Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Last Mayor of Hammond; The First Mayor of Competition Indiana
Define reality and provide hope.

I was listening to a speech by the President of American Express that I had downloaded from the internet. This fresh idea popped into my mind. Someday, the Last Mayor of Hammond will probably become the First Mayor of Competition, Indiana.

The idea of Competition, Indiana is a bit of a utopian idea, but it is one worth thinking about. The President of American Express said to his audience: "The role of a leader is to define reality and provide hope." And, the reality of Northwest Indiana is that some areas are prospering and some areas are dying a manufacturing economic death.

So, what is the answer when cities like Hammond and Gary have rising levels of empty residential units and declining manufacturing jobs? Compete and prosper or decline. In this global economy, we will not be able to compete on labor costs. However, we will be able to compete on quality, place of distribution, marketing, and premium differentiation.

We need to transform most of Lake County into Competition, Indiana. Competition, Indiana would be a whole new city designed to compete with the rest of the world's growing metropolitan areas. The basic infrastructure is in place. We have a strong and diverse population to draw skilled and educated workers from. We also have two good colleges in Purdue Calumet and IUN, and numerous other resources.

Who can articulate and coordinate these ideas? Perhaps we need a new version of Elbert Gary. Elbert Henry Gary (October 8, 1846–August 15, 1927) was an American lawyer and corporate officer. He was a key founder of the United States Steel Corporation in 1901, bringing together partners J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and Charles M. Schwab. The city of Gary, Indiana, was named for him when it was founded in 1906.

Someday, the Last Mayor of Hammond will probably become the First Mayor of Competition, Indiana. And, if Intel is going to sell an 80 core processor, Businesses in Competition, Indiana can build and market hardware, software, auto parts, and toys that use these new powerful chips. In fact, with less control from downstate, Purdue Calumet and IUN have the capability to partner on some public/private ventures and add great educational content to Online today; is a great starting point.

Gary-Chicago Airport? Bull! Think bigger. Welcome to the Competition Indiana International Airport! The Midwest's first hyperspace airport.

Define reality and provide hope. And, stretch your imagination.