Generally speaking, government by itself isn't good at economic development. Government is limited by it's nature and often serves the forces that lead to a broad-based economy best by what it does not do rather than by action it takes.
People who work in government jobs are expert in their fields, none of which include fundamental business principals. Breaking even is the goal in government. Not making a profit. It's not that the staffers don't care about these things. They just aren't trained to think like that. Elected leaders often take credit for job creation but that's only true if they are authorizing hiring more people and expanding their domain at city hall.
With all that in mind, there is one area where government can play a vital role. Providing a public platform. Putting all the stakeholders in communication, gathering and collation of information that will provide government leaders with a clear direction to take that will encourage development in the direction most will approve and contribute efforts to create.
Most western, industrialized countries have rejected water fluoridation, but have nevertheless experienced the same decline in childhood dental decay as fluoridated countries. A majority of U.S. cities (about 70%) add the chemical to their water supplies and have been doing so for decades with the blessings of the medical establishment even though to date there have been no long-term global effects studies done. Because of this we are truly unable to talk intelligently about the long-term effects of water fluoridation.
The conversation has to change.
Government officials seem to automatically start any conversation about housing with the words "affordable" or the more politically correct “workforce housing”. It’s true that need exists but our issues go deeper than the traditional low rent housing project can resolve. That’s because it's not just people who can't begin to afford paying more than a grand a month for an apartment who are having difficulty. Highly paid professionals are finding it tough to get into the kind of place they would like to call home. Those who would like to downsize are looking for a quality experience and not just the cheapest place they can find.