Life moves pretty fast: Ben Stein headlines forum on global economy

SALT LAKE CITY — For a guy who’s best known for his monotone delivery and a face as deadpan as an Easter Island carving, lawyer/actor/economist/author Ben Stein was pure passion on Tuesday as he spoke about the economy, the state of Utah and President Donald Trump.

Stein came well prepared for the keynote of the fifth annual Utah Global Forum at downtown’s Grand America Hotel, heaping praise on the state’s economic success while highlighting what he saw as the keys to Utah’s long-running prosperity.

“Utah is mostly a state of mind,” Stein said. “Utah is, in a way, the largest small town in the world. It is a state with a small town’s love of neighbors, a small town’s love of God and a small town’s love of family.”

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Economist Ben Stein delivers the keynote address at the Utah Global Forum at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.

Stein made repeated, and celebratory, reference to the state’s newly formed inland port in Salt Lake City.

“There’s no more perfect spot on this earth for a new, giant super trade zone than here in Zion,” Stein said. “Where the geography of the earth meets the geography of the soul.”

International trade and diplomacy and the state’s reliance on global economic interactions as an essential element of its overall business portfolio were topics at the heart of the forum, hosted by the World Trade Center Utah, the Salt Lake Chamber and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Chamber President and CEO Derek Miller told the audience of about 500 that today’s economic prosperity in Utah owed a debt of gratitude to planning that took place decades ago and that future prosperity would be anchored, at least in part, on three very large current projects — the Salt Lake International Airport rebuild, the redevelopment of the Draper prison site and the inland port zone.

“The fact that we’re having all three of them happening at the same time is truly remarkable,” Miller said. “The significance of this cannot be overstated.”

Miller noted the projects will all contribute to expanding Utah’s global connections and continuing to build “one of the fastest-growing export economies in the country.”

World Trade Center Utah President and CEO Miles Hansen echoed Miller’s optimism and noted Utah is poised to bear great benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution — the advent of cyber-physical systems that will see highly digitally connected systems. Picture automated manufacturing processes connected directly to consumer orders in a system that requires little to no human intervention in the pipeline from factory to purchaser.

Hansen said the revolution is already underway and he believes Utah is very well positioned to grow its trade and commerce as technology becomes more embedded and integrated into everything we do.

Hansen listed the requirements for a community to become a successful global economic crossroads as one having “a highly skilled workforce, an ecosystem of innovation and collaboration and the ability to move products to key markets.”

“We’re talking about Utah,” …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News


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