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From 83 Degrees Magazine - Tampa Bay's new media sensation covering the talent, innovation, diversity and economic development of Tampa Bay from 83 Degrees in Tampa Bay.

Why Does Raleigh-Durham Keep Beating Us in Economic Rankings

Special Guest Columnist Robert TruBlows

Five years ago the economic scorecard ranking Tampa Bay versus five other metro areas landed us in the number two spot, tied with Raleigh-Durham and behind Charlotte.

An impressive but short lived triumph of good news for Tampa Bay. Times have changed as the economic apocalypse devastated some short sighted metros who built their economy upon the loose sand of feel good marketing, empty slogans and temporary fixes.

83 Degrees Magazine Tampa Bay AdbustersThe latest economic scorecard released this week shows Raleigh-Durham continuing to dominate in the number one spot it grew into years ago while Tampa Bay shrunk into fifth place, second to last.

The good news is we are still ahead of Jacksonville. We should have been ranked dead last but we tinkered with the measuring making our score look better. No matter the reality we could never show ourselves in last place, we must produce good news at all times in the echo chamber of the Tampa Bay media. "We just decided Raleigh was the right location for our travel and timeshare business", said Bob Perkins with EXS Travel Services and Solutions.

These doctored rankings were whipped up by the Greater Tampa Bay Chamber Partnership, a regional marketing group dedicated to creating propaganda that serves its members.

It is important to note the great recession has impacted all of Florida more severely then other states. This fact is used by the Greater Tampa Bay Chamber Partnership to avoid responsibility and reality by cleverly asserting the problem is widespread hence not as serious as a sane person would think.

How did Tampa Bay fall apart so fast? We have ignored that story for years now, and will continue to do so. So instead we ask how Raleigh-Durham proved so effective in not destroying their economy and the lives of its citizens as we did.

Apparently metro areas whose economies feasted on growth like Tampa Bay are most vulnerable when that growth halts.

The strong suit of Raleigh-Durham is they grew as we did, but they were doing real economic development to assure they attracted talented workers and grew companies for them to work in. Who would have thought that economic development meant more then over paying consultants and ineffective marketing firms?

Raleigh-Durham is fourth among metro areas with the highest concentration of college degrees among people over 25. Meanwhile in Tampa Bay our college educated population has been steadily shrinking for years, even as we were growing.

Raleigh-Durham shows we need to raise the education bar to get higher paying smart industry jobs. Right now the education bas is a two-drink minimum for a PBR special.

The consequences of the forward thinking results oriented economic development in Raleigh-Durham is their unemployment currently is only 7.3% to our horrible 12.4%. They boast three actually real major research universities and a diversity of industries. We have idle condo construction plans and high unemployment.

83 Degrees Magazine Tampa Bay AdbustersTampa Bay has been corrupt and lazy, accustomed to the flow of business and people who moved from the north. When those people got stuck in real estate they could not sell, our development froze.

Raleigh-Durham had positioned itself with smarter and competent economic development staff to plan ahead to turn from internal growth to encouraging growth from within. They though ahead and acted to better themselves, which we could not muster the intellectual capacity or will to do.

A true measure of our continued failure is the planned purchase of Progress Energy by Raleigh based Duke Energy.

What is can not be changed. There is no sense looking in to the rearview mirror to rubberneck at the crash. We need to drive forward quickly, to flee the scene of the accident instead.

From 83 Degrees Magazine - Tampa Bay's new media sensation covering the talent, innovation, diversity and economic development of Tampa Bay from 83 Degrees in Tampa Bay.