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Questions about Oklahoma Municipal League membership surfaced this past year because of costs and the organization’s apparent neglect of mid-size cities.
Many qualities separate the best-run and worst-run cities. But perhaps the most important is access to jobs. The economies of the best-run cities fall into two categories. They either have a booming industry or are near other major urban areas that create employment opportunities. The worst-run cities simply do not have the same access to jobs. 24/7 Wall St.’s analysis of the best-run and worst-run cities demonstrates that encouraging businesses to prosper and create jobs is the most important function of local government.
Why do cities like Buffalo decline, and what role should government play in promoting recovery? In his State of the State Address this month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $1 billion in incentives to attract new investment to the beleaguered city by Lake Erie. “We believe in Buffalo,” he said, “and we’ll put our money where our mouth is.” Too bad Mr. Cuomo ignores the factors that help keep areas like Buffalo inhospitable to new investment—namely steep tax rates and the high cost of government.
Rather than burdening a team with distracting self-doubt and pity, try to help others, he advises. “In order to remain self-motivated, research has found that the innate psychological need for competence must be satisfied,” Mr. Baard says. “This drive pertains not only to the ability to do a job but to achieve something through it—to have impact, to contribute. A way an employee can expand opportunities to satisfy this need is to help her team succeed by encouraging others, even if her direct contributions are limited.”
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