by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
The commissioners were called on the mat for giving GE taxpayer dollars. Commissioner David King replied that some people are too political to look at the realities. He is going to do that which brings jobs to Buncombe County, rather than holding fast to partisan ideologies.
In the Third World, it is not uncommon for people to get into politics for corrupt reasons. In America, however, I think most people run for public office to right some wrong or to argue for the little guy. Really. But rather than running through possible scenarios and examining existing data to try to find something that works, things devolve into demonization wherein one party tells the other they hate the poor.
And so the world’s second-largest corporation was given lots of advantages by the Buncombe County Commissioners and the City of Asheville. Were the corporation poor, I would argue that giving it money is not the way to sustain its health or the health of the economy. In today’s conversations, the economy is viewed as an ambient field. If government decides where money goes, it multiplies without subtraction. If the taxpayer spends his dollars at his own discretion, instead of giving them to government to pay administrators to give them to multinationals with huge lobbying machines, that is bad. I don’t believe the models, and you shouldn’t, either.
As I’ve said before, one of the great things about think-tanking instead of politicking is that we have the luxury of looking at long-range, long-term consequences; whereas politicians have to focus on near-term fixes. I even felt at times that the commissioners may have more-than-tolerated my position of being able to speak my mind rather than singing the praises of GE. If I am being political, my politics is to promote individualism and buck tyranny. Corporate welfare transfers money from the productive, entrepreneurial sector to the crony capitalist sector. Not only do I detest the practice, I firmly believe it is detrimental to quality of life, creative spark, initiative, and other personal traits that lead to prosperity. By embracing and encouraging a crony capitalist culture, we are incenting lobbying, grant-writing, and other nonproductive activities that do not add to GDP.
The commissioners were quick to point out they were also availing corporate-welfare redistributions to small businesses. Well what about the poor secretary who sits around for twelve hours a day and can’t even sort out her thoughts enough to think about going into business for herself? What about the old retired folks who can’t get any of these new $40,000 jobs? What are we doing for them? For those of you who are new to the scene, a basic tenet of classical liberalism is that government should bestow no special privileges.