PERI in the Media
- News - Daniel Smith (March 29, 2020) "'We already had problems': Rural communities anticipate steeper climb after COVID-19," Nashville Tennessean.
Extract: "The longer this COVID-19 pandemic lasts, the more devastating the economic damage will be, especially for rural communities,” said Daniel J. Smith, director of the Political Economy Research Institute at Middle Tennessee State University.
Congress has proposed an aid package that included billions of dollars for local governments. Smith suspected much of the aid would go to larger cities reporting higher rates of infection.
Although rural leaders are contending with their own challenges and limitations, Smith, the MTSU scholar, said those communities also have unique strengths that could help them withstand the crisis.
"Their smaller populations and relatively fewer places of business make it much easier to utilize social pressure to encourage social distancing and the adoption of health and safety protocols," Smith wrote in an email.
And a smaller, tighter-knit net of local churches, nonprofits and social groups could band together more effectively to help the community rebound, he said.
- News - Daniel Smith (March 3, 2020) "Murfreesboro council awards $9.1 million to 3 contractors for Siegel Soccer Park
project," Daily News Journal.
Extract: Three economists with Middle Tennessee State University, however, have questioned whether the city can attain the business plan revenue projections.
One of the economists is Daniel Smith, director of MTSU's Political Economy Research Institute. He also works with the Beacon Center of Tennessee. This organization's poll ranked the Murfreesboro government as the state's annual pork of the year winner for approving the soccer park project and then raising property taxes by 35.8% this year.
- News - Daniel Smith (Dec. 18, 2019) "Murfreesboro wins 'Pork of the Year' award for $14.5M soccer deal" Daily News Journal.
Extract: "I think projects like the soccer complex (were) an irresponsible use of taxpayer money," said Daniel Smith, a senior fellow with the Beacon Center of Tennessee.
... Smith doubts the tourism revenues will cover the $14.5 million cost to improve the soccer park.
"They over-inflated the benefits — which are primarily going to go to people who use the soccer complex — and understated the costs, which are borne by the general taxpayers, many of whom will not use the soccer complex or benefit from it in any way," said Smith, who's also a director and associate professor at the Political Economy Research Institute at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.
Two other MTSU economists, Murat Arik and Charlie Baum, have suggested the city's soccer tourism revenue estimates are too high.
Although a hockey fan, Smith said it would be "immoral" for him to take tax dollars to support his sport and expect others to pay.
"It really comes down to me putting my hand into other people’s pockets to support my own interests, and I think there’s something morally troubling about that," Smith said.
- News - Daniel Smith (July 23, 2019) "Prosperity Project," Enterprise MT
- News - Daniel Smith (Aug. 24, 2018): “New MTSU Economic Institute Director Discusses Tariffs’ Impact on Ginseng Growers,” MTSU News.
- Op-Ed - Daniel Smith (Oct. 25, 2018): “Protecting Free Speech on Campus,” Beacon Center of Tennessee Blog.