Labor Day

We All Labor To Support Trump’s Debt (9-3-18, a teaser headline run by Salon’s Bob Hennelly). As mentioned too many times by this blog, one person’s debt is another’s asset. Same day, NY Times’s Campbell Robertson and Jim Tankersley headlined: Growth Has Lifted Counties That Voted for Trump. Mostly, It’s the Wealthy Ones. President Trump’s economy has left the most distressed swaths of the country waiting for their share of the good times. This was a curious, though redundant, analysis of the tale of two counties – one in St. Charles County Missouri, and another in Knox County Illinois. Of note: “The most prosperous Trump-supporting counties — as ranked by the Economic Innovation Group, a think tank in Washington focused on geographic disparities in the American economy — added jobs at about a 2 percent annual rate in 2017. The least prosperous Trump counties, which the group calls “distressed,” did not add any new jobs, on net. As a group, the distressed counties saw more businesses close than open in 2017, and they lost population over the course of the year. St. Charles County, which sits in the most prosperous slice of American counties, saw job growth of nearly 2 percent last year, and business growth of 6 percent. By contrast, about 200 miles north in Illinois, Knox County ranks in the bottom fifth of prosperity nationwide, according to the Economic Innovation Group’s rankings.” “In Mr. Obama’s final year in office, according to data from the Labor Department, Knox County lost 1 percent of its jobs and businesses. In Mr. Trump’s first year, it lost more than 5 percent of its jobs — and nearly 7 percent of businesses. Knox County also continues to see higher unemployment than the nation as a whole. Its unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in July, down only slight from its rate of 5 percent in July 2017.” Analysis found it unnecessary to go that far from Newark to find evidence of this within today’s headlines. Writing for the 9-3-18 Plain Dealer, Susan Glaser headlines Planet Oasis: $2 billion Ohio entertainment complex plans spark debate as new details emerge. This blog covered the zoning controversy that ended with the Tanger Outlet Mall coming to Berkshire Township in Delaware County just west of Sunbury. That agreement opened the door for further development – such as David Glimcher’s Planet Oasis (yes, that Glimcher). “Glimcher said he will finance the massive project via dozens of small deals with individual operators of the attractions, hotels and restaurants. The development does stand to benefit from an already existing tax-increment financing plan on the land, which allows property tax revenue to be funneled back into infrastructure improvements.” Where have we heard that before? (Hint; The author of The Art Of The Deal) “Opponents, meanwhile, are relatively powerless to stop it. The property was rezoned for mixed-use development in 2016, which cleared the way for the development of the Tanger Outlet Mall, which opened last year.” Hmmm, sounds inevitable, or natural, depending on your outlook. “Besides, he [opponent “Joshua Varble, who lives about 3 miles from the project”] said, Delaware County – the wealthiest in Ohio – doesn’t need the economic boost.” Celebrating his own diversity “Glimcher said he has planned the development to appeal to all ages and economic levels, locals and out-of-towners. Central Ohio, he said, is within a day’s drive of 100 million people – a bigger reach than either Orlando or Los Angeles. Despite local opposition, Glimcher said reaction to the development has been largely enthusiastic. “In the 40 years that I’ve been doing this, we have the least amount of negative reaction that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “People need a stress reliever. People are looking for something positive.”” Helping to enable all this positivity “A new highway interchange is planned for the area, about a mile south of exit 131, though construction isn’t expected to start until next year at the earliest.” Polaris (a Glimcher development), which lies just south of Berkshire Township, received a new interchange only after completion and operation indicated a need. Analysis finds much to question here. ODOT will build a road wherever it is told. But it can only do so if transportation funding is provided. Transportation funding expended on new highway construction is transportation funding not invested in public transportation. Who really is benefitting from the transportation funding being spent on a redundant interchange? Who is benefitting from development? A day’s drive for 100 million people wouldn’t be affected too much by developing in a “depressed” central Ohio county, but would benefit so many more people. These same people will be burdened by the debt of state funding for a new highway interchange that benefits “the wealthiest [county] in Ohio.”

‘There is the employer’s sabotage as well as the worker’s sabotage. Employers interfere with the quality of production, they interfere with the quantity of production, they interfere with the supply as well as with the kind of goods for the purpose of increasing their profit. But this form of sabotage, capitalist sabotage, is antisocial, for the reason that it is aimed at the benefit of the few at the expense of the many, whereas working-class sabotage is distinctly social, it is aimed at the benefit of the many, at the expense of the few. —- Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, 1916

 

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