John Maynard Keynes was quite a quotable bloke, but his most famous quote was that "in the long run we are all dead."
That is why all governments use the bandage approach to governing, rather than creating long-term value. Voters insist on immediate improvement, so politicians give them cosmetic solutions. The politicians themselves probably want to see some value in their labor before they die, so they go along with the pressure for short-term results.
As a community leader, you have the same choice. You can build libraries, which build minds, which build businesses. Or you can organize monthly swap meets in your town, which will bring in revenue now.