When I was a kid growing up in the 1950's, I couldn't begin to tell you everything that was manufactured in Allentown. If it was telephones at Western Electric, toasters at General Electric, or thousands of shirts and pants at dozens of textile mills, Allentown produced product. We now call distributing all the products Made In China an industry. Commercial Development in 2015 is reduced to stealing existing businesses from another state, or even a neighboring town. We pay people to direct Development Authorities, which orchestrate these musical chair jobs. The tax incentives given to facilitate the musical chairs do nothing for the residents but increase their tax burden. Although having no new product, these Authorities and incentives have become an industry in themselves. They have become the talking points for our politicians. Maybe not as a region or a state, but as a country, we would be much better off producing more, and playing musical chairs less.
photo shows toaster ovens being manufactured on S. 12th St. in Allentown