A funny thing is happening on the way to the special session: Gov. Ronnie Musgrove might be selling his new economic development plan just a little too hard and the result might well be a load of disappointment.
The governor has said that he has no patience to wait for prosperity to come to Mississippi. He wants it now. And that’s fine. We want it, too, and the state’s business community has been known to like prosperity as well.
The problem is that economies are not turned around overnight; fantastic results don’t just happen when you change the name of a state agency. (And, yes, there is much more to the governor’s plan than that.)
The Advantage Mississippi Initiative is another step, and we think it’s in the right direction, toward continuing the economic renaissance the state has seen since the early 1990s. However, it will take years, if not decades, to overcome the staggering poverty that continues to burden so many Mississippi communities.
The governor’s enthusiasm for economic development is important and welcome, but we must be wary of unreasonable expectations. Everyone with a stake in Mississippi’s economic well-being must consider the Advantage Mississippi Initiative with eyes wide open and a clear understanding of the hard work that lies ahead.