Among the 50 states, what does Missouri lead the pack in? Anything? Can you name one thing that Missouri is in the top five among the states?

We did come across something. The personal finance website, WalletHub, in its analysis of patriotism in the country, Missouri came in first in the Civics Education Requirement in our schools.

Missouri is usually in the middle of ratings conducted by WalletHub in many categories.

In the latest issue of Area Development magazine, devoted to site and facility planning by industries, it contains a feature on 2019 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards for states. These awards, the magazine explains, recognize states for their achievements in attracting high-value investment projects that will create a significant number of new jobs in their communities. It was a comprehensive survey.

The survey took into consideration such factors as the number of new jobs to be created by projects in relation to the state’s population; the combined dollar amounts of the investments; the number of new facilities; and the diversity of the industry represented. There were population categories.

The Gold Shovel awardees are Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Arizona, Alabama and Mississippi.

The runners-up, or Silver Shovel states, are Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan, North Carolina, Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Nevada, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska and Rhode Island.

Where’s Missouri?

The Missouri Department of Economic Development does try to bring new and expanding industries to the state, with limited success. This state is conservative and other states are doing. It would have been revealing if the survey had included the incentives that were and are being given by the Gold Shovel states. And it would be interesting if trained and available workforces were a factor.

Missouri has many negatives: An aging and deteriorating transportation system; lack of available sites; not enough skilled workers for the industries we have; a so-so educational system of technical training schools, many of which are underfunded; lack of a highly favorable image nationwide; fewer incentives; not enough affordable housing; high crime sections in metro areas; a climate that can’t compete with other areas of the country; and perhaps a state that is too set in ways that are dated.

State government reflects the attitudes of the people, generally speaking.

What is refreshing about Missouri? We have made gains as a tourism destination. Most of our existing industries have had success. The work ethic isn’t what it was, but it’s better than what’s found in many states. We are not a high-tax state.

Missouri is not doing as well as other nearby states. Look at the list of some of the Silver Shovel awardees. Let’s face it. Many of the states have the same problems as Missouri but they have overcome the negatives.

Does Missouri have a strategic plan? Do we try to learn from what other states are doing?

Quo Vadis, Missouri?incentives obviously don’t match what