During a painful recession, gubernatorial candidates make too many promises about fixing our near-term problems and too few commitments about the investments needed for enduring economic prosperity. In truth, the governor of Massachusetts can do little to impact next year’s state unemployment rate, which is determined by great economic whirlwinds, but can do much to position the Commonwealth for longer-term success. Likewise, the governor lacks the market-beating insight needed to wisely subsidize particular firms and industries, but has the power to make the state more attractive to the entrepreneurs who generate economic growth. The best economic development strategy for the long term, therefore, is to cultivate smart people and get out of their way, and the next governor should maintain that mantra with laser-like focus.
Glaeser, Edward L. "Advice to the Governor: Think Smart." Commonwealth Magazine, October 19, 2010.