is still three times the size of China’s, even though its population is about one-fifth its size.
  • The market values of Exxon and Apple alone are greater than the market value of the entire Shanghai stock market. America’s multinationals are dominant, representing 47 of the world’s 100 largest companies by market value. Meanwhile, 15 of China’s 20 largest companies are owned and run by the Chinese state.
  • America is the world’s third-largest exporter (just a hair behind China and Germany) and its upside potential is enormous. Only two percent of America’s small and medium sized businesses export at all right now. About two-thirds of our trade deficit is due to Chinese and energy exports.
  • America remains the world’s agriculture king, accounting for 20% of the global trade. It has twice the arable land of China (25%) and our farms are the most productive in the world. By contrast, in India 60% of the people are in agriculture, but that sector accounts for only 15% of the GPD. About 40% of India’s crops spoil on the way to market due to poor infrastructure.
  • The United States has 28% of the world’s coal reserves and Louisiana alone has four times the proven natural gas reserves of China. The United States has twice the fresh water of China; while China’s annual carbon emissions are already twice that of America.
  • America is still the #1 destination of foreign direct investment. On the cumulative basis, it has four times that of the U.K. and six time that of China.

America, like every country, has its economic challenges, but it is hardly on its last leg.

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