Perhaps you heard the story of the man walking along a country road who comes across a shepherd with a large flock of sheep. He tells the shepherd, “I’ll bet you $100 against one of your sheep I can tell you the exact number in this flock.”

The shepherd thinks it over; it is a big flock, so he takes the bet.

“973,” says the man.

The shepherd is astonished because that is exactly right. He says “Okay. I’m a man of my word. Take an animal.”

The man picks one up and begins to walk away.

“Wait,” cries the shepherd, “Let me have a chance to get even. Double or nothing I can guess your exact occupation.”

The man agrees.

“You’re an economist for a government think tank,” says the shepherd.

“Amazing!” responds the man, “You’re exactly right! But tell me, how did you deduce that?”

“Well,” says the shepherd, “Put down my dog and I’ll tell you.”

The jokes about economists are more numerous than those about lawyers.

This month we focus on economic development, which is directly connected in most people’s minds to job creation, but what does economic growth really mean? For a nation, economic growth occurs when a country’s production capacity increases. In other words, the country’s producers of goods and services are able to make more stuff. In recent years, the U.S. economy has averaged under 3 percent growth — well behind countries like China, India and others. But as foreign markets grow, their costs also increase, leading to onshoring or domestic production.

Fortunately, our region’s economy, as you will see, is diverse and growing. Companies are expanding and new ones are coming into the area, all of which equals economic growth.

Favorite Quotes From This Issue:

“When freedom and market opportunity link to an ethical and value-based paradigm, the outcomes are astonishing.”

— Joseph Duda 

In any relationship, business, personal or community, if you’re not making them better – you are of no value to them. Making others better is value creation.

— Jeff Piersall

I think credibility is the greatest measure of somebody in my industry, knowing the people who may be listening or watching at that time believe and have confidence in what you say.

— Dave Cocchiarella