Bankrupt in Thought
San Bernardino blues: Bankrupt city flailing amid financial overhaul | Al Jazeera America
What the city will spend money on is a new redevelopment guru to attract business investment to an area that turned the former Norton Air Force Base into the San Bernardino International Airport — an airport with a spanking-new passenger terminal to handle flights but, so far, no scheduled service from any airline.
via San Bernardino blues: Bankrupt city flailing amid financial overhaul | Al Jazeera America.
I don’t understand. If the city is bankrupt, why is it spending money on business ventures?
The city is bankrupt but continues to spend money on business projects of an apparently dubious nature. The San Bernardino International Airport appears to be a major example of a verb large expenditure designed to attract business without proper planning. The article below might give you an idea of the planning for this airport (there’s another airport 23 miles away).
Or this article –
But I’ve seen this before, many times. Cities will give out tax breaks to businesses, use eminent domain to seize property for private development and allocate some taxation powers to new malls, etc. Essentially they are getting rid of their own tax base. In addition, cities are building projects designed to attract business. There seems to always be politicians who are willing to invest tax money in dubious enterprises or as a reward for support. After all, it’s not their money. Furthermore, officeholders in cities may only serve for a few years. After that you need a new job. It’s good to have friends and one way to make friends is to give out lots of money.
Rahm Emanuel, the current mayor of Chicago and one of the most aggressive masters of the corporate handout, has little to fear if he loses his next election. He will no doubt find a safe harbor in a minimally six figure salaried job with any number of organizations what benefited from his “kindness.” Those benefits came straight from the taxpayers while he hammered those same taxpayers’ services.
All over the United States, city political offices have become corporate benefactors, and by the time the citizens realize their city is being looted, the elected official has moved on to greener pastures.
If public service is your reward in a society where many people believe that money is the only thing of value, that’s a pretty thin reward. If you believe that money is the only thing of importance and that those fools who elected you should have known better, then why not close the public libraries and the schools so you have money to build a new stadium or an airport? Why not sell the right to collect money from the city’s parking meters and turn highways into toll roads administered from Dubai?
Do businesses have a moral obligation not to loot the cities and states they live in? Or is that just “business.”
Or are we seeing a new wave, a new movement? A new corporate attitude? Let’s loot the cities. Let’s loot the states. And then move our headquarters to Canada (or Ireland).
Is it parochial to believe that corporations should pay taxes and avoid collecting welfare from governments?
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