Serving Denton, NC & Surrounding Communities

Viewpoint

Letter to the Editor:
 
Editor:
During a recent meeting of the Denton Town Commissioners a guest speaker was invited to offer proposition #1,205,329 of the road goes down hill in both directions.

The particular speaker has been making the rounds at city and town council meetings in Davidson County. Why? The county commissioners told the speaker NO and hence the speaker seeks glowing letters of recommendation from city and town councils to be given to the county commissioners showing wide politico support for proposition #1,205,329 of the road goes down hill in both directions.

Paraphrasing the speech:
(1) fifteen years ago political power purveyors of Davidson County proposed a 1,500 acre industrial park. The park never came to fruition,

(2) the speaker has dusted off that proposal, now it is a 500 acre park, based on a public-private-nonprofit partnership. That is the worst of all possible entities. Quoting John Cochrane of the University of Chicago: “Maybe for-profit companies pay too much attention to stock prices. But non-profits can go on inefficiently forever, with no stockholders to complain. The whole point of a non-profit is to pursue goals other than economic efficiency.”

Note: According to the March 2014 edition of Site Selection Magazine, right next door in Guilford County, 35 empty industrial sites are seeking tenants, 

(2b) a private industrial site developer (none other than the guest speaker) is heading up the public-private-nonprofit partnership. The private developer, who one would think is a private sector type person, is proposing grants and government loans (other people‘s money) to fund the 500 acre industrial park. Who’d a thunk it? Which leads one to another point: There is a world of difference between pro-markets which is pro-consumer and pro-business which is pro-the-few,

(3) the guest speaker only needs between $7 to $11 million of taxpayer money to get this baby off the ground,
(4) according to the speaker, the Davidson county commissioners told him if his idea is so sure fire, then why not privately develop the site himself (that’s an excellent question),

(5) according to the guest speaker, corporations only locate to sites that already have all utilities, sewer, environmental impact studies, etc. Corporations don’t risk their own money regarding site location, 

Note: Upon further review one can only wonder why corporations do not take the risk....maybe because politicos through the mechanism of government have created an environment with sites already having all utilities, sewer, etc. via taxpayer expense?

6) armed with an Economic Development Commission study, the site will create 9,000 jobs and $2 million of annual tax revenue. There is no “economics” in Economic Development Commissions and their study is a pure guess. However, the speaker frames the study as over optimistic and that he is ahead of the curve and states the site will only attract 4,500 jobs and $1 million of tax revenue (good cop/bad cop).

Sweet huh? 

One needs to fully appreciate the political economy observation of: Other people (politicos), spending other people’s money (taxpayer), on other people (recipient). Did the speaker receive his glowing letter of recommendation? You betcha!

W.E. Heasley

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