by Charles A. Monagan
Oct 26, 2011
01:40 PM
On Connecticut

The Job of Making Jobs


Last night, Gov. Dannel Malloy was happy to announce that he has helped usher bipartisan cooperation for a new jobs bill in the state that many hope will bring about much-needed growth in employment. This on the heels of the announcement by NBC Sports that it will be moving its sports headquarters to a 32-acre campus in Stamford, which promises to bring 450 jobs with it. And both of these announcements come after the Jackson Lab deal (still being debated) and the other partnerships forged with "First Five" companies, including ESPN, CIGNA and TicketNetwork.

Of course, a lot of this seemingly inward flow of jobs is coming with a high cost: millions of dollars in state tax breaks and incentives. The old axiom, "You have to spend money to make money," is in play, right? Clearly, Gov. Malloy doesn't seem to be opposed to the concept, sort of like an unofficial stimulus package. And although the governor's dealings have generally been met with approval by his fellow Democrats, there are certainly those who strongly oppose going about trying to bring business to the state through such generous means, especially after having initiated the biggest tax increase in Connecticut history.

One thing that can't be said, however, is that the governor is sitting idly by while the state continues to struggle through the (end of the?) recession. Since taking office, Malloy has been a bit like Johnny Cash when pursuing jobs—he's been everywhere, man, from Ledyard and Stamford to Canton and New Haven, not to mention multiple trips to Washington, D.C. He may still be suffering low approval ratings, but unlike his predecessor, who seemingly was content to sit quietly in Hartford and become beloved for it, he's at least making an effort to deal with an issue (the state's poor economy) that seems to be at the forefront of everyone's concerns.

It does seem like a bit of a thankless task, however. If the road back to economic prosperity continues to be slow—which all indications suggest it will be for the foreseeable future—no one in our increasingly impatient populus will want to hear about the governor's "good effort," they'll only want to know why there haven't been better results. And if things go in the other direction, well, all the best intentions in the world won't matter.

The Job of Making Jobs

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