A new report from the Iowa Policy Project shows what critics call major flaws in the state’s new economic development program. The “Grow Iowa Values Fund” is falling short on job creation goals and isn’t doing enough to boost the average wage in Iowa according to Colin Gordon, the author of the Iowa Policy Project report. Gordon charges that Iowa’s engaged with South Dakota and other neighboring states in a “race to the bottom.” Gordon says lawmakers need to link state business subsidies to high-wage jobs. Gordon calls it a “very sloppy” of stimulating a local economy, charging the agency’s “inclined to give away money when people ask for it.” Gordon is a University of Iowa history professor who reviews wage and employment trends for the Iowa Policy Project, a liberal think-tank based in Mount Vernon. Gordon calls it “a sort of slush fund, masquerading as a serious high-wage bio-tech initiative,” and says the state shouldn’t give taxpayers’ money to any business that doesn’t pay less than a high benchmark wage. Gordon says the rules on job creation should be stricter and the state should hold companies to the rules. But Tina Hoffman, spokeswoman for the state economic development agency, says the rules were intended to be flexible, so the board could help a variety of businesses.The “little bit of flexibility in the rules” was done intentionally, she says, noting every project is different.Hoffman says the fund is meeting the goals the governor and legislature laid out for it. In its first 12 months the Values Fund worked, she says, noting that it’s created more than 7,500 jobs with 36 projects, carrying an average wage of 40-thousand-800 dollars compared with the state’s average wage of 29,000. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows sees some irony in the report. Iverson says some people claim “the Values Fund is the greatest thing since sliced bread” while the Public Policy Institute claims it’s ruining wages. Iverson says “something’s goofy here” since the two perspectives don’t “jive.”