Maryland's chief fiscal officer, Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein, has taken issue with a recent state report that projected a gloomy outlook for Maryland's economy.
Speaking to a bankers seminar in Ocean City, Goldstein pointed to actual economic growth in such key sectors as per capita income and non-agricultural employment, the state's business tax structure, balanced budget and revenue outlook as "positive" indicators.
"We live in a world of fact versus theory, and let me tell you, I'll be on the side of facts very time," said Goldstein, referring to a study by the state's Department of Economic Development.
The report had based its pessimism, in part, on a loss of manufacturing employment and a slowdown in growth of personal income by Marylanders.
Goldstein said the report "provides some food for thought" but he argued that the state is foregoing a "quantity growth" in favor of "quality growth" in its economy, with per capita income increasing faster than the national average since 1960.
In terms of employmet, he stated, stable sectors account for more than 70 per cent of non-farm workers whereas less stable sources employ 20 per cent. "Maryland's economic growth indicators show a steady increase, without the violent ups and downs that plague many of our sister states," he declared.
At the same time, Goldstein conceded, "Maryland is the fifth most densely populated state in the nation. It cannot continue to grow at the record breaking pace of the 1960s."
The Comptroller noted that the Economic Development study had showed percentage growth rates for population, ranking Maryland 29th for the 1970-1975 period while actual growth ranked the state 16th. Similarly, Maryland ranks 12th instead of 33d in growth of non-farm employment and 12th instead of 32d for per capita income measurement.