Small silhouette of Doug Wolkon WELCOME TO PLURANOMICS, THE ECONOMICS OF MANY.

landlords

Localism: County Style

Just got back to Kauai after a 2-month trip to the U.S. Mainland. I had not been back to the Mainland but for a few weeks over the past year. In any case, there was one idea that I could not drop throughout my 2-month economic study, during which time I visited several Counties, including 12 days in Broward County, FL;  13 days in Palm Beach County, FL;  a few days in Westchester County, NY;  10 days in Fairfield County, CT;  5 days in Suffolk County, MA (Boston);  and 6 days in Jefferson County, CO;  and finally back to Kauai County, HI.

The idea was a Local Investment Fund, with all the power and might of a national or international private equity fund; but funded by the residents of the County and for the benefit of the County. The Fund would be investing in high-yield real estate and renewable energy assets that a local investor could touch and feel as opposed to the digital or virtual investment world where most of us currently have all our investment eggs.

Jungle Cottage

“Counties!”  I first realized it while staying in my jungle cottage within the concrete jungle of Downtown Ft. Lauderdale. Yes, it would be the Counties that would lead America through the Economic Revolution; the Counties, who are unencumbered by the high debts and expenses of our other authorities including towns, cities, states, and federal governments. Huh, Counties. What in the world are you talking about?

Lets use my former, Fairfield County, CT, which maybe the wealthiest County in America – a place where many billionaires and thousands of millionaires call home; Say that the residents (rich and poor) of Fairfield County allocated just 5-10% of their savings towards a local investment fund, which invested in local assets that an investor can touch and feel. This strategy would be executed at a time when real estate is having a fire sale. First, with billions and billions of dollars to invest, such an investment fund would ignite the Fairfield County economy, spurring job growth, creating competition in the energy markets, and replacing out of town or absentee landlords with a locally-minded investor fund.

As I travelled from County to County, my vision only became clearer in my mind. This will be the first of many blog posts on this topic among others, as this Mainland trip certainly got my juices flowing. With bond yields rising and inflation in the air, the time is now for Localism to take hold – County Style!