Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Turkish Diaspora

A key feature of economic policy for developing countries is facilitating the mobility of its people. This perspective is a radical departure from the days of decrying brain drain and attempts to disrupt international migration patterns. Turkey is no exception, seeking to position itself as a major player in the emerging knowledge economy:

The government must play its own role well and get public policies right: The stabilization of macroeconomic conditions must continue, the legal and regulatory framework to encourage entrepreneurship and rapid growth of successful small businesses must be put in place and reform of the public sector itself must continue.

Taking advantage of the knowledge economy requires full participation in the international economy. Essential elements are an outward orientation that encourages an increasingly diversified range of high value exports, better efforts to attract foreign direct investment and stimulating international mobility of highly qualified people.

Such advice applies equally well to Pittsburgh, and any other Rust Belt community. A recent post at Pittsblog suggests an insular and inward-looking (omphaloskepsis) approach to any economic bad news. Like Turkey, Pittsburgh is having a hard time breaking with its nostalgic past, struggling with an identity crisis.

As I've often written, Pittsburgh must look beyond its region for guidance. Furthermore, it should promote the mobility of its citizens. The answer is not within the Good Ole Boys network currently running things, as the Border Guard Bob fiasco indicates.

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