A [Greensboro] shocker

"Today’s Wall Street Journal Review & Outlook editorial
...takes notice:

“You can beat city hall.

Local politicians like to get in bed with local business,
and taxpayers are usually the losers.

...such sweetheart deals can be defeated.”


..Journal editors expose crony capitalism and corporate welfare schemes,
and they waste few words in condemning these harmful practices.

The three Republican members of the [Greensboro] City Council
who consider themselves fiscal conservatives
but nonetheless voted for the corporate welfare that voters rejected
...need to consider this a wake up call.

"The core issue is fairness
—and not of the soak-the-rich kind...

One of the leaders of the opposition, [George Hartzman],
...says that what infuriated voters was the veneer of "political cronyism."

What Americans seem to want most from government these days is equal treatment.

They increasingly realize that powerful government nearly always helps the powerful,
whether the beneficiaries are a [business lobby] that can carve a sweet deal
...or corporations that can hire lobbyists to write a tax loophole.

This is why Americans ...rebel when city hall abuses eminent domain
to bully people out of their homes for a big business

Let's hope for more such popular uprisings."


"In late 2011 the [Greensboro] city council passed a bill
exempting the new [Downtown] Hotel, owned by real-estate developers,
from 75% of the city hotel tax, on top of at least $10 million in other subsidies.

The measure was sold in the name of jobs and urban redevelopment,
and the local power brokers were all for it:
the Chamber of Commerce, the political class, the city newspaper.

All the skids were greased..."

These members, it should be noted,
routinely vote in concert with the Democrats ...on the council.

For good measure, we should note that Sedgwick County Commission Republicans
...routinely — but not always — vote for these crony capitalist measures.

The [Greensboro] business community, headed by the [Greensboro Partnership]
...endorsed this measure, too.

Hopefully this ...will convince [Greensboro's] political and bureaucratic leaders
that our economic development policies are not working.

...It is now up to our leaders
to find within themselves the capability to change — or we all shall suffer."

Bob Weeks

No comments: