June 17, 2006

Announcement today

Those who helped grease the skids to locate the Triumph Pork "processing" plant on prime wetlands are quite giddy. The Illinois Department of Economic and Community Opportunity and Triumph have sealed an agreement. (no details)

The deal is to be announced at noon today in East Moline at the new Metro Link facility according to a well placed source.

A great self-congratulatory spirit will be savored by the politicians and the players involved, as well as all those who enjoy listening to the above give speeches praising each other to high heaven for the benefit of the press who, along with a few staffers and hangers-on, will likely make up the entire audience.

Look out Silvis... here come those high paying jobs!! Expect to see the "trickle-down" economic ripple effect from the plant in your bank account soon. (Just stay out of the river.)

10 Comments:

At 6/18/2006 5:23 PM, Blogger Huck Finn said...

What did we figure that the average salary was for this plant? Was it something like $11.75/hour?

That's not trickle down economics...that's not even an ooze.

So, ya got a follow up, TID?

 
At 6/19/2006 12:32 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yes Huck, I'm aware of this. I get attacked vicously every time I write anything opposing this plant. So I decided to adopt the cheer-leader's talking points that the wealth from this plant will enrich us all.

I've even had comments trying to say the pig plant will allow destitute little children have a college education, and every other phony Norman Rockwell American dream image.

Of course, who the spin-off "trickles" on will probably be fairly limited, especially in light of the vast amount of tax revenues forfeited in the bargain.

I'm sorry if my sarcasm wasn't clear.

 
At 6/19/2006 2:17 PM, Blogger Craig said...

I think your sarcasm was very clear. I respect your opinons on this matter, I have read this blog for awhile and never commented. However, I think that the business and the jobs will help the citizens in the QC. Yes, $11.25 an hour isn't a great salary, but there is nothing wrong with creating 1,000 jobs. Better they come here than another city.

This plant wont enrich us all. Nor will it show the American dream, but it is a job. I don't think anyone finds it glamerious to do custodial work, but it's a job. Unfortunatley, money is everything in America, and yes maybe the extra money going from a minimum wage job to one that pays $11.25 will help send someone to college.

 
At 6/20/2006 1:35 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Craig,
First off, welcome, and thanks for participating.

Secondly, your opinion is perfectly reasonable of course.

But here's the way I see things. Maybe it's finally to the point where I can put it in words. (We'll see)

I realize that the area needs development and jobs. It also needs other stimulus, such as the WIU project, and cultural attractions and general quality of life type projects.

I can't get enthused about the hog plant because of two primary reasons. First because of the massive tax abatements and "incentives" given to the corporation. I can't get past the feeling that this is corporate blackmail and they're playing it to the hilt.

Secondly, I don't like to see this particular type of development. I'm not so sure it's progress, or more precisely, the kind of "progress" we need.

On the surface, the plusses seem like a no-brainer, a lot of decent living wage jobs.

And of course, there are the pile of negatives which are often unreported or under-reported. These are a matter of values, and it seems that the vast majority of people consider "Jobs" as more important than any other issue, environmental or social.

It seems, as I've said, that the mere mention of "jobs" clouds people's minds to the point of agreeing to nearly anything without taking a cold hard look at the situation. And it also seems to eliminate anyone taking the long view.

So, that aside, let's consider for the moment that it is a good thing for the area.

But is this the road we want to go down? Do we want to establish the area as a welcoming and hospitable to environmentallly dubious industry?

With the expected influx of truly toxic concentrated farming operations, we could be in for some pretty nasty stuff to deal with. Sure, it won't show up on your doorstep, but it will be there, and will degrade the general area as well as local waterways.

There is more than enough documented evidence about such operations that if the public ever had access to it, they'd have a decidedly negative view towards them.

But back to my point. This area has a LOT going for it. It should be able to attract business.

But is it going to help, or hurt, the effort to attract the sorts of business and industry that would be preferable, such as tech industries or white collar operations and the like, to have the area have large environmentally difficult facilities?

Let me try to put it another way. I'd rather have the area grow in the way Aurora or Naperville has. (Of course that's idealistic, I realize those areas are in the suburbs of Chicago, but hey, idealism is only idealism when not enough people believe it can be done.)

I believe that cleaner tech or service industries attract other tech or service industries.

And environmentally iffy industries attract other environmentally iffy industries.

If we're to have a great quality of life here, both for our present population and with which to lure businesses and professionals to the area, is plopping a gargantuan hog slaughtering operation in the middle of prime wetlands barely outside the city limits the way to do so?

And if we jump at other similar proposals, what direction will that take us?

If we always jump at jobs for jobs sake, then how can we expect to develop or attract the sorts of econonic stimulus and "clean" business that everyone professes to want to attract?

There's no shortage of science based, tech businesses out there. And there's sure the heck no shortage of businesses and corporations which are NOT hog slaughtering operations or the like.

It may be impossible to even contemplate turning down such a large economic factor as the Triumph deal. But if we are serious about a vision of the area as being a haven for highly skilled, highly educated workers, and creating a thriving cultural presense, upgrading and improving our parks and other such facilities, etc. then shouldn't we be a bit selective?

And if we want money to beautify the area and continue to provide great parks and recreation opportunitys, beautify downtowns, and all the rest that help make the area attractive to new business and new workforces, (as well as current residents) should we really be giving away literally millions of dollars of tax revenue, the very revenue which could be used for such things, to attract an operation like Triumph?

If a large tech company located here, let's say, rather than Triumph, there'd be a ton of jobs available as well. But the potential for long term damage to the land and water wouldn't be there, nor would the huge burden on infrastructure, sewage treatment, etc.

If cleaner industries and busineses located here, other similar companies would be prompted to take a closer look at the area if they planned to expand.

Perhaps it could be summed up as, "be the growth you want to have".

Recently, some people who don't like my views employ the cop out that they're just not capable of understanding them, or that reading more than a few paragraphs apparently taxes their brains to the bursting point, but ... as inarticulate and imprecise as it may be, I trust my basic points are clear.

 
At 6/24/2006 10:08 PM, Blogger Inside the Dope said...

So let me get this straight. You are against giving tax breaks to companies to entice them to the community. Are you against them all together. If IBM wanted to manufacture here at $100/Hr would you be against thit also. Just askin. Also you seem so gung Ho to spend the taxpayers real money on a universtiy when we have Black Hawk. We also have perfectly good Universities in Macomb, Champaign, and in Dekalb. Is it that one is giving companies money and one is government sponsored. I am trying to fiigure this out.

 
At 6/25/2006 1:24 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

INside the Dope.

You surely haven't read anything I've written that suggests that I'm against ANY business locating here, let alone one such as IBM.

Are you trying to ask whether I'd be against tax givaways to IBM? (I'm trying to write your thoughts for you since yours aren't exactly clear.)

I wrote at length about how nearly everyone agrees that the best sort of growth and development would be exactly the IBM sort of tech industry. If I might ask, where did you get the idea that I'd be against that as well?

I guess my answer to what I THINK you're asking (again, it's not clear) is that if corporate blackmail had to be paid, I'd find paying a high tech company blackmail a bit easier to swallow than paying off a big polluter.

I think the WIU extention is a worthy receipient of state dollars because it will provide the only 4 year public university in the area which provide graduate level courses.

This will be of great benefit to local residents, perhaps those who have been displaced from rust-belt industrial jobs, by providing them a chance to receive the education required to advance in a different carreer area.

It will also ensure that local residents are able to get the specific training required by local corporations and companies for filling their positions, rather than importing workers from out of the area, out of the state, and out of the country.

The WIU project is providing as much high wage employment as any large company, AND giving even more people the chance to advance, excell, and prosper.

Punching a clock and gutting hogs isn't exactly the same thing.

Do you understand now? If not, I'll keep working with you. But something tells me you're not in a hurry to see my point.

 
At 6/25/2006 10:10 AM, Blogger Inside the Dope said...

What part of this don't you understand?

"You are against giving tax breaks to companies to entice them to the community. Are you against them all together."

Do you have trouble reading?

 
At 6/25/2006 9:32 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

"You surely haven't read anything I've written that suggests that I'm against ANY business locating here, let alone one such as IBM.

Are you trying to ask whether I'd be against tax givaways to IBM? (I'm trying to write your thoughts for you since yours aren't exactly clear.)

I wrote at length about how nearly everyone agrees that the best sort of growth and development would be exactly the IBM sort of tech industry. If I might ask, where did you get the idea that I'd be against that as well?

I guess my answer to what I THINK you're asking (again, it's not clear) is that if corporate blackmail had to be paid, I'd find paying a high tech company blackmail a bit easier to swallow than paying off a big polluter."


What part of THAT don't you understand. Get serious or stop wasting my time acting like you're too stupid to read.

 
At 6/26/2006 6:30 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Will the real inside dope please stand up? I am confused about the exchange above.

 
At 6/27/2006 1:11 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Maybe, some oh-so-clever person chose the nick "Inside THE Dope".

Just look for that and you'll know who is definitely not myself.

As always, a reader needs to read carefully here to avoid confusion. I spend most of my time responding to readers who've skimmed over posts, not read comments carefully, or are simply pretending to not understand what is written. (not you maybe)

 

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