IFO has known this for years, but it is important for city planners, small business people, local chambers of commerce, taxing authorities and others interested in economic growth to pay attention for once. This news story is a quick and dirty summary of the situation:
[This is] the story of how much the real estate disaster has turned certain areas in the country into ghost towns. Some of the affected regions are tourist destinations, but much of that traffic has disappeared as the recession has caused people to sell or desert vacation homes and delay trips for leisure. This makes these areas particularly desolate when tourists are not around.
We’ve pointed out in the past that tourism is not a productive activity, it consumes materials. Touring, vacationing, having a good time – these are rewards for having produced. Really imaginative people don’t need to have special places for these rewards.
Go to the Coast, go to the Mountains, go to the Desert, go to the Lakes, go to the City. These are all fabulous places to enjoy exercise and culture and geography. You can get downright spiritual in many of these places.
And those settlements will be there for you if they are allowed to engage in productive activities in or near their settlements. They need fishing, logging, farming, ranching, manufacturing, mining – that kind of thing.
The collapse of rural economies in Wisconsin and Minnesota stand out here. And the recent voter revolution in Wisconsin is much more understandable now.
But you already know that. The question is, what are you going to do about it?