Bucks County and Globalization by variablepitch337

VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 14

									Bucks County and Globalization

Senior Seminar Barbara L. Cook April 13, 2004

List of Tables
Figure 1. PA state map, showing the boundaries of each county Figure 2. Bucks county map, showing the boundaries of each township Figure 3. Bucks county industry listing, showing the various sectors, number of employees, and payroll amounts

Bucks County is located in the SouthEast corner of Pennsylvania, and was formed in 1682 (Figure 1). As one of the first counties, Bucks is named for Penn's England home- Buckinghamshire. It encompasses 608 square miles of land and 15.8 square miles of water. The Parks and Recreation department consists of 23 parks, totaling about eight thousand acres and 43 hundred acres of gameland. The entire county consists of 31 townships and 23 boroughs (Figure 2). Bucks might be a small county, but is quite diverse in several aspects and has made significant contributions in education, health care, and economic growth (Freepages). In the year 2000, the total population of Bucks county was 597,635 people. With a 51% female and 49% male population, the county is slightly even in terms of gender. Several communities within Bucks, such as Morrisville, Hulmeville, and Levittown are known as suburban areas. Many of their residents are married (61%) and a relatively small group consists of senior citizens over 65 years old (12%). Much of the population is well over 18 years old and is either enrolled in higher education or are out in the work force (Demographics). When examining the county by race, differences are very visible. A 2000 census divides Bucks into the following racial groups: White (93%), Black (3%), Asian (2%), and American Indian or Alaska native (1%). The ancestry of Bucks county residents presents a strong representation of European culture. Despite the fact that 8% doesn't speak English as their native tongue, these immigrants were able to have children and establish a home in a predominantly agricultural

state. Today, about 93% of PA residents were born in the United States, with 70% born within the borders of the keystone state (Demographics). A large percentage of the county's population is married and have children enrolled in school. About 46% of those children are enrolled in elementary grades one through eight. Another 33% are high school graduates, but higher education is one of the options that many don't pursue. In 2000, 89% of county residents were at least high school graduates, but only 38% were able to earn a post-graduate degree (Demographics). More and more companies require their employees to have a degree or a certification of some kind. In order to compete in high-tech companies for better paying jobs, higher education is necessary. Bucks County has a few institutions that specialize in higher learning, but none of them are adequate enough to service the demands of its residents. Among those who continue their education, 27% receive either a two or four year degree and 11% earn graduate or professional degrees (Demographics). The county maintains thirteen public schools, three technical schools, and many more that are private, parochial, or otherwise classified (Freepages). But, are those schools getting the manpower and funding that they need to keep their programs going effectively? In 2000, the county spent $136,227 on its educational services and hired 6,202 workers. About 58% of the educators in this county work in either an elementary or secondary environment. Is it possible that more than enough effort is invested in young children, but not enough is given to teenagers and young adults (Business Patterns, 2000).

County technical and trade schools claimed about $5,000 of education’s annual budget and only 179 employees. Fine arts programs were only able to receive $6,100 and 192 county workers. The area’s colleges and universities are able to wrestle away a pitiful $23,000 and 1,200 workers, but these numbers are grim compared to those of the elementary and secondary education sectors. This means that the county isn’t focusing enough attention on the needs of its residents after they graduate from High school (Business Patterns, 2000). After viewing these numbers, it is safe to assume that the county has very little concern for children once they reach a certain time in their education. It would appear obvious that Bucks county is specifically focused on education that is considered mandatory by the state education board. After that point, it is everyone for themselves and if you don’t make the right choice, you have only yourself to blame. There is no real emphasis on the importance of a college education. As a resident of Bucks county, I personally can’t remember anyone telling me that the choice of going or not going to college would affect my entire life. I made the decision to continue my education beyond high school. Also, to receive a quality education, I would have to leave my hometown and venture out into the unknown. This probably means that other children were forced to make the same choice and had to travel to other cities for a proper college or technical education. There are 83,500 acres of land that comprise the state of Pennsylvania. But, as described in Fig. 3, only .02% of employees in Bucks are involved in

Fishing, Agriculture and other related industries. There are several industries that comprise the majority of the county's labor force. So, most of the county’s commerce is centered in boroughs and many major transportation routes (Freepages). Manufacturing, employs 15.27% of county residents, comprises 20% of the annual payroll, and is the center of county business and revenue. This includes the production of fabrics, textiles, apparel, foods, plastics, hardware, electronics, etc. This sector is supplemented by other provided employment services, including by health care and social assistance (11.32%), wholesale trade (7.03%), retail trade (15.78%), construction (6.68%), and professional services (5.83%) (Business Patterns, 2000).

Bristol Township
Bristol Township is located in Bucks County and founded in 1692 as Buckingham Township. But, the time the name was changed to Bristol in 1702. By 1701, Bristol Mills and Mill Pond (now Silver Lake) became industrial areas. It was the attraction of wealthy Philadelphians to invest in fledgling businesses and perhaps seek new residence away from the city that caused the suburban boom to begin (Wilson). After the WWII, several industries developed, including when U.S. Steel's Fairless Works was constructed in Falls Township in the 1950's. To meet the housing demand for returning GIs and the steelworkers, plans for a suburban development were conceived by William Levitt. That once developing community, now called Levittown, comprises parts of Bristol Township, Falls, and Middletown

Townships, as well as part of Tullytown Borough (Wilson). Over the years, industries including Thiokol, 3M, and Rohm and Haas used the highway and rail network to build prosperous industries throughout the township. By the 1980's, most of the township was developed and Levittown was experiencing a second generation of homeowners. The redevelopment, attraction of new industry, and a rebuilding of the infrastructure are on the agenda for the future. But, in an attempt to improve the plight of a small town, a classic landmark has been destroyed (Wilson). Today, some industries including 3M, have moved their operations to other cities or closed their doors due to lack of business. One these industries began to falter, other businesses followed in their footsteps. The once prominent Levittown Shopping Center, rich in commerce and glutton with trade, now sits as a pile of concrete. This progression was caused by the importance of increasing profits and eliminating cash draining locations. This center was no longer seen as a sound investment, so it slowly died (Wilson).

Falls Township
Falls Township is also located in Bucks County, and was legally established in 1692. It was the largest village in the township, until Levittown was constructed and became a thriving community. Over the years, growth continued, with the construction of homes, an inn, public buildings, various retail stores, and small craftsmen's shops. Township development is directly associated with the county’s eclectic transportation system. This system includes the following routes: the Delaware River, the Delaware Canal, the

Amtrak and Conrail railroads, and other highway routes: Interstate 95, Route 13, and Business Route 1. The proximity of these major transportation systems influenced much development (Fallstwp). The earliest of these routes was the Delaware River and Falls township is located at the upper end of the navigable portion of the river. Then known as the King's Highway, it runs from Philadelphia to Trenton going through Bristol, Falls, and Morrisville. The King's Highway was frequently used to transport goods, still exists as Route 13. A railroad line from Philadelphia to Trenton via Morrisville was later built to easily transport shipment and goods. These rail lines now accommodate SEPTA, Amtrak, and CONRAIL passenger and freight cars between Philadelphia and Trenton. There is also a deep water port located on the Delaware River and nearby airports that is owned by the township (Fallstwp). Falls Township's economic development has been very influenced by geographic location. Locations along the Delaware River made it a very attractive area for industry. Close proximity to Philadelphia and Trenton have made it very good for local businesses. Falls Township was once a resource supply satellite with a residential population similar to Philadelphia. Approximately 4,000 affordable homes were constructed in Falls Township alone, and the residential population increased from 3,000 to 30,000 people within a decade. Naturally, land values rose rapidly, and farmers were enticed to sell their land to similar developers. The result of selling off farms was that residents were forced to travel to larger cities to find jobs. Falls Township was now considered residential

commuter community, a suburb of Philadelphia and Trenton, and an exurb of New York City with a labor force as its most salable resource (Fallstwp). In the past, Falls Township was home to various industries, most notably Fairless Works, a steel industry. It reached its height in 1973, before beginning a downturn like many other regional industries. They were able to utilize workers regardless of their educational backgrounds, which attracted a large "blue collar" labor force to the area. The added bonus of moderately priced housing, the industrial growth attracted many residents that still live in the area today. The "suburbanization of business" in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan area has Falls township slowly shedding its label as a suburban community and will once again be characterized as self-sufficient (Fallstwp).

Middletown Township
Middletown Township is in the heart of Lower Bucks, and is the most heavily urbanized portion of the County. It was named Middletown because it lies in the center of five other townships. It is crossed by major traffic routes, including Interstate 95, U.S. route 1, and PA Route 413. These roads are convenient links to locations across the Delaware Valley and lead directly to the interstate highway system (Middletowntwp). This unique and diverse community contains 19.4 square miles and is the third most populous municipalities of Bucks County. The southern portion of the Township houses Levittown’s residential development. Central parts contain large retail and other commercial development areas. Western Middletown is also home to residential areas, but they are much older than those in the rest of

the township (Middletowntwp). There is also a part of the township that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves. Northern Middletown is the only portion of Middletown with substantial undeveloped properties. Particular care is being taken to conserve the natural environment and existing low-density land use patterns in northern Middletown. Striking a balance between the Township's overall growth and preservation needs is a central theme of this comprehensive plan (Middletowntwp). Although formally established as a Township in 1692, Middletown was well established by 1682. Since that time, the area has grown in terms of housing and commercial development. The township is home to various retail shops and recreational sites. The most prominent would be Sesame Place amusement park, located in close proximity to various highway routes (Middletowntwp). So, how does this fit into the idea of globalization? Globalization is defined by some as the tendency of a nation to move toward an environment of world wide investment, including the integration of its national capital markets (Financial glossary). Those areas that want to gain technology and attract capital at the same time must be willing to make certain sacrifices to its way of life. But, Thomas Friedman sees globalization as reality and not as a choice; that “the only way to grow at a good speed is to seek out multinationals that are willing to invest in your interests and sell what you produce in a global market”. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen in Bucks county. Several areas businesses were forced to moved to larger cities because their products and services weren’t ready available to the masses (Waltz).

The “golden straitjacket”, referred to by Thomas Friedman, offers some simple suggestions to make areas more appealing to foreign investors, including openness to trade and investment, a balanced budget, and economic deregulation. But, for the most part, there is no one in charge of this system. Decisions don’t rest on the shoulders of a group of impartial elites; they are made because investors move their money around in a system where movement can shape of shift a market. The markets to Bucks county, at one time or another, experienced a withdraw of economic security that had held up its economy for so long. Whether it was one dissatisfied investor or another, the economic success it had once enjoyed was now gone (Waltz). It is an assumption that globalization will stabilize the economic aspects of all regions (wages, products, wealth, prices, interest rates, and profits). But, before that stabilization occurs, there is first resistance by those whose economic security is threatened. Though, sooner or later, that economy will falter and be forced to surrender itself to globalization and all that accompanies it. The economic future of Bucks County has been toppled; and now it must submit itself to the practices of a succeeding economic plan or face further ruin (Waltz).

Works Cited
1) Bucks County Pocket Facts. <Http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com> (February 12, 2004). 2) Business Patterns for Bucks, Pa (2000). <Http://www.census.gov/epcd/cbp/map> (February 17, 2004). 3) Falls Township Online: History. Http://www.fallstwp.com/hist.html (March 10, 2004).

4) “Globalization” Yahoo glossary. <http://biz.yahoo.com/glossary/bfglosg.html> (April 10, 2004).
5) Middletown Township. Http://www.middletowntwpbucks.org/full (March 11, 2004). 6) US Census Bureau, Bucks county, Pa: 2000 Demographic Profiles. <Http://factfinder.census.gov> (March 3, 2004). 7) Waltz, Kenneth N. Globalization and Governance: The state of the state. <http://www.apsanet.org/PS/dec99/waltz.cfm> (April 10, 2004). 8) Wilson, Bill. Bristol Township, a brief history. Http://www.bristol.com/poi.htm (February 12, 2004).

Fig. 3 Industries of Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Industry Annual Payroll
1) Mining $17,298 2) Utilities $29,025 3) Agriculture/Fishing 0.01% 4) Construction $695,961 5) Manufacturing $1,554,111 6) Wholesale trade $847,058 7) Retail trade $844,008

# of employees %

%

385 0.22% 395 0.37% N/A 16,555 8.89% 37,816 19.86% 17,412 10.82% 39,089 10.78% 4,259 6,646 3.34% 10,042 5.30% 3,770 1.5% 14,435 8.79% 3,281 25,334

0.15% 0.15% 0.2% 6.68% 15.27% 7.03% 15.87% 1.72% 2.68% 4.05% 1.52% 5.83% 1.32% 10.23% N/A

8) Transportation/Warehousing $141,577 1.8% 9) Information $262,062 10) Finance/Insurance $415,002 11) Real Estate $120,015 12)Professional services $688,032

13) Company/enterprise management $222,818 2.84% 14) Admin support/waste management

$485,178 15) Educational services $136,227

6.20% 6,202 1.74% 28,031 3,228 15,830 2.39% 2,582 1.05% 12,008 0.09% 222 0.08% $9,138 4.85% 1.04% 11.32% 1.30% 6.39% 2.5%

16) Health Care/Social assistance $792,574 N/A 17) Arts/Entertainment/Recreation $49,034 0.6% 18) Food/Accommodation $187,695 19) Auxiliaries $82,598 20) Other services $244,638 21) Unclassified 0.11%


								
To top