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Chad Chancellor: Welcome to this week's episode of the Next Move Group We Are Jobs podcast. This is Chad Chancellor, co-founder of Next Move Group. Today, we're going to spotlight our new video newscast that we put out on YouTube. Last Sunday was our first episode and this is something we're going to try to do every two weeks. It’s going to kind of be the Sunday show of economic development. So, you have Meet The Press and now 60 Minutes. You’ll also have our Sunday show of economic development.
The entire newscast is focused on getting news to economic developers. So, every time we do one, we're going to tell you about jobs that are open across the country whether we're doing a search or not. That doesn't matter. We want you to know about jobs that we know that are available.
We're going to have industrial announcements that many of you have had that week or those two weeks to really focus on what's going on. So, if you have industrial announcements, you let us know and we'll be glad to fit you on our show. We’re going to have some information on current events that are going on and an opinion piece on what's going on. Over the last year, people have talked a lot about economic development whether it was the Amazon situation that they had as they were looking for their project. Now with coronavirus, you're hearing people talk about it. So, we're going to have an opinion piece as we do this as well.
We launched this last Sunday and Mark Manning was our first opinion piece. Mark is the economic developer in Murray, Kentucky and he did an opinion piece with us on the impact globalization has had on rural America and here we sit in a situation where we can't manufacture enough masks and ventilators for this illness and so Mark has got strong opinions about globalization; what it did to our country and what we ought to do when this crisis ends.
So, I thank Mark for being our first opinion guest on our video newscast. It’s been very popular. We've had over 400 people watch either the video that we put out of just his part or our entire newscast. So, it's been very popular. I had a lot of people text me about it.
So, in order to really make you all aware-- our podcast followers aware of the new newscast that we’re doing, we're going to replay that interview with Mark Manning here on our podcast and with that being said, we'll jump right in.
We've got Mark Manning with us now. Mark was one of our early podcast guests. He's actually been our most downloaded listened-to podcast. Mark, I don't know if you knew that or not.
Mark Manning: I did not.
Chad Chancellor: You have that honor. I’m not sure they get you very much, but Mark has been in Murray, Kentucky for almost 20 years. As far as I’m concerned, he's an expert in economic development, one of the people I respect the most and I know he's got some strong opinions on globalization and kind of what that has done to the rural country.
Now, you're hearing a lot of talk and pundits talk about it. So, I called Mark and said I want to get you on our new news show and get a real good economic developer's opinion of kind of how we got here, what do we do from now, and how do we get out of this. So, Mark, let me just start off with asking you what do you think of our current situation and what do you think economic developers should do?
Mark Manning: Well, Chad, I don't know about you, but since this started, I had been getting at least 100 helpful-- and I use that word sarcastically-- emails a day. Everybody wants to have a webinar about economic development and COVID-19 and so forth and so on and my personal opinion is that until we have a calmer situation and we have a firm idea as to what businesses can and cannot expect as help, then the best thing we can do is I’ve contacted all my manufacturers and I’ve told them I’m not going to barrage you with emails, but that if they have a specific question, we will do our very best to find them a specific answer.
Sometimes too much information is worse than not enough and I think we are firmly in that camp right now. So, we're going to be calm and we're going to expect disruption beyond COVID-19 and that disruption, of course, is going to be economic, it's going to be drastic, and like everything else, there's going to be winners and losers. We plan on being winners. We will pay attention to what's going on and try to take as much advantage of that as we can.
Chad Chancellor: Thank you, Mark. We're going to take a quick break for a message for our listeners and we'll be right back with a lot more with Mark Manning after this message.
Chad Chancellor: I want to thank LocationOne-- some folks know it as LOIS-- for sponsoring today's podcast. LocationOne has, in my opinion, the best buildings and sites database in the economic development industry. Now, the coronavirus is here and everything has been disrupted, I’ve been thinking a lot about it. If I were an economic developer still, what would I do during this time and I know without question I would transition to LOIS and get my buildings and sites as updated as I possibly could so that when we come out of this economic downturn, we're ready to go.
Let me tell you why I like LOIS. It is the most responsive mobile friendly buildings and sites database I have found. It’s easy to use. It's just as easy to use on an iPad or iPhone as it is a computer. I was browsing around last week on a state economic development building and site database and the thing it just wouldn't work. It wouldn't work properly. You had to be an engineer to figure it out. It was too much. It had this circle you could draw to look at buildings. The circle wouldn’t work when I backed out if I got what square footage I was looking for.
None of that happens with LOIS. This is the best buildings and sites database I have found. I’ve looked far and wide. It is the most easy to use from a site selection standpoint on any platform. I’m told it's just as easy to use for economic developers. It really walks you through inserting your information and putting it in so the prospects can use it. So, I really encourage you take a look at locationone.com. Use this time while we're down to update your buildings and sites. Transition them to LocationOne. You'll be really happy you did.
Chad Chancellor: Mark, you're one of the most respected economic developers and you've been around a long time studying policy. So, I want to talk about how we got here and I know you've been following this since the 1990s when you were landing a million square foot distribution centers in the Mississippi Delta which I still don't know how you did. I’m thinking of the one in Indianola, but I know you've got strong opinions on kind of how we got here and what happened to rural America. So, give us your take on how we got here.
Mark Manning: In the late '80s and early '90s I was working in the Mississippi Delta which is a place that I still dearly love. It’s unique and the people there are fabulous and it’s an economically challenged area as you well know.
Now, in the '80s, we were actually doing quite well recruiting industry. We had success with Dollar General distribution center in Indianola. Greenwood, Mississippi was doing really well with Viking Range and Milwaukee Tool. We had some success in Greenville, Cleveland, Clarksdale.
We were doing well. Then NAFTA came along and I’m going to tell you that the guy who was running for president-- I can't remember who it is right now-- who said it was going to be a giant sucking sound was absolutely right and from that day forward, our ability to recruit industry declined dramatically and the losses of industry to Mexico for cheap labor just expanded exponentially. It killed it and I think that was just the start. It might have been good for a few people, but it was not good for rural America and I will challenge anyone who’ll tell me that it was.
After that, I’m not sure it might have been Clinton, but it really doesn't matter. It’s not a Democrat-Republican issue. At some point around 1990 or shortly thereafter, we gave most favored nations status to China even though that status is not supposed to be granted to countries that have horrible human rights abuses or who cheat and who steal trade secrets, but a few people stood to make a whole lot money by outsourcing a dramatic portion of our manufacturing base to China.
So, we go along and I guess as long as you can walk into Walmart and buy something cheap, people won't pay that much attention as long as there is plenty of it there, but now, we're in a situation where the companies that are left here most of them buy components from China. A lot of finished goods that come here are from China and we find ourselves in a situation where 96% of our antibiotics come from China.
To be honest about it, they could put us away without firing a shot. It’s a bad situation. It's predictable. You and I have been saying for a long time that America has to be able to produce at least essential goods. My personal opinion, if you sell a significant portion of your product in the United States, I’m not going to say you have to make it all here, but you should have at least a percentage of that production should be in the market where the product is being sold. It’s a national security issue.
Chad Chancellor: Well, once all this is all behind us and goodness knows how long that will be, where do you really see us going, Mark?
Mark Manning: Well, I know where I wanted to go, but I look at the government response to the COVID and I’m certainly not trying to be another instant expert on immunology, but with some of the things I see coming out of Congress particularly with SBA and things like that, it's going to be so cumbersome, Chad, that by the time the help gets there, it will probably be too late.
Now, having said that, Congress needs to be held accountable and the President needs to be held accountable for ensuring that we have incentives as well as regulations about manufacturing things in the United States to a degree that during an international crisis we can be self-sustaining and if they don't do that, we've got problems. If they will go ahead and do what's right by the American people instead of a few shareholders, then we'll be fine.
Quite frankly, if they do that, people like you and I are going to be very busy and I say that not because there's any grandeur or anything in it for us, but our profession has been fighting tooth and nail to try to help rural America, small-town America. That's been my whole career. That's all I’ve ever cared about. I’ve never wanted to work in a big city, but rural America means everything to me and if Congress will do what’s right, we'll start seeing projects again and we won't have to be doing bad projects just to try and make something good happen. We'll be able to actually turn rural America around and bring back the values that made this country great in the first place.
Chad Chancellor: Well, Mark, thank you for spending a few minutes with us today. As I watch the news and there's been pundits saying a little bit of what you just said, I think back to you having said this for years.
Mark Manning: I've been saying this for a long time. Fortunately or unfortunately, not very many people listen to me.
Chad Chancellor: Well, I often feel our profession is under attack. When we got down to 3% unemployment you had nobody wanted to give incentives. You had Amazon doing what they did with their public bid and now we've got this coming along. I think we're going to become a little bit more important than we might have been over the last few years.
Mark Manning: Well, here's one thing I’d like to leave you with and I’ve said this before, but I want to say it every time I get an opportunity for people to hear it. The last people that feel the gain in a good economy are the first people that feel the pain when there's a problem. So, the people that are feeling the pain are why we are here. We're here not to make companies rich. We're here to try to provide opportunities for normal people to make a decent living, support their families, and have a good community and that's all that matters and I hope some people will pay attention to that and start doing right for a change.
Chad Chancellor: Well, Mark, thank you for spending a few minutes with us.
Chad Chancellor: If you want to join our movement, which is to create economic growth for small to mid-sized companies, communities, and non-profit organizations, please go to our website at thenextmovegroup.com. Browse around and you can see the different services we offer all designed to create that economic growth for the small to mid-sized companies, communities, and non-profit organizations. Most of our leads and growth has come from word of mouth referral. So, even if you don't need a service, we want you to know what we do so when friends and contacts of yours might need something, you know what we do and you can refer us. So, again, go to thenextmovegroup.com to learn more about the Next Move Group.