Dear Editor:

In today’s instant news cycle, the focus is on the here and now. But sometimes we have to take a few steps back to appreciate what we have.

The Indiana Chamber’s economic development efforts are a perfect example. While its Indiana Vision 2025 plan is a blueprint for where we all want the state to be, a 20-year rewind takes us to 1999 and the development of the “2025” predecessor, Economic Vision 2010.

That plan identified many shortcomings that we undoubtedly take for granted today. Then, there were no school standards, accountability or choice. There were, however, burdensome inventory and gross receipts taxes, and a state regulatory environment that was more focused on punishment than partnerships.

Infrastructure needs 20 years ago were identified as more direct air flights, improved telecommunications and completing the Interstate 69 extension. Regarding entrepreneurship, Economic Vision 2010 authors cited tech transfer, commercialization of university research and alternative financing for start-ups as primary objectives.

The progress toward those goals and more in two decades is tremendous, yet continuous improvement is always needed.

A two-page report from the Indiana Chamber Foundation – Economic Vision 2010: We’ve Come a Long Way in 20 Years – has more details at www.indianachamber.com/studies.

Paul Thrift

Chairman, Indiana Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and CEO of Thompson Thrift in Terre Haute