[Re: Deschutes County's Economy (Guest Comm., 7-2)] The economic commentary seemed aimed at appeasing conservative skeptics of land use regulation. I support the basic arguments, but I would prefer a fuller discussion. The economic rationale leaves out social perspectives. Human capital matched with natural capital is indeed complementary-better than "jobs at any cost."
On a recent visit to Bend, one couldn't help but notice that retail consumption is still a marked strategy that is evident in the center of Deschutes County. The gleaming new Mill Shops of the Banana Republic variety are keeping pace with an expensive craftsman style housing market-not accessible to the retail service worker or post-grad student.
The educated can't always find satisfactory work, and we are still in a time of peak mobility - people move locations. Some young intelligent folks value the mountain air over staid office environments in drab cities, but so do the affluent comers. How real is this economy if recalibrated for the fortunes, benefits or excesses of the past 20+ years? How do we consume less 'stuff', have a better or more meaningful community experience and price our natural resources correctly? Is there a path here that closes the gaps in income, housing, or social equity, and conserves natural resources
An economic argument can make a neat time-capsule, but it isn't an explanation that I believe can be leveraged as self-explanatory. The discussion can go further and deeper than this.