U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Thread summary:

Colorado: industry, Samsonite, job market, cost of living, real estate, mortgage.

 
Old 09-18-2008, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,710,792 times
Reputation: 1778

Advertisements

Many sites (dept of labor included) have broad data on what industries are on the way up and on the way out in Colorado. I was curious what people see from their point of view in Colorado, and in what cities / regions. For example, I work in media production and have noticed that as an industry it's almost non-existent in the State. What's looking (with respect to the state of the US economy as a whole right now) comparitively promising, and what seems to be disappearing from Colorado when it comes to jobs?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-18-2008, 10:20 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
Reputation: 9132
Colorado has been "de-industrializing" for a number of years now. Some of its best paying industries--CF&I Steel, Gates Rubber, Samsonite, Great Western and Holly Sugar, and others have either closed down, left the state, or are but a shadow of their former selves. The mergers in the beer industry now appear to threaten some of the presence of one of Colorado's long time stalwarts--Coors.

High tech and defense have been touted as the replacements for this decline, but those industries have proved, in many cases, not to be particularly stable. It seems quite often that national companies with Colorado presences often tend to curtail or shut down their Colorado operations first when the economy sours or business conditions change.

That pretty much leaves the energy industry as the one "primary" industry of the state in growth mode currently. Its history has been relatively unstable, as well. The rest of the state economy is reliant on services, government, construction, tourism, and transfer payments from other places to sustain itself. Agriculture is still a major industry in the state, but is under full attack by the metro areas trying to grab its water, and from the difficult national economic environment in which agriculture often must try to live under.

While the Colorado economy seems--on its face--to be more "diversified" now compared to earlier years, it is--in my opinion--dangerously overreliant on real estate speculation, land development, recreation, retirement incomes, and government spending. Simply stated, a lot of economic "stuff" that does not involve true productivity or creation of real wealth. In fact, a great deal of both the state's income and population growth, especially in the last decade or two, has been predicated on the same type of non-productive speculation and "investment" that has created the huge mortgage and debt bubbles now threatening the whole US economy. Bad.

For most of its history, Colorado has been a relatively difficult place in which to make a living. The last 20-40 years have been an exception to that, but I think that is about to change. Unfortunately, for most current Coloradans, they have never seen the true "down side" of the state's economy and don't recognize the strong possibility of the state returning to an era of real economic decline and stagnation. I think they are about to see that type of decline, and I doubt that a lot of them will be able to handle it. By the way, the state's first long "down and stagnant period" in its economic history basically lasted from 1893 to about 1950.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2008, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,710,792 times
Reputation: 1778
somehow I knew I could rely on you to respond to a topic like this, Jazz =)

I don't want to lead the question too much before receiving more responses, but it seems to me that CO has some unique challenges in the next two decades because of its role in the national water supply and natural resources, as well as its location. New rail lines running along the foothills (assuming it happens) could bring a greater influx of resdence and jobs, while those same roles imperil Colorado's economy (continued strain on the water table as Jazz mentioned.)

I suppose the real question is what are the best things the state can do over the next few decades to sustain itself, given that the population WILL grow, and how can the state reasonably manage (and if necessary limit) that growth while building a sustainable economy?

(writing from work so I hope this was coherent)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-19-2008, 12:33 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
Reputation: 9132
I will give an abbreviated answer here. For Colorado to sustain itself, it needs to change course--a change that many will neither welcome or embrace.

First, it--like the rest of the US--must recognize that population growth does not automatically equate to economic growth. That only happens when there are sufficient natural and financial resources to allow economic growth. The US is becoming dangerously short on both--cramming more people in here to share a shrinking pie is foolhardy. Colorado needs to attract productive enterprises, not resource-sucking non-productive residents who either don't need employment or can't find it if they do.

Second, the state must concentrate it economic development on industries that actually produce true wealth--agriculture, mining, energy, logging, manufacturing, etc.--all within the limits of the environment and resources available. Flipping hamburgers for each other is not going to cut it.

Third, Colorado remains a trade center for a large region. That is good, but the health of the trade center relies on the health of the industries that I have outlined above. If they are not healthy, neither will be the businesses that rely upon them. Colorado needs to both recognize and remember that.

Fourth, Colorado has to practice water conservation like a religion. It MUST stop wasting water on non-productive consumptive things like irrigating bluegrass lawns, etc.--when getting that water means drying up agriculture.

Fifth, Colorado needs (along with the rest of the US) to re-invent its transportation system. The days of building sprawl, then highways to service it, is over. Colorado needs an integrated intermodal transportation system, with a much greater emphasis on rail--for both freight and passenger. The state rail network has been atrophying for nearly a century. The rail network needs to be rebuilt statewide--and now.

Sixth, new growth in Colorado must be made to pay its own way. Any new development should be required to pay for the infrastructure necessary to serve it--not by the current gambit of developers socializing those costs onto existing taxpayers.

Seventh, Colorado must reform its system of taxation, particularly property taxation--which currently tends to subsidize non-productive residential and recreational development, and penalize capital-intensive industrial and commercial endeavors.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-19-2008, 01:03 PM
 
169 posts, read 616,212 times
Reputation: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I will give an abbreviated answer here. For Colorado to sustain itself, it needs to change course--a change that many will neither welcome or embrace.

First, it--like the rest of the US--must recognize that population growth does not automatically equate to economic growth. That only happens when there are sufficient natural and financial resources to allow economic growth. The US is becoming dangerously short on both--cramming more people in here to share a shrinking pie is foolhardy. Colorado needs to attract productive enterprises, not resource-sucking non-productive residents who either don't need employment or can't find it if they do.

Second, the state must concentrate it economic development on industries that actually produce true wealth--agriculture, mining, energy, logging, manufacturing, etc.--all within the limits of the environment and resources available. Flipping hamburgers for each other is not going to cut it.

Third, Colorado remains a trade center for a large region. That is good, but the health of the trade center relies on the health of the industries that I have outlined above. If they are not healthy, neither will be the businesses that rely upon them. Colorado needs to both recognize and remember that.

Fourth, Colorado has to practice water conservation like a religion. It MUST stop wasting water on non-productive consumptive things like irrigating bluegrass lawns, etc.--when getting that water means drying up agriculture.

Fifth, Colorado needs (along with the rest of the US) to re-invent its transportation system. The days of building sprawl, then highways to service it, is over. Colorado needs an integrated intermodal transportation system, with a much greater emphasis on rail--for both freight and passenger. The state rail network has been atrophying for nearly a century. The rail network needs to be rebuilt statewide--and now.

Sixth, new growth in Colorado must be made to pay its own way. Any new development should be required to pay for the infrastructure necessary to serve it--not by the current gambit of developers socializing those costs onto existing taxpayers.

Seventh, Colorado must reform its system of taxation, particularly property taxation--which currently tends to subsidize non-productive residential and recreational development, and penalize capital-intensive industrial and commercial endeavors.

Good points/ideas - when are you running for office? I wish more of our "leaders" in CO thought this way.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
View detailed profiles of:
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:18 AM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top