GUEST VIEW: Less government means more jobs


By Daily News • Last Updated 9:44 am on Friday, November 15, 2013

Guest View James Freed

In Montcalm County, big government is dead and the economy is alive.

In fact, Lakeview has expanded its economic base by more than 30 percent in the last 24 months, with the lowest unemployment rate in the county. The village has added more than $20 million in new investments and north of 60 new good paying jobs in the last 12 months alone.

During that same time, downtown Stanton has seen more than 10 new businesses open, and our anchor employers are expanding and hiring people. Top that off with a newly installed fiber-to-home project — which is providing the fastest possible internet to our businesses and homes — and Stanton is one of the most progressive communities in the state when it comes to 21st century technology.

Did local governments create these jobs? No. Entrepreneurs and small business owners willing to risk their own capital and savings did. But local leaders made room for free people, free enterprise and free markets to do the work only they can do. Governments don’t grow jobs. They till the soil in which people grow jobs.

How did Lakeview and Stanton make that happen? We kept taxes low, reduced regulations and developed multi-year budgets that made our towns the most stable and predicable places for business and commerce to flourish. Our fiscally conservative approach to governmental operations and our investments in public infrastructure has made our community both vibrant and sustainable.

When government lives within its means and stems the rush of regulations, entrepreneurs take notice. If limited government in Lakeview and Stanton resulted in rapid job creation and millions in private investment, why wouldn’t that same approach work in every community?

James Freed is Lakeview village manager and Stanton city manager.

The opinions expressed in the Guest View do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Daily News.

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