Marketers like to talk about a product’s Unique Selling Proposition; that is, the things that differentiate a product from other products in the category.
El Paso is as culturally unique as New Orleans, or San Francisco, or New York.
No other city in the world shares El Paso’s culture. Our particular blend of cultures is not found anywhere else. Nowhere else can you walk, almost seamlessly, from one nation to another. Nowhere else do you find so large a concentration of bilingual English/Spanish speakers. Nowhere else do you find a city with our food and music and history.
That should be a good thing. That should be our Unique Selling Proposition.
Instead, our city leaders are trying to make us more like the rest of the United States. City Council courts out-of-town businesses that compete with our local businesses for a share of a pie that has remained practically unchanged since 2012.
An economy grows by becoming more productive. One way to do that is to encourage investment from out of town. But out-of-town investors have lots of options. We have an underutilized resource here, already: our people.
We should be helping El Pasoans to be more productive instead of encouraging outside investors to move here. We should invest in ourselves, and not the carpetbaggers looking to make a quick buck and send it home.