Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Vacant Lot of Corporate Welfare

I remember way back, years ago, when the debate over welfare reform was going on, conservatives would detail the damage done by welfare and the need to end it as it currently existed. Liberals would respond "Well if you're going to get rid of welfare, then we'll get rid of corporate welfare!". This was obviously designed to evoke an emotional response, one that would make the conservative give up on the welfare reform idea; however, all I remember thinking at the time was "blah...whatever".

Nowadays, I wonder what happened to the liberals of old. Truth was, they never had anything against corporate welfare since that allowed them some form of control over the businesses receiving it. The fact that they would let the 'poor and oppressed' in their mind get 'screwed over' while letting corporate conglomerates off scott free should frame it up nicely. The more ignorant among the Republican representatives (which, unfortunately, probably constitutes the majority) have long had mental issues separating the fact that 'pro-business' and 'pro-free market' are completely separate, often competing ideals; but I guess I expected more from the Teddy Kennedys of the world (well no, I didn't, but it sure sounds good).

Anyway, with the debate going on over whether governments should sign checks over to those who say they're doing 'stem cell research' and the signing into law of the bloated federal transportation bill, I figured I'd finally get around to posting this picture of a local corporate welfare project:

The domed building in the back of the picture is all that was completed of a construction project that was actually part of a glorified Ponzi scheme. Of course before that all went down, the mayor made a point of eminent domaining away some existing businesses which were located right behind the fence behind the fuel pumps. Of course the mayor got to choose the winners and losers and actually bragged in the local paper about how he was going to eminent domain away an Arby's that is next to the now vacant lot.

I've no idea how he came about to such a decision (...I'm sure it was all clean...), but it should give pause for thought for anyone who thinks the government should be given the job of handing out favors to business - government rarely 'creates', it is usually just a destroyer. Whether it's looking the other way on illegal immigration as a cheap labor sop, handing out checks to their buddies for some miracle medical cure which will never come about, or abusing power for special favors - it brings up the old line: the only way to eliminate corruption in high places, is to eliminate high places.

(Fun Fact 1: I live in Parma Heights which is just west of Parma. The man who originated the modern Ponzi scheme, Carlo Ponzi, was born in Parma, Italy.)

(Fun Fact 2: Many moons ago, the state of Ohio voted to give Cincinnati a pork project in the way of the Aronoff Center, conveniently named for the a$$hole state senator from the area who coordinated its approval. The locals were so ticked that they held a vote, which passed, that in essence told the statehouse to go screw themselves and give tax money back instead of pork. Needless to say, the state said "too bad, we're keeping your money and building it anyway". That's why I think this whole issue that there needs to be handouts to districts is B.S., no one would care if nobody got pork; but let one person get their needless project cum corporate welfare and it just gets out of hand.)

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