Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy’s trip to Paris reportedly only cost a measly $3340, and was funded through the local Economic Development Coalition. Once again, we mustn’t ask how many bus tickets that could buy for a poor person to get to and from work because, unlike the bourgeoisie, government money isn’t fungible.
In hush-hush, back-page stuff we learn Buncombe County junketed its county manager, assistant county manager, Commission Chair David Gantt and Commissioner David King for the same occasion, but mum’s the word on who paid how much. These guys had to go to Paris to create jobs and promote Asheville as a great place to locate businesses. As you will recall, I wanted government to create jobs and promote Asheville as a business destination by paying for my maid, beautician, butler, and cook – but here I sit.
The folks at the Mountain Xpress continue to access emails indicative of the legislative delegation’s intent to impose district elections or even delay municipal elections a year if Asheville City Council does not roll over and play dead with any and all terms and conditions presented for control of the city’s water system.
If people die from carbon monoxide poisoning in the same hotel room two months apart, a normal person would probably not rent the room until the source could be identified and eliminated. An elected person, however, would lobby the legislature to require all hotel rooms in the state to have CO detectors.
In other words, an aspiring mathematician trying this would get a Czechoslovakian chewing out for invoking the “one therefore all” fallacy. An aspiring engineer would be flunked out for considering widespread inefficient use of limited resources. A politician would likely be re-elected.
In an exclusive article, the Asheville Citizen-Times announced Mayor Terry Bellamy is in Paris for the announcement of GE Aviation as the proud identity of Project X. Please understand, the mayor is only representing those dumb taxpayers helping GE who can’t even afford to get to and from work. Besides, the mayor will neither wine nor dine. She is only there to offer her expertise as a senior engineer on materials optimization for the motor. After offering a couple design changes, the mayor will proceed to share her expertise in the field of manufacturing processes make strategic recommendations to streamline the production. Following that, she raise education and awareness among the French about how democracy in America is best when the people don’t have a clue what their government is doing. Oh, the article also lets us know that the state – that means you – has not yet announced how much it is going to give the poor, poor second-largest corporation in the world.
Do you subscribe to Governor Pat’s newsletters? What do you think when you see all the jobs the government is creating? I think it is time for a lesson in counting jobs.
Mario owns a fruit market. He payrolls eighteen people. End of story.
Now, Governor Pat and your local city council bribe Large Multinational, Inc. to come to your town through tax breaks and cash incentives, and maybe even a Building A and Building B. LMI payrolls 52 people. In addition, it induces and indirects jobs through economic multipliers. Since LMI hires people that eat lunch, regardless of whether they were eating lunch before or not, LMI can now claim responsibility for two people on Mario’s payroll. They also get credit for one of the grease monkey’s at Carl’s auto repair down the road, and two of the nurses at the local doctor’s office. After four big corporations accept incentives, Mario, Carl, and Dr. Woo find they now only employ half as many people as they payroll while the large corporations employ three times the number to which they issue paychecks.
In the world of math, we might take this to its logical conclusion by hauling in another four companies, causing local employers to have no employees. Another four companies would result in Mario, Carl, and Dr. Woo paying the same amount, but now employing a net -50% of their payroll.
If you don’t believe me, it is because you’re smoking something and you can’t feel the energy of crony capitalism. Everybody who believes in psychokinesis, raise my hand. Everybody who believes in economic multipliers, demand your paycheck from your true employer, LMI.
OK. If that was too complicated for you, it is probably because you are an elected official. So, let’s try some easier math. An article in the News and Observer claims direct jobs aren’t even being created by corporations that receive economic development incentives from taxpayers in the State of North Carolina. Reasons taxpayer subsidized jobs don’t come to fruition include jobs that existed before the government created them, jobs that were going to be created whether or not corporations received government assistance, corporations refusing to sign performance contracts, and jobs that were supposed to be created by money awarded to the sweepstakes industry after sweepstakes were outlawed in the state.
I have a friend who has a theory that bad government decisions are a result of corruption. He thinks, for example, county commissioners and city councilmen must receive bribes and kickbacks to do something as idiotic as redistributing taxpayer largesse to large corporations.
Well, we at the JLF are supposed to be more enlightened than that. We are logical. And, seriously, my friend’s theory is Occam-razoring all the alternatives to shreds.
Robert Levy from the Cato Institute will lead a public policy debate focusing on gun control, healthcare and election finances at 6 p.m. June 20 at the USDA: Agricultural Extension Center, at 589 Raccoon Road in Waynesville. The event is free and open to the public.
If you haven’t heard Levy before, you will be in for a treat. You can sit back and enjoy messages of common sense and justice, and watch your blood pressure drop as you realize not everyone in the world is mad. Levy’s resume, however, may make you feel like a heel for not doing more to defend liberty for all.
Jake Frankel, who I think is an excellent reporter, has posted some information about Buncombe County’s plans for outside agency funding. The article has an unfortunate headline mentioning “picking winners.” The supply side goes without saying. Those interviewed for the article reflect notions prevalent these days about people existing to raise revenue for the government and transfers of wealth being better for the economy than production.
Tonight, I enjoyed reading somewhat from a book about public choice in resource management. Project X and the water fight kept coming to mind as the author discussed topics like rent-seeking; residual claimants; faith in perfectly scientific bureaucracies; and definition, enforceability, and transferability of property rights. This time, understanding is not love.
To be continued . . .
As many of you know, I experienced an industrial accident, and I was lucky to be surrounded by smart and caring people who acted fast. A couple days later, working my day job with a mangled claw, I was struck with horror when word of a man pinned by a machine went out over the police radio. It is assumed the man did not make it because the company was not responding to the assigned reporters’ inquiries. Anybody who has been pinned and mangled by a machine appreciates the horror.
The local daily, however, appears to minimize a severed arm. It was just maybe 75% of the arm, and the victim will survive. I shudder. Then, we’re reminded of a guy who worked for the same outfit who got hit in the head with shrapnel from a busted pipe. We are told it was a minor injury treatable with stitches.
We don’t, however, read about traffic fatalities being minor because people weren’t rolled by tanks, or the recent minor motel deaths caused by colorless, odorless CO rather than nerve gas. Why are MSD tragedies so teeny-weeny? It almost sounds as if the paper doesn’t want to taint the reputation of its favorite contestant in the Asheville water war. Second-guessing that, one wonders if some evil industrial “spiker” isn’t out to make accidents happen to cause the MSD look bad. I had only foreseen potential for Moffy to bribe a Greenpeacenik to play “Manon des Sources.”
I would like to share the following valuable wisdom from me mum:
The reason mommies stay longer than three days is because babies are so helpless and precious. Then with intelligence baby finds out that mommy isn’t so smart. If baby is truly smart they don’t tell mommy this. They keep mommy on fulltime duty by feigning stupidity and ignorance, and mommy is hopelessly entrapped and empowered by feelings of self-importance that she thinks she’s still at the top of the food chain instead of the lining of the garbage can.
Now you know what kind of baby I am, but might this also apply to public policy somehow?