ReGrifting

Here is a concise demonstration of corporate soshulism:

In Irondequoit, just outside Rochester, N.Y., and a few miles from where I live, developer Scott Congel wants $250 million in sales taxes to finance rebuilding the Medley Centre mall while adding condominiums and a hotel. Typically local governments issue bonds, which are paid off using sales tax receipts that are diverted from public purposes to the developer’s benefit.

Subsidies for retail businesses are the worst kind of corporate welfare because, as the end of the economic chain, retailing grows only when population and incomes increase. If population or income falls, then subsidies for new projects like Congel’s damage existing businesses, where people would otherwise be spending their money.

***

Today the mall is empty, its doors sealed, except for a Sears at one end and a Macy’s at the other, each with a handful of customers during my visits.

Congel promised a $260 million project, but five years on nothing is built and Congel is seeking delays in fulfilling promises for which the mall was granted property tax breaks.

The whole piece is worth reading, in no small way due to the fact that it enumerates the pillars of NeoConfederate looting:

  1. Taxpayers contribute when the market rejects.
  2. Taxpayers donate capital, while the owners keep the profits.
  3. The poor may have to pass a drug test to get benefits but rich applicants write their own ticket.
  4. Ignore inconvenient facts.
  5. Government, not the market, picks winners and losers.
  6. Ignore inconvenient laws.
  7. Divert money from schools and other public services to company coffers.
  8. Penalize anyone with the temerity to fight being taxed to give to the already rich.
  9. Privatize gains, socialize losses and destroy competitors who do not get subsidies.

Of course, these principles are valid only when both the government and the recipient of the largesse are GOPers; Democrats need not apply.

(H/T mistermix)

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