Jam or Marmite
Of course, the thing that we all want is to come out of the recession with a stronger economy. But not at any price. Perhaps the most important things we all want are threefold: 1. for all sections of the population to have the opportunity to contribute to recovery - breaking the generational cycles of low aspiration, health inequality and disadvantage. 2. Recovery of the economy to something that has a firmer basis than just borrowing and shopping and 3. A form of sustained economic growth that has an inbuilt reduction in carbon footprint instead of an inbuilt increase of it. As somebody said to me earlier this week - there go some flying pigs carrying the holy grail!
When it comes to economic development, jam is often used as a metaphor. The argument runs: you will only achieve anything tangible if you avoid spreading the jam too thinly. Presumably this means large, calorific, high GI, dollops of jam are good for economic regeneration. Like binges of sweet sugary foods the high is often followed by a depressive low. Oh dear, we seem to be back to the economy again!
Personally, I prefer Marmite. A small jar goes a long way because it is better spread thin and you get no short term, sugar induced, high. Perhaps there is a lesson here for economic development. Perhaps we can achieve what we want if we spread the investment more thinly. The future stars of the economy are amongst the home based businesses, the small growing firms in our myriad of small towns and in the businesses that are, and want to be, part of the organic growth of their area. And, the big additional plus, this is a small town and home based economy that has, as part of its intrinsic nature, a reduction in carbon footprint and a real commitment to the social progress of its local area.
I can see the flying pigs and, yes, they do seem to be carrying something.