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Thread: Peeve for the day: "economic development"

  1. #1

    Peeve for the day: "economic development"

    My Peeve for the Day is "economic development," by which we mean the practice of subsidizing industries in order to encourage them to re-locate. Oh, I suppose some economic development actually creates new jobs, but mostly we are just poaching them from each other. And often we are helping companies to escape labor unions or tough environmental regulations. Who benefits when the taxpayers shell out millions of dollars to help companies jump from one community to another?

  2. #2

    Peeve for the day: "economic development"

    Only the big out of town corporations benefit, certainly not the taxpayers. It seems that these days, Economic Development is nothing more than corporate welfare. Economic development or "economic terrorism", as I prefer to call it, does nothing more than subsidize out-of-town big business at local business and taxpayer expense, often at the expense of good planning and zoning.

    In my town, an historic apartment complex was partially demolished so that Home De(s)pot could get commercial "spot zoning" to build one of their huge big box stores in a residentially zoned area. Home Depot claimed the new store would bring in over 200 new jobs averaging over $10/hour, but this is little more than a couple of $60,000/year managers skewing up a bunch of $7/hour cashier and other menial positions. Already, a couple of local hardware stores have gone out of business and other related local businesses have seen a drop in number of customers since the Home Depot store opened.

    I probably don't have to tell you that Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, Walgreen's and others like it are among the greatest proponents of economic terrorism in the cournty. In communities across the nation, downtowns, neighborhoods and cornfields have been gutted by the proliferation of these out-of-scale, cookie cutter stores. The fact that this construction is being subsidized by local governments, all in the name of "economic development" is absolutely criminal.

    This form of economic development contributes urban sprawl and environmental degradation as well. Recipients of corporate welfare are always demanding a big office building on a campus like setting in the middle of downtown surrounded by a parking lot about the size of Rhode Island. This burdens the already overtaxed sewer and drainage system not to mention the local landfill that is filled by all the buildings demolished for their pretensious, piece-of-crap glass tower or faceless big box.

    Clearly, economic developent is often nothing more than flagrant corporate welfare in the form of generous tax abatements, free or cheap land, and subsidized infrastructure, all paid for by the tax payers, of course. The taxpayers also foot the bill for any relocation expenses of businesses and residents affected by the project, often grossly underinflated by city officials to help justify that project. This practice benefits no one but the corporate fatcats and powerful city officials that have zero accountability. "Economic Terrorism" is out of control and most be stopped at all costs.

  3. #3
    I recently relocated from New Hampshire. New Hampshire does not play the economic incentive game. No tax give aways (all we have is a local property tax and that is the reason why so many New Hampshire communities support economic development projects - to reduce their taxes). It was interesting having to operate in an environment where you had to use brain power and creativity to create incentives rather than throwing money at prospects.

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