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Great opinion piece, Bob!
Posted: 30 October 2012 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Interesting.  GTM’s poor wages are insignificant when someone wants them to be, years ago, water under the bridge, etc., except that the city’s information on the city’s web site about the sales tax has GTM prominently listed as the largest job creator.  Can’t have it both ways—if the city is going to showcase GTM as the largest job creator, then discussion of that deal, no matter how long ago it was, should be fair game.  Why did Prathista pay a living wage?  Because the Living Wage Coalition asked them to, so they did.  Why didn’t MATC pay all of its employees a living wage?  Because it wasn’t required to, but MATC would have in order to get the deal.  So, let’s see—government can’t determine wages, just the winners and losers.  Gimme a break.  Once government starts handing out dollars, tax breaks, and other benefits, it ceases to be a “free market.”

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Posted: 30 October 2012 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I understand the argument and do not agree with two of the city slides, the one on job creation (GTM) and the one on infrastructure. I am against the old economic development strategic concept.  I have only been directly involved in the three applications that I posted about earlier.  Those are limited to two folks earning less than 12 dollars an hour.  I think the application form for economic development funds achieves the LWC goal.  You are correct we do not have a true free market, due to local, State and Federal regulation.  But we need to focus on the future not the past.  The current tax proposal is not a redo of Medofab or the 2002 tax.  It is also not about the Living Wage.  It is about– Debt Reduction, Roads/Bridges, Infrastructure, the smaller cities and last Economic Development.  The living wage is a distant footnote under economic development and should not be a priority in the sales tax discussion.

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Posted: 30 October 2012 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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You do not agree with two of the city’s slides, which begs the question, who decided what the content should be of the information being put out by the city?  Yes, I’m sure the viewpoint of “we need to focus on the future not the past” would be what one would emphasize when the track record of the past was not so great, which is what politicians do when they don’t want voters to remember how they voted on issues.  Or, when they don’t want voters to remember the track record of eco-devo incentives which resulted in half the created jobs being low wage.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I do not get to pick the slides and craft the entire message.  It is a group effort.  Everyone has the ability to look at data and draw their own conclusion.  I tend to not buy into two of the slides.  My take on the data is that I was involved in only the past three economic development efforts.  I explained the logic on those earlier.  I will be involved in the next two years of possible economic development efforts.  So my focus is on the future and what influence if any I had on the past three projects.

I do not have a track record of ten years of economic development influence.  You seem to infer that my comment on look at the future is designed to obfuscate the tax issue and votes that I may have cast on the issue.  That allegation is false as I have a very limited record – three votes on specific economic development issues.  I do not have a ten year track record of votes on this topic.  For that reason I tend to look at this tax from the standpoint of what happened during the past three years and what can happen in the future.  In the past three years the LWC position has been supported by change of the economic development application process to place heavy emphasis on high wages, the last two companies have all wages above the LWC desires.  Only MATC, and educational organization had two employees below the artificial LWC wage floor. 

I believe I have adequately explained how I view the five part tax in earlier posts.  I want the voter to have the facts so that they can make an informed determination based on all of the information.  Voting no on this tax will accomplish nothing for the idea of forcing a living wage on the community.  What it will do is kill future eco devo efforts, which are not my priority.  A failed ½ sales tax may be viewed by the LWC as a victory, but it will be a pyrrhic victory; because the defeat of the roads, infrastructure, small cities and debt reduction part of the tax will be a consequence of that victory.  The resulting budget turmoil for 2014 for both the County and the City may have adverse implications for many other projects that various groups support.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Sorry that my comment was unclear.  What I meant was what I said:  “the track record of eco-devo incentives which resulted in half the created jobs being low wage,” i.e. the track record of the tax over the past 10 years and what it has been used for.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Agree.  The data clearly indicates that the MEDOFAB and 2002 Jobs and Road Tax did not support the concept presented by the LWC.  That total track record is bad if you base it on that criterion.  If the tax had been put back on the ballot in the exact same form as 2002, it would not have my support.  The current ballot issue is much changed over the old program, especially if you consider the new eco devo application process.  I take a more optimistic approach toward future results.  I do not anticipate a repeat of the past failures of the eco devo program.  I also am optimistic that any future projects will be more in line with the CivicsPlus project which LWC supported.  I am also optimistic that funds will be used more for the greater benefit of all business, citizens and property owners through much greater emphasis on the infrastructure part of the proposed tax continuation.

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