What Do We Absolutely Need? [seventh in a series]

Because the name of my business is Applied Ecologics, I frequently startle people and activate their curiosity by simply stating it. From my angle, it's apparent they've heard something they were not expecting to hear. I see they sense it's something well-meaning, and likely beneficial, but that they cannot readily grasp. I try to help them understand, with varying results. I realized I need to continuously improve my presentation and explanation! Thus, when I discovered a recent book that bears the title Applied Economics and was written by an esteemed economist (Thomas Sowell), I knew I had to check it out. A key question: What does the word applied do to the name of the discipline it precedes?
I'll address that here over time, touching on it in many posts. What I want to do now is share an argument for localization that developed as I read Applied Economics and is completely new to me. In Sowell's discussion of Free and Unfree Labor (chapter 2), when he's focused on slave prices, he declares multiple, interlocking, detrimental effects of absentee ownership/hired management. Many problems arise because managers naturally have different agendas than owners. They have different needs. In particular, the employment insecurity of managers drives them to perform immediately, in ways they expect their inevitable prospective next employers to appreciate. I have a record of getting exceptional results! I represent more money for you! What they've left behind is the last thing on their minds, in all senses. Often, what they leave behind is not what the owner had in mind in the first place, is not what the owner would have produced. The owner generally would have been more conservative, more of a conservationist. Sufficiency and sustainability would eclipse productivity-without-limit-at-any-cost – the way of too many managers.
Here's are Sowell's words and phrases:
“...plantations with resident owners tended to operate more efficiently in long-run terms – with the people, the animals, the soil, and the structures and equipment better maintained, even if that meant somewhat less output than if everything was sacrificed for immediate production.”
Our area has no plantations, of course, but we have production potential that residents can best develop, if they choose to be fully present and productive owners of local enterprises.  That's what we need; steadily increasing local investments of attention, time and energy can make this a wonderful place to make a living, for the long run.