It takes courage to map out a strategy when critics don’t often offer many or any solutions.
Only recycle the list of excuses, negative factors on why this or that won’t work from past experience. Every day is a new one and vision to see the correct path to take means a state like Maine has lots of work to do. To make it business friendly. To adapt, evolve. To create the healthiest environment for more than just its wildlife. But creating jobs for its people that match today’s needs in society.
Examining the cards you hold in the game of life is the first step.
What pluses, face cards does Maine possess that other state’s do not. It’s hard working, dedicated people are the greatest asset, strength. An attitude of we can do it, have the right stuff is the foundation for anything else that follows. Believing in yourself is everything to keep from faltering, becoming apathetic or worse cynical, discouraged. Which is all counter productive to the lead, follow or get out of the way approach to fixing a problem. Adjusting to change in the way the state rolls means leadership. A shared vision of the direction to steer the ship. Unity, oneness, everyone in agreement and giving the heave ho of where Vacationland should go.
FACT: Certain markets are far away for a product produced in Maine. Transportation costs are high. The distance is great when you are up here in the right hand corner of the country like a thumb stuck up hitchhiking to Canada. So is the cost of heating production facilities added to the rest of the overhead any business is saddled with in a rural state that used to put most of its economic eggs in the woods, agricultural baskets. With a tinge, hint of tourism to round it all out. And that used to work until everything changed. With the shift from pretty much mostly local to markets to ones opening up from far away. For jobs for our people, for consumption of our products or services.
Lots of small adjustments, tinkering to make the big things start to happen.
To stem the tide heading the wrong way. For starters a business friendly environment and if you need to know what it takes just ask an existing Maine employer. Tackle the list they one by one recite that shout out the same complaints, obstacles. Where it hurts when they cough, try to do the heavy lifting.
Roll up your sleeves in the Maine legislature to remove restrictions, the wrinkles that harm doing business. Keeping the doors open, from being chained, locked, going dark. So people stay employed in Maine today. Business, making a profit is not the big bad wolf but the little red hen needed to steer Maine back on the path to prosperity. Not government tinkering with its fingers in the pie, pencil pushing.
Let me work, give me a job, a purpose to earn my keep is the best medicine, shot in the arm any Mainer could ask for, find. To reverse outward migration of our young people that need employment means investing in business. To stem the tide of just a graying segment of the population lining the streets of our small Maine towns. Sitting in lawn chairs. Waving the red, white and blue during 4th of July celebrations as the local band plays the stars and stripes music.
Reduce duplication of services, work hand in hand with a atmosphere of cooperation sought. When the independent spirit of a true Mainer resists that coming together collaboration. Has always survived pretty much self contained, to himself. The joining forces for the greater good of the Pine Tree state. Fighting, back biting, finger pointing are emotions that drain, set back the state’s momentum. Keep it parked, stalled and bleeding from self inflicted gunshot wounds. Seek, apply harmony as the salve to help the healing, reduce the swelling of big egos, to remove the purple bruises caused by frustration of just the way it is. With only ourselves to blame for ignoring the red flags waving, the missed cues that this was coming.
Fierce pride needs to fuel the fire so that each and every Mainer says “what’s the plan, what do I need to do daily” to help advance the state.
Knowing its takes time like a marathon. That there is a steep learning curve to change attitudes, opinions, faulty outdated thinking of what used to work that is antiquated. Not real world. And causing us to lose ground, get dragged in the tug of war to make ends meet.
We have more than enough to take the state over the top and maybe already are in many areas. But the tone, slant, all forms of media journalism of print, sight and sound are the shot of enthusiasm, the slow drip IV on a daily basis of what it is going to take to get us out of our own way. To spark excitement, to outline solutions not tear down and discourage the progress. To create the steam and rise above. Be positive, be involved, be supportive of anything that advances Maine, the state we cherish, protect, admire.