• Rebooting Your Community After COVID-19
    April 21, 2020   Blog Posts   No Comment

    I’m currently offering a workshop on how to help revive your community’s economy as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, through a specific, comprehensive local investment strategy.  You can find details for planning a virtual or live (should that option become feasible) workshop on my Speaking page. Feel free to reach out to AudreyDumentat@gmail.com for more details. 

  • Three Ways to Leave Wall Street
    April 16, 2020   Blog Posts   No Comment

    Wall Street is no longer a roller coaster, it’s a runaway train heading over a cliff. How are you feeling about losing at least a fifth of your retirement savings? Or thousands you diligently tucked away for your kids’ education?  Your investment adviser is no doubt telling you to stay the course, think long term, ignore the fluctuations, remember the market always comes roaring back.  But things could also get Read more

  • A Dozen Asks for Your Governor
    April 7, 2020   Blog Posts   11 Comments

    Everyone knows that the three, multi-trillion-dollar stimulus bills passed by Congress fall way short.  For most local businesses—the lifeblood of our economy—these bills offer too little relief, too late.  I’m hopeful though that the states (and maybe, in some places, counties and cities) can rise to the challenge of saving these businesses.  Now is the time for your governor and state legislators to think big. I’ve consequently prepared this long Read more

  • Comparative Resilience: 8 Principles for Post-COVID Reconstruction
    April 2, 2020   Blog Posts   8 Comments

    This past weekend, a bright Georgetown undergraduate asked me how I squared my passion for localization with the theory of comparative advantage.  For economics newbies, he was referring to David Ricardo’s argument that every community should find one product to specialize in and trade for everything else.  I gave my usual response that the theory is great—except for the thousands of goods and services that are cheaper to produce locally—but Read more

  • 12 Reasons the Glass is 1% Full
    March 27, 2020   Blog Posts   9 Comments

    Let’s stipulate upfront that there’s nothing to celebrate about a pandemic.  The damage COVID-19 is wreaking—in terms of deaths, sickness, business closures, unemployment, and misery—is incalculable.  But this crisis is changing the world in subtle ways that may ultimately improve our lives.  So…in the spirit of Winston Churchill, who once implored not to let a good crisis go to waste, here are the positives I’m observing. (1) Resilience – Never Read more

  • Why Local Economies Matter
    January 27, 2019   Blog Posts   No Comment

    I recently was hired by Utopies, a French think tank, to help MCB, the largest bank in Mauritius, rethink its approach to economic development.  The following is from an interview I did with MC, which summarizes the case for local economists.  (Another interview I did with them, on what MCB and other banks can and should be doing to support localization, will be posted shortly.)   MCB:  You’re a well-known Read more

  • A Truly “Business Friendly” Leader
    October 22, 2018   Uncategorized   No Comment

    Where I live, in Montgomery County, Maryland, this is a critical election, because we finally have an opportunity to elect a leader, Marc Elrich, who really understands the meaning of economic development. His principal opponent, Nancy Floreen, is justifying her quixotic, independent bid to become County Executive with the claim that she is the only “business friendly” candidate. As someone who has spent his 25 years working on economic development Read more

  • A Tax Revolt Against Corporate Subsidies
    June 10, 2018   Uncategorized   8 Comments

    Many thanks to the WASHINGTON POST for publishing on June 7th my latest take on the Takoma Junction Redevelopment Project. I argued that Takoma Park is now the proverbial canary in the coal mine. The era of communities giving huge subsidies to developers may be ending, and progressive revulsion at the practice may turn out to be as powerful as the conservative tax revolt ushered in by Proposition 13 in Read more

  • More on Takoma Junction
    April 16, 2018   Uncategorized   32 Comments

    The analysis I summarized in the previous blog post generated numerous responses from the public, the City, and the developer.  One central theme of the responses has been skepticism over my contention that the City is subsidizing the developer, NDC. What follows are my further comments on the debate for the Takoma Park City Council:   Is Takoma Park Subsidizing NDC? My preliminary answer was “yes.”  Compared to the lease Read more

  • Rethinking The Takoma Junction Redevelopment Plan
    March 20, 2018   Blog Posts   4 Comments

    A basic mantra of progressive economic development should be to deploy public land for public purposes.  This has become clear to me as I’ve watched the nearby City of Takoma Park, Maryland, struggle to move ahead on a controversial development project on a 1.4 acre site called Takoma Junction.  The site is largely undeveloped except that the neighboring Co-op grocery store leases part of it for parking and deliveries. In many ways, this Read more