Here's a quote from Whitelegg on why following "economic development" as an end is not necessarily the best idea:
For this [the free market model of development] will mean more roads, more long-distance freight, less local economic development, more pollution, poor health and more loss of landscape. [emphasis added]He goes on to discuss inequality as an outcome. I think he hits the nail on the head by emphasizing local economic development. If the highway in Eureka is widened and Walmart does move in, is there a cost to the local economy? How can we quantify it? Are cheap toilet seats and fishing rods worth the cost in low-paying shit jobs and other hidden quality of life hits?