Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Opinion

January 14, 2014

MARCUS: Economic development or ego gratification?

Economic develop-ment activity includes prospecting trips and granting incentives. As we witnessed in Indiana, the governor of Louisiana, too, is off “to develop deeper relationships with companies in Asia”

The Baton Rouge Advocate (1/9/14) reported Gov. Bobby Jindal sees a “need to diversify and go beyond our country’s borders … to focus on the next frontier for business opportunities … to personally communicate that my administration stands ready to assist the development of their respective projects in Louisiana and that these companies should consider our state as a strong partner in their prospective operations.”

This song is familiar in the Pelican State. The Advocate, however, found no examples of similar trips by Jindal’s predecessor yielding any of the expected returns.

This might come as no surprise to Richard Lindenmuth of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. He says (USA Today 1/9/14), “CEOs know that tax breaks and other corporate incentives have only a marginal impact in attracting businesses. More important are good schools, the cost of living and the general business environment.”

Mr. Lindenmuth might know, but not want to say, the cost of living depends on the level of wages (low pay turns into low purchasing power and then low housing values).

What “general business environment” means is an open question. For some in Indiana, it means low taxes on businesses, minimal protection of workers’ health and safety, and avoidance of responsibility for environmental consequences.

There seems to be no low to how far some economic development agencies will go to bag a success. Take the case of the Newark Co. in Chicago. It “will move its offices — and about 350 employees — to the West Loop from the Ravenswood neighborhood after landing nearly $1 million in tax credits” from the state of Illinois. (Crain’s Chicago Business 1/8/14)

A few facts: The new site, a few miles away from the old site within Chicago, offers “a more open, team-oriented office layout downtown.” “The state has agreed to provide an estimated $913,406 in tax credits over the next 10 years to retain 150 jobs Newark indicated it was considering moving to Richfield, Ohio, [a suburb of Akron] according to a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Holly Sklar SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin

    July 23, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have

    July 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho

    July 22, 2014

  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The sheer dumbness of an enormous dome There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 22, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on T

    July 21, 2014

  • LYONS: When academic committees play 'police' If one believes even a significant fraction of the horror stories in the national news media, beastly male behavior has become almost epidemic on American college campuses. Tales of drunken sexual assaults and worse multiply from sea to shining sea.E

    July 21, 2014

  • CEPEDA: Hispanic women flock to the movies My family attended the first morning screening of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which won last weekend’s box office with a $73 million debut.According to Lucas Shaw’s recent article “Hispanic Women Are This Summer’s Most Avid Moviegoers” on the e

    July 20, 2014

  • thelma CONRAD: A true Lincoln original The Cass County Historical Society has had in its possession for many decades several documents containing the signature of President Abraham Lincoln. The society never doubted the authenticity of the signature, given the fact that most of the first

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.