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Professor: Arizona can use warfare to fund economy

PHOENIX — When it comes to funding the economy of tomorrow, Arizona should look to warfare to fund its economy, an Arizona State University professor said.

“We need to leverage off the Department of Defense’s investments in the state historically and be savvy about that,” Director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU Dennis Hoffman told News/Talk 92/3 KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos on Monday. “Position ourselves to do [research and development] around surveillance, new combative technologies, new technologies for warfare differently than we’ve done in the past.”

Hoffman said Arizona needs to focus on research and development rather than manufacturing because manufacturing jobs are more likely to either be moved overseas or automated.

Hoffman also said Arizona boasts a few other bright spots, including an influx in financial services and insurance data firms along with ASU partnerships in healthcare and educational technologies.

While Hoffman said the Arizona economy of 2020 will likely look the same, the state can anticipate a few changes.

“I think you’re going to see a structure of an economy — in terms of where people work and what types of pursuits — again much like you see today, hopefully a bit more like was saw pre-Great Recession than during the depths of the Great Recession.”

A Valley resident for more than 30 years, Hoffman said the economy of the future will change as Arizona is accustomed to 50,000 to 75,000 people pouring into the state annually who wanted jobs, houses and cars.

“We were heavily reliant on construction because we led the nation or nearly led the nation on population growth for a number of years,” he said.

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