I bet if you try, you can remember when you were learning the fundamentals of writing a Compare and Contrast essay. Today, we're going to try something similar, but include a few shortcuts in the form of hyperlinks. The topic is "Which Kind of Future for Minnesota's Iron Range Is Most likely To Lead to Sustainable Employment?" Example number one is a recent story about the turmoil in the Cliffs Natural Resources Board.
“Cliffs has taken measures to reduce our cost structure, reduce our operational footprint and consolidate where it makes sense,” spokeswoman Patricia Persico said in a statement.Example number two describes the setbacks in financing a taconite processing plant that may create 350 jobs at some future time. It's unclear when and if the final(?) part of the financing package will be put together.
Struggling Essar Steel Minnesota has failed to secure the equity financing needed to save a critical bond deal to complete construction of a $1.8 billion taconite plant in Nashwauk, Minn.Example number three comes from South Dakota via an Iron Ranger. Somehow Aaron Brown was allowed to take a vacation away from The Range. He has a fascinating report on the economic development progress being experienced in Mitchell, SD, home of the Corn Palace. At first I thought my computer had led me astray and I was reading The Onion. Here's why: about Mitchell, Mr. Brown writes that:
Now, local officials worry that the project and 350 future jobs are up in the air.
northern Minnesota trail marker
Photo by J. Harrington
this city has quietly reinvented itself as an economic center for technology, marketing and manufacturing. The nation’s leading supplier of rural telecommunication services developed itself right here, and billboards for miles around tout new high-paying jobs in Mitchell.So, we can compare 350 jobs on hold due to problems financing a taconite plant, plus turmoil on the board of a long established Iron Range stakeholder that is now focused on cost cutting, plus a promise of maybe 360 "high-paying" jobs, offset by hundreds of years of environmental risk -- if Minnesota permits copper-nickel mining to proceed with the PolyMet project -- and contrast that with 500 high-paying jobs that weren't there a decade ago in MItchell, SD, that don't threaten the local environment and that depend, to some extent, on the quality of life in Mitchell, SD, which has corn but, to my knowledge, no mines.
... investments in existing companies and tech infrastructure allowed hometown entrepreneurs to build an international communication software company in Mitchell. That brought more than 500 high-paid software developers and communication professionals to town.
If you were to look at the Iron Range as if it were a startup company and you were an angel investor considering your options, which strategy would you support, mining or high tech? Here's that Blandin on Broadband info, in case it helps. Remember, we need to choose what we want. We can't have it all, no matter how American we are.
The True-Blue American
Jeremiah Dickson was a true-blue American,For he was a little boy who understood America, for he felt that he mustThink about everything; because that’s all there is to think about,Knowing immediately the intimacy of truth and comedy,Knowing intuitively how a sense of humor was a necessityFor one and for all who live in America. Thus, natively, andNaturally when on an April Sunday in an ice cream parlor JeremiahWas requested to choose between a chocolate sundae and a banana splitHe answered unhesitatingly, having no need to think of itBeing a true-blue American, determined to continue as he began:Rejecting the either-or of Kierkegaard, and many another European;Refusing to accept alternatives, refusing to believe the choice of between;Rejecting selection; denying dilemma; electing absolute affirmation: knowingin his breastThe infinite and the goldOf the endless frontier, the deathless West.
“Both: I will have them both!” declared this true-blue AmericanIn Cambridge, Massachusetts, on an April Sunday, instructedBy the great department stores, by the Five-and-Ten,Taught by Christmas, by the circus, by the vulgarity and grandeur ofNiagara Falls and the Grand Canyon,Tutored by the grandeur, vulgarity, and infinite appetite gratified andShining in the darkness, of the lightOn Saturdays at the double bills of the moon pictures,The consummation of the advertisements of the imagination of the lightWhich is as it was—the infinite belief in infinite hope—of Columbus,Barnum, Edison, and Jeremiah Dickson.
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