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Editorial: What every presidential candidate should read (and respond to)

We’re in the early stages of a presidential campaign that, like almost all political campaigns, will sooner or later devolve into silliness. The probability that some of the most important issues facing the country won’t get talked about is about the same as the probability that the sun will rise tomorrow.

Our expectations may be unrealistically high. After all, this is a country that back in 1840 elected the scion of wealthy family as president under the fiction that he lived in a log cabin. There’s really not that much new in politics. Only the names change.

There are many issues we’d like to hear the candidates talk about that they probably won’t. First, though, we have some recommended reading for them. It’s the “Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019,” a study produced by a San Francisco non-profit that analyzed the economies of 150 metro areas around the world — it prefers the term business “ecosystem” — to determine which ones are the best places in which to launch a new company or move a growing one.

Yes, we realize this sounds positively mind-numbing. It’s certainly not likely to produce a catchy slogan. But this report shines a light on the economic forces reshaping the world, and it would be nice if President Trump and those who wish to replace him would talk about those. Not just the presidential candidates, either. Although the Roanoke and New River valleys don’t come anyway close to qualifying for one of those top 150 “ecosystems,” this report makes points that can — and should — be scaled down to other localities. This fall, many counties will elect new boards of supervisors. Yes, candidates for those seats ought to be reading this report, as well. If they don’t, we have to wonder if they really want to understand the challenges their community faces.

To learn more, check out the whole article below.