SBD wrote: ↑
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:04 pm
JAKJ wrote: ↑
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:40 pm
They are clearly trying to draw comparisons to industrial towns in the US, however the reality is the the US is so far gone in terms of inequality and standard of living for its lower middle-class/ poor that beyond the wealth bubbles within the elite cities and a few rural enclaves it is basically a third world country.
The general standard of living, healthcare, low crime rates, infrastructure, employment and education opportunities in Adelaide would seem like paradise to a large chunk of the American population. Very sad to see what has happened over there.
One of the comparison cities was Pittsburgh, a city that once had a number of competing steel mills (think Whyalla and Wollongong, together and multiplied). The steel mills have all closed, but Pittsburgh is now the home of Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Heinz, PPG and a few other substantial companies. So far, Adelaide (and South Australia) has not grown any significant multinational companies. We have had some big wine and food companies, but the really big ones' headquarters are not here. I don't know if we have enough South Australian-based food companies to band together and promote Brand South Australia independently of foreign/interstate parents. Thomas Foods International, Barossa Fine Foods, Kingston Estate Wines, Capilano, Spring Gully, Balco, ...
OTR and Santos probably belong near the top of the largest South Australian companies. Are there other large companies where the key decisions are made in SA?
While the perceived prestige of having a multi-national brand headquartered in your city is undeniable real-world impacts tend to be less tangible given international shareholdings, distributed operations, offshoring of profit etc. In fact large businesses that dominate their home cities often result in worse social outcomes as they are able to use their economic power for political influences to gain tax exemptions, grants and other favours (using the threat of moving) while stifling local competition.
As for promoting the city and South Australian brand that that's a role the State Government should be doing (as the previous state government successfully showed with its promotion of SA as a renewable energy investment destination and the biomed precinct). A city-dominating private business will not care about attracting potential competing business and in fact is likely to hinder it (for reasons stated above).
The fact is Pittsburgh still has a much higher poverty rate to Adelaide, greater income inequality and poorer access to education and employment opportunities, higher crime and from a purely aesthetic point of view a much uglier less pleasant place to be should show that number/ concentration of multi national businesses does not necessarily equal positive social/ economic outcomes.
Adelaide would be served well by pursing a role as an incubator for innovative family businesses/ SMEs as these tend to give much more back to the local communities in which they reside (on a revenue/ employee equivalence basis) then a big multi-national. Let's not forget that we used to be the headquarters of Newscorp and what did that do for the state?