June 2, 2006

State finds $16 million in additional pork for Triumph

A $16 million state-incentive package clinched the deal for St. Joseph, Mo.-based Triumph Foods to build a pork processing plant in East Moline.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Thursday that Illinois' Opportunity Returns program would offer tax incentives to Triumph to build a plant near Barstow Road and 172nd Street North. He praised Triumph for bringing at least 1,000 new jobs to northwest Illinois.
So the state stepped up and met Triumph's blackmail demands and now Triumph has decided to beautify the wetlands west of Barstow with a 116 acre slaughterhouse, thus spreading the tax loss across more people than just the 4 local cities.

Pictured beaming proudly on the site of the slaughterhouse in it's natural state before it's turned into an immense high-volume slaughtering facility were:
3rd Ward Alderman Luis Moreno, 5th Ward Alderman Rick Meredith, 7th Ward Alderman Gary Westbrook, city treasurer Bill Vyncke, Mayor John Thodos, 6th Ward Alderman Gary Kelley, 1st Ward Alderman Helen Heiland, 2nd Ward Alderman Luis Puentes, and Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline.

If you stand to turn a buck off the plant, don't live anywhere within miles of it, and aren't troubled by its potentially large negative impact or the millions in tax giveaways which are essentially corporate welfare, the folks listed above are some of the people to thank.

Last December, East Moline officials said a state-incentive package was one domino
(i.e. payoff)
that needed to fall into place for Triumph to build the plant. Enterprise-zone incentives were also part of the plan, but Silvis voted them down twice in April. Triumph could have received more than $3 million in incentives if its proposed site were included in a zone, [Triumph CEO] Hoffman said.

However, the state-incentive package makes up for the loss in zone incentives.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) worked with Triumph for more than a year on the Opportunity Returns incentives, most of which will be paid in tax credits, tax exemptions and grants, department spokesman Andrew Ross said. The department has several tax assistance programs to entice companies to locate to Illinois and offered a number of them to Triumph.

Triumph will receive about $9 million in corporate income tax credits over 10 years. It will receive a $1 million grant because the company is investing in a major expansion. The company will get $1 million to train its employees. It will also receive $4.5 million in investment tax credits and exemptions. East Moline would get a $750,000 grant to partially pay for water and sewer improvements required for the project.

East Moline has already approved a $20 million incentive package for Triumph to pay for an on-site sewage pre-treatment facility, off-site water and sewer improvements and other expenses. The city would need to create a tax-increment financing district, encompassing the proposed site, to generate the money.

In a TIF district, any new revenue created by development goes into a special municipal fund to be used for public infrastructure or rebates to developers.
(Thank God those poor developers are being looked after!)
Quad-Cities officials credited Nancy Mulcahey, Opportunity Returns northwest region manager for the DCEO, for working on the incentive package. She commended local and state officials for responding to Triumph's needs.
(Well, at least they responded to corporate needs, thank goodness for that. What would these poor, poor giant corporations do without massive tax breaks and subsidies from hardworking taxpayers?)
State Sen. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, who couldn't attend the press conference, said over the phone, "We're job-starved. We need the jobs."
(Jobs. Don't bother me with details... all we need to say is the magic word that clouds men's minds and justifies literally anything, no matter the consequences or cost... jobs.)
State Rep. Patrick Verschoore, D-Milan, said in a written statement that government officials should do everything they can to create more jobs.
(There it is again, the fairy dust of politicians... throw "jobs" at people and they act like Dorothy and her pals in the poppy field. Apparently, there's no sin that "jobs" won't excuse.)
State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, addressed the concern of illegal immigrant workers applying for Triumph jobs. "We are going to do our best to make sure legal kids, our kids, get jobs in this plant."
(That's encouraging. Hope this "best" isn't just happy talk. And besides, if a few years down the road Triumph decides they need illegals, they'll get them and you can bet your now worthless farm that no one will make a peep.)
Triumph has not yet bought the proposed site from Moline's RiverStone Group Inc., spokesman Robert Imler said.
(Ah... the "Let's make a deal" phase begins.)
East Moline has an option to buy the land, but it doesn't have to go through with the purchase and Triumph could negotiate a price with RiverStone, assistant city administrator Rich Keehner said.
(Whaddaya bet that no matter who technically buys the land, that they'll pay about 30% more than it's worth? After all, either way, it's just taxpayers who are footing the bill. It's funny money.)
Mr. Hoffman said there would be an opportunity to hire more than 1,000 people at the East Moline plant, depending on how much processing the facility could handle. The company's goal is to process 16,000 hogs a day at the plant.
Let the fun begin.

But meanwhile, those deviants who somehow have the mysterious power to resist the all-powerful "jobs ray" and actually ask questions and talk about things they're not supposed to mention aren't really happy.
At least 12 people, including Ms. Farrell and Silvis Alds. Katherine Cutrer and Bob Zesiger, both 4th Ward, protested the pork plant project Thursday afternoon at the corner of Barstow Road and Illinois 5 in East Moline. They vowed to continue the fight against Triumph because they worry the plant would damage the environment. They wore buttons with red X's over pink pigs and held signs.

Some people waved or honked their horns when they drove by the protesters.

East Moline Ald. Luis Puentes, 2nd Ward, was driving by and stopped at the intersection. "Hello!" Ms. Farrell said, frantically waving her arm and walking toward the alderman's red pickup. "Come on, Mr. Puentes. Back up. Let's talk."

Ald. Puentes kept his window up, ignored her and turned onto Illinois 5.

Triumph plans to build a 620,000-square-foot plant at Barstow Road and 172nd Street North which could employ at least 1,000 people. The $135 million project could also create around 350 construction jobs.

One of the most vocal plant opponents, Dawn Marner, who was unable to attend the protest, said over the phone that the governor's announcement was really sad news for her.

"We're going to be moving," said Mrs. Marner, who lives in unincorporated Rock Island County, nine blocks west of the proposed site. But Mrs. Marner said she and her family would continue to fight against the pork plant.

Other protesters felt the same way as Mrs. Marner. Many residents worry that the plant would encourage hog producers to build large-scale hog farms in the area, although Triumph officials said they don't plan to build any.
(Well, that's kinda meaningless, since it wasn't feared that Triumph would be building them, but that the plant would attract others who would dot the land around the plant with noxious "concentrated farming operations" or CFOs.)
Protesters also worry about the destruction of wetlands, flooding, groundwater contamination from plant waste, an increase in truck traffic, and an increase in illegal immigrant workers.

"I feel the county and city leaders have not listened to both sides," Kathy Hall, of Silvis, said. "It has been proven that the hog processing plants do not benefit the areas" they locate to.

Pete Frenell, who was born in Barstow, lives a mile away from the proposed plant.

"I think the politicians stabbed us in the back," Mr. Frenell said. "If it wasn't for us taxpayers, they wouldn't have that money to throw around. If they have a disaster or spill or something, the ground is contaminated forever and there's nothing they can do about it."

Holding a sign that read, "Resist Corporate Pig$," Caryn Unsicker, of Silvis, said, "I just think it's awful. I'm terribly disappointed in our governor."

"It concerns me in many ways," Lois Kuehling, of Moline, said, while she held a sign saying "Stop Factory Farming. Say No to East Moline Slaughterhouse."

"It's going to destroy the wetlands, the wildlife," she said. "The pollution is going to be astronomical."

"The smell travels many, many miles. I'm worried about trucks that go by. I'm concerned which roads they'll go on," Mrs. Kuehling said. "It's just greed, and our city councils are not informed of the whole truth."


Site preparation could begin next spring, with the plant opening in 2009. It would initially employ 350 and grow to 1,000. The average wage would be $11.75 an hour.
...
Quad City Development Group president Thom Hart said the project could create 2,900 spin-off jobs and the economic impact could be an estimated $437 million during the first year the plant operates.
Well, if you're the type that likes to make large gambles on investments based on returns premised on the word "could", then you'll love this.

I'm glad we get the chance to pay to train their employees. No company should be expected to have to take care of that on their own. I only wish they had come up with a few million in tax dollars to help pay to advertise and promote pork products. Maybe they're already doing that?

And while we're at it, what else can we do for Triumph? Forgive their taxes, forgive normal building fees, waive sales tax on millions in construction materials... done. Build them specialized sewer treatment facilities and massive sewer and water installations customized for their needs... done.

A cool million to train employees? Done. How about utilities? Couldn't we at least agree to pay those for them for a year or so? The city administrator has already agreed to rename Barstow Rd. to Triumph Parkway or some equally silly thing. Why stop there? Why not rename the town of Barstow "Triumph City"?

Have we agreed to build and pay for heavy duty roads for the tens of thousands of semis which will be going in and out around the clock? Check... got that covered. I don't know, but I just have the nagging feeling that there's more we taxpayers could do.

The closest anyone ever gets to even obliquely addressing plant opponent's concerns is to offer vague assurances that we should all just trust them, that they don't "expect" any problems, or that state officials have it all under control and we shouldn't worry our little heads over such things. The plant enablers know best, and to question them is.. well.. just don't do it.

Really, just how concerned do you think any of the figures involved in getting this plant are about any of the serious and real concerns of those who live in the area? That's right. Less than not at all.

It's your money, your environment, your community, and damn it, they'll be the "deciders", and anyone who doesn't see things their way are just plain crazy. Of course, they never get around to saying WHY, but hey, if you REALLY want to see these people go ballistic, just question their judgment on anything. Same thing for demanding that they answer specific questions or provide information about just what they're signing us all up for.

There will obviously be secondary benefits as hog plant payroll trickles into the economy and a relatively small number of businesses either see their business expand or locate here to service the needs created by the new plant.

Someday, if the day ever comes, I guess the corporation may begin paying taxes as well, which will begin to offset all the millions local and state governments are coughing up.

Anyone else have some more specific benefits which justifies the likely negative impact the plant will have on the area?

As Russell Baker said, "Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things."

I'm sure many are greeting this development as fantastic news.

How do you feel about the entire deal? Love it? Hate it? Or are you utterly indifferent?

Now that it's apparent that the plant is coming, we can only stand by and cross our fingers and hope that the predicted negatives never materialize, or even more important, that if they do, that the public will even find out or be informed.

14 Comments:

At 6/02/2006 9:49 AM, Blogger grillmaster said...

Instead of dwelling on the possible negatives, which you admit may never occur, let me focus on the positives, about which we're certain.

* $135 million investment into new buildings and equipment. That's why the QC Federation of Labor is celebrating today. It's about jobs, jobs, jobs.

* State of the art facility that will incorporate emission equipment to make sure there are no oders or environmental impact.
If any problems arise, the argreement calls for the Illinois EPA (whose director is Doug Scott, a very bright and articulate and thoughtful guy) to immediately work with Triumph to correct.

* 1000-1100 new jobs. That's new money that will be invested into our schools, restaurants, homes, economy.

* Spin-off jobs and spin-off businesses that will create head-spinning new revenues to help hard-working families, many low to middle income families, have enough money to put food on their tables, heat in their homes and save for their children's college edudcation.

* On-site sanitary sewer treatment facility.

* Project has been reviewed carefully and approved by the Illinois Dep't of Natural Resources and the Illinois EPA.

You know, at some point this QC community has to start talk about creating jobs. Doug Scott, the Governor's EPA Director, is committed to making sure this project moves forward meeting all environmental challenges that may arise.

My final talking point is, perhaps, the best of all. This project is supposed to have an estimated $437 million impact on our regional economy in year one.

Think about that. Think about how many children and families will be helped. Think about how many stores and restaurants will be helped. Think about how many families might start thinking about health care for their kids.
Think about how many families might start being able to save for college.

We have to create opportunities in this region. And we have to do it right -- without polluting our environment. We can do both. It appears that this new agreement does, indeed, do both.

Congrats to the Governor, our legislators and other officials who helped bring this to fruition.

 
At 6/02/2006 9:52 AM, Blogger del said...

I think it's sad that with so many people against this plant that only 12 showed up in protest.

I am hoping that other businesses will come with this plant.

Have you been to East Moline or Silvis lately? Not much going on. The downtown situations look pretty bleak.

 
At 6/02/2006 11:29 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

grillmaster,

No offense, but I can't agree that all the things you list are "certain" as you put it. Some are likely, but some are anyone's guess and there's nothing even remotely close to "certain" about them.

Let's look at them:

* $135 million investment into new buildings and equipment. That's why the QC Federation of Labor is celebrating today. It's about jobs, jobs, jobs.

- Again, we'll have to take whoever came up with these figures word for this. How did they come up with these numbers?

They may not be accurate at all.

But that said, even if these figures are wildly inflated, it's certain that there will be major construction which will provide temporary employment for hundreds of construction workers.

This is good, of course, but again, must be weighed against the millions of tax dollars essentially forfeited or spent in corporate welfare.

Bottom line... we hear figures like this one thrown out quite often by supporters. What needs to be done is to calculate how much it will cost PER JOB when you divide the cost to the area by the number of jobs.

I submit that if taxpayers have to pay $50,000 to create one job for a year... well... that's not right at all. It essentially is agreeing to pay to build the plant, or cover Triumph's payroll for a time.

* State of the art facility that will incorporate emission equipment to make sure there are no oders or environmental impact.
If any problems arise, the argreement calls for the Illinois EPA (whose director is Doug Scott, a very bright and articulate and thoughtful guy) to immediately work with Triumph to correct.

- OK, that's all good too. But how agressive the state or anyone else will be at enforcing standards is dubious, especially in light of the fact that the state is on the hook for $16 million bucks. One wonders just how hard they'd push the company to spend money to be in compliance.

Enforcement of environmental regulations has always been notoriously lax and in the current pro-corporate, right wing dominated political climate, enforcement is almost non-existent or penalties are so laughably small that the company easily marks it up to a cost of doing business.

Again, we are asked to accept this as an article of faith. Another 'trust us' situation.

* 1000-1100 new jobs. That's new money that will be invested into our schools, restaurants, homes, economy.

That will be IF those numbers are anywhere near reality down the road.

But again, even if they prove to be inflated and never realized, it's still some money trickling into the community.

Again, weighing the amount of payroll that actually is added to the local economy, (a figure impossible to even estimate with any accuracy) is it worth all the millions "spent" in order to bring them?

* Spin-off jobs and spin-off businesses that will create head-spinning new revenues to help hard-working families, many low to middle income families, have enough money to put food on their tables, heat in their homes and save for their children's college edudcation.

Here you spin off into carnival barker land. You simply couldn't restrain yourself and lapsed into campaign b.s. rhetoric 101.

'head-spinning'? And that dusty old stand-by "hard working families" UGH!

Let's get real here. There will likely be some peripheral jobs created, at least by some businesses expanding or increasing business and needing to add one or two workers.

But, the elephant in the room that is NEVER discussed by supporters is again, how much are taxpayers shelling out in order to create these relatively few new spin-off jobs? Is it worth $1 million dollars so 20 guys can quit their current jobs and start work for a company that does business with Triumph?

Also, you act as though all these spin off jobs will appear out of thin air and will be filled by people who are currently just sitting on a park bench somewhere.

Talking about jobs that provide a living wage or enough to entertain the idea of buying a home, if these jobs are filled, they'll likely be filled by people who are already working for these companies or people who already have decent jobs.

It sounds like a lot of these "head-spinning spin-offs" will be service jobs. In other words, minimum wage kitchen jobs, convenient store clerks, etc.

I'm afraid this isn't going to result in the rosy scenarios you paint about a happy family with a white picket fence and little Suzy going to a fine college. I mean, again... let's not get carried away.

Working part time 3rd shift at a bar (which will probably see a big jump in business) isn't exactly saving a family from starvation.

Your rhetoric makes it sound like every one of these jobs is going to be taken by kindly, hard-working John Smith who's down on his luck and who's family is facing starvation and a dismal nightmarish future.

Now, he can find self-respect, prosperity, eat at the same places legislators eat, and all his kids will have a bright future all because of his job as making jewelry out of hog bones or custom footballs or something.

It all reeks of over-hype.

* On-site sanitary sewer treatment facility.

Paid for by taxpayers. You're too kind! Just what we've always wanted. Are you sure Triumph doesn't want us to build them anything else?

* Project has been reviewed carefully and approved by the Illinois Dep't of Natural Resources and the Illinois EPA.

- There ya go. "Trust us". I'm sure the levees in New Orleans were inspected and passed as well.

But that said, I don't think it will be an obvious environmental disaster. The damage will be far more subtle and long-term. I'm sure Triumph will be willing to do whatever it takes to remove any readily noticable pollution or smell.

"You know, at some point this QC community has to start talk about creating jobs. Doug Scott, the Governor's EPA Director, is committed to making sure this project moves forward meeting all environmental challenges that may arise."

- I'm sure Doug is a swell guy. But again, it's the old "trust me" deal.

We're supposed to take the word of someone that Doug is a great guy and so we have nothing to worry about. That's hogwash. (no pun intended)

Doug may well be concientious, qualified and committed to his job. But that means next to nothing as far as how well the plant will be monitored, much less if anything will ever be done if violations should be found. It's not the Illinois Department of Doug, after all. Politics and money are involved. Forgive me if your assurances that this guy is great doesn't provide much comfort.

"My final talking point is, perhaps, the best of all."

You mean the wildest claims?

"This project is supposed to have an estimated $437 million impact on our regional economy in year one."

And you call that "certain"????

It's about as unknowable as why they crossed a horse and a donkey and called it a mule instead of a honkey.

Seriously though, that figure falls squarely into the "let me pull a number our of my butt" category.

I'm sure it will have a large impact, but the key is where, how, and TO WHOM.

"Think about that."

OK. Can I stop now?

"Think about how many children and families will be helped.

OK. I did that but realized that I have absolutely NO way of knowing this, nor does anyone else. It might be 10, it might be 47, it might be none.

Once more, you're acting as if there's all these destitute families with cute, but starving children sitting there, like those big-eyed kids in the tacky paintings, AND that these particular people are the only ones who will get these jobs.

That's preposterous and unbelievable. But of course, you're clearly resorting to playing on emotions to cover up the lack of a strong argument.

"Think about how many stores and restaurants will be helped."

Well, there's something which will likely be true. Glad you threw that in there. Though where the money goes is anyone's guess.

"Think about how many families might start thinking about health care for their kids."

Here we go again. "Thinking about health care"?? Huh?

I assume you mean health insurance?

In that case, you're asking us to consider the small number of people who currently have no way to pay for health care for their kids who will end up with a job which provides some sort of bare-bones coverage.

What is this number? I can't help but think it will be very small, due to the fact that most of the jobs filled by men or women with families likely have some sort of health care coverage already.

But yes, it's pleasing to think of this happening, even if it's only in a handful of cases.

But not to be a grinch, but comparing that with the millions in revenue that was lost through the schemes to bring Triumph here, I'm sure it would have been MUCH MUCH cheaper to just pay for health care coverage for a few thousand needy families.

"Think about how many families might start being able to save for college."

Again, assuming that all the people who will get the new jobs created are flat broke. Not true at all.

"We have to create opportunities in this region."

No argument there.

"And we have to do it right -- without polluting our environment."

Now you're cooking.

"We can do both."

Yes we can, though it's not easy. It requires not leaping at the first corporation that bats it's eyelashes at you. And the ability to value environmental quality, quality of life, and consider seriously the negatives which have accompanied plants of this type in other locations.

"It appears that this new agreement does, indeed, do both."

Well, if you "trust" them, yeah. It all sounds just peachy.

I'm more of a push-over than I should be. I don't drive hard bargains as much as I should.

But I wouldn't buy a couch with as little information as has been provided about this plant.

Either these backers smiling for the camera on the soon to be dug up fields outside Barstow know a lot more than they're telling. The alternative is that they themselves don't know much about all the issues concerning the plant, or they do and they just don't think it's wise to let the details be known.

Things may be better than I imagine them to be. But the fact is that all that's been supplied by backers, pols, and Triumph is some dubious numbers and bland assurances that they "expect" things to be ok.

"Congrats to the Governor, our legislators and other officials who helped bring this to fruition."

It's insulting that local politicians felt they could decide on our behalf to give away all that money without trusting the people whose money they're giving away enough to even fill us in on the deal.

Thodos and company have been very tight-lipped, even lying about their knowledge of things, in order to get this done with no or only perfunctory public input.

It seemed they did all they could to prevent public discussion and imput, not to expand it. When opposition appeared, they just tried to put their head down and sneak the ball across the finish line as fast as possible.

The impression clearly left by this is that politicians resent having to answer to the public, and they absolutely get irate if anyone dare get in their way.

But now they've brought home the pork for Triumph and can trot out their PR to tell us that we all should be grateful.

 
At 6/02/2006 11:52 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And Del,
Yes, there weren't too many people who showed up to protest. But the deal was already done and it was a work day, was it not?

I believe the number of ordinary citizens who showed up to show support were... zero.

As to Silvis, if it's dead there lately, it shows that not much has changed in the last 10 years.

The only time anything was going on there was when all the seedy bars were allowed to be open until 4:00 a.m.

If the hog plant brings any business upswing to Silvis, it will likely be to revive the seedy late-night bar business Silvis was famous for in the past.

Though I could be wrong, maybe some coffee houses, gallaries, nice new restaurants, high tech businesses and the like might sprout up in Silvis like weeds.

After all, that's the sort of places valued and patronized by exhausted killing floor workers getting off of 3rd shift.

But at the risk of throwing more cold water on everything, I somehow think that if the hog plant is a boon to any busineses in Silvis, it will only mean greasy spoons and seedy taverns.

 
At 6/02/2006 1:51 PM, Blogger del said...

I guess we all know where you stand.

 
At 6/02/2006 4:24 PM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

Some questions:

1. Since when are Democrats against spending taxpayer money? Did I miss the memo?

2. Should we assume that the Democrats (although I'm sure some benighted soul will try to blame this on Bush)who finessed this deal, from Blogo to Verschoore, Jacobs and Boland on down to the mayors and city council members be soundly defeated at election time? Are all things forgiven if you're a Democrat? Do actions not have consequences for Democrats?

3. If the eeeeevil corporations don't provide jobs (and while Triumph accepts what you call "corporate welfare, they will be paying big bucks in taxes in the long run to offset the start-up costs), who will? What big Democrat donor groups will step up to the plate and provide income-producing jobs? Trial lawyers? Abortion clinics? Hemp producers? PETA? Environmentalists? NAACP? What sort of jobs do you think Democrats could bring to our area that didn't include dat ol' debbil corporation?

4. Dope, I know that you are loath to reveal anything personal, but out of curiosity, do you live or work anywhere near the proposed pork plant site?

What can I say----inquiring minds want to know!

 
At 6/02/2006 4:25 PM, Blogger Huck Finn said...

Okay, the figure that LEAPED out at me is $11.75 per hour, average hourly wage.

Do the math!! At 40 hours per week, that's $1880 per month! Dope spelled out the millions of dollars in tax breaks, but we've missed the major talking point:

- We'll also be paying for food stamps and Section 8 housing costs just to keep these families above water.

These are second wage earner jobs for families at best.

And if that's an average salary, a certain portion of that is white collar management jobs, so out of 1100 jobs, perhaps 50-100 will earn more...which means the other 1000 to 1050 will earn significantly less!

It's not just a pork plant, it's a welfare/slavery plant.

(Okay, hidden message in my verification word? "Jihad")

 
At 6/02/2006 4:56 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I think when he posted the horror stories from Slaughterhouses Gone Bad or whatever we knew which side he was on.

If in 5 or 10 years the QC economy hasn't been destroyed by immigrants, (which it won't be) and the East Moline skies aren't polluted or smelly, will people admit they were wrong?

 
At 6/02/2006 6:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Dook,
Since when have Dems been against wasting tax dollars? Since forever, and most certainly long before Republicans, who treat the government like a piggy bank full of play money.

It's a well documented fact that Republicans are the undisputed KINGS of defecit spending. You're behind the curve trying to trot out that old canard about "tax and spend" Dems. That's about as hinky as "liberal media".

Look at any chart showing spending during the time from Reagan on. It's your favorite party who's broke the bank againa and again and it's Dems who've gotten things back moving in the right direction, including when Clinton achieved the unachievable and brought SURPLUSES to the government.

That dog won't hunt.

And of course actions don't have consequences for local Dems. Were you born yesterday?

Your pleasing premise that Triumph's taxes will someday off-set the givaways is, of course, what we're supposed to believe.

But I wish someone who had access to ALL the information would do a thorough tracking of tax abatements vs. future tax payments and let us know when things break even.

History shows that it doesn't break even for decades, if at all, when factoring in the increased costs brought on by the development.

I wouldn't be surprised if the break-even day doesn't come for decades if at all if an honest and comprehensive audit was done of all the added costs attributable to Triumph's locating here were weighed against any future revenue generated directly from them.

And then you go and get cute... but... that's ok.

You seem to suggest that we have no choice but to allow polluting, eyesore corporations to locate here, as if that's the only type of corporation that exists.

That may be largely true, and appearently, we can only attract companies which aren't exactly welcome in most communities with more self-respect.

If so, that's rather depressing. I wish we could be a bit more discerning when it comes to which industries we attract, but perhaps that's a pipe-dream.

And yeah, all us Dems would just LOVE to see the countryside dotted with thriving abortion clinics. Sheesh.

And finally, as to whether I'm within nose-shot of the plant, no I don't, but I sure hope to move nearby soon. Wouldn't anyone want to live near that plant? Shoot, I bet there'll be a regular housing boom. After all, the EPA guy's a good guy and the company promises it won't pollute so that you'd notice.

But seriously, whether I live near the site or not is utterly irelevant.

I try not to succumb to the rampant predominently right wing mindset of "Not MY problem", blatant selfishness and self-interest.

In other words, I don't have to be personally injured to feel strongly that others shouldn't be subjected to harm.

I think it's pretty dangerous to have an attitude that if it doesn't affect you personally, then you don't give a damn.

I find it morally suspect to think that something is A-OK as long as it's other people who have to deal with the problem or suffer.

I suppose you couldn't fathom why anyone would oppose the plant unless they stood to personally lose money or had to deal with the smells, traffic, and pollution in their own yard?

That's kind of messed up.

 
At 6/02/2006 10:47 PM, Blogger Anon 10:32 said...

Lets start right here. "If you stand to turn a buck off the plant, don't live anywhere within miles of it, and aren't troubled by its potentially large negative impact or the millions in tax giveaways which are essentially corporate welfare, the folks listed above are some of the people to thank.""

I hate to tell you Dope but most of the folks in these thar hills "are" exactly OK with all of these things. The wind still blows from West to East here so not many people will be able to enjoy the aroma of Hog. Most people that do live around here will be monetarily effected by the positive from this deal. As far as the giveaway of money to bring in money that doesn't even exist without it is A OK with the populous. You are behind the times my dear friend.

 
At 6/02/2006 11:23 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon,
To what do you attribute this near mystical ability to somehow know exactly what "most of the people" think about the hog plant?

Spend a few Gs on polling before making up your mind? What?

I guess the fact that you think most people support it is enough evidence for anyone.

It's not.

Aside from only being your opinion, what are you basing this borderline psychic ability to read the will of "the populous"?

Or are you confusing the will of a few people with means with the will of the majority?

I would bet you any amount of money that "most" of the people around here don't have the slightest clue as to what was involved in this deal. Hell, even people that WANT to know have found it nearly impossible to find out all the details.

I would also wager that if the facts, ALL the facts, from both sides were presented in an unbiased way to all taxpayers, that it would be a real toss-up as to whether they'd support the idea.

That is why, of course, that the promoters played their cards so close to their vests in all of this.

It's standard operating procedure, get the thing done before people can figure out what's going on.

But now we can sit back and behold the wonderous prosperity and peace that this massive factory hog slauthtering behemouth will bring to each and every one of us who are chipping in to pay them to locate here.

So many cherubic little children with rosy cheeks looking to the east and the ribbons of 20 ton semis snaking off to the horizon, packed with squealing hogs who've caught the whiff of death and are dashing around in a panic, breaking limbs and trampling each other, only to be stunned, stuck, and gutted.

These little children and their parents can stand arm in arm and look to the belching steam of the vast plant and say a prayer of thanksgiving to those brave visionaries who had the courage to go with the money.

I know that when I correspond with friends living in other parts of the country, I'll be sure to gloat and brag in an off-hand way about how the quad cities is now home to a joint that slaughters 10,000 hogs a day. Boy will they ever be jealous!

 
At 6/03/2006 4:09 PM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

OK, I admit I was having some Friday Fun, but today I'll distill my questions.

It's obvious you're passionately against the pork plant. It's obvious you hate corporations and corporate give aways. But from you initial post (it's really a rant) and your subsequent comments, I don't really get why you are so against the pork plant, except for some fear of the unknown.

Join the club.

So that's why I asked about your location----the NIMBY reason is the only one that makes sense to me.

So, my question for you Dope is this: are you just an "againster" who opposes everything (casinos, WalMart in Moline, etc) in the way of economic development in this area?

If you are not an againster, what businesses do you realistically expect to locate here without a generous incentive package? I'm sure you know that everyone and everything is moving to the south and west. What sort of business would we be able to attract?

Or maybe you're not an againster, maybe you're one of those who believes we don't want or need jobs here in RICO. Just say so, if that's your belief. The stagnant political class in RICO would certainly indicate that there are some (many?) who think everything is hunky-dory in RICO, so why change anything. Are you one of those?

And one more thing. Isn't it enough that we have endure the oppressive registration process with blogger, but yet we have to deal with the "guess my word verification" nonsense?

Oh yeah, another thing----thanks for the laugh about how Democrats are the party of fiscal responsibility. Hey, in IL, all three branches of government are controlled by Democrats---let's get some our tax money back, rather than have Chicago gobble it all up.

Sorry for the flurry of comments here, but I'm stuck at home supervising a pool party with a bunch of testosterone laden teenagers!

 
At 6/03/2006 4:24 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Damn it Dook...

I don't mind you comments at all, but you sure give me a hell of a lot of work!

I don't have time right now, but will attempt to respond to your lengthy questioning later.

For now, suffice it to say that I wonder how come you can't conceive of anyone being against ... or at least very skeptical of the pork plant unless they lived right next to it. That strikes me as odd.

And... right off the bat, I wouldn't say that I'm "passionately" against the port plant.

It's more than that.

It's the way it was done, it's the way questions went unanswered, it's the arrogance and unresponsiveness of public officials as they cut deals to give away millions in tax revenue, and it's concerns over the future impact the plant will have on the area.

You can try to neatly pidgeon-hole me as an "againster" (what a cute, trendy, and oh-so-disparaging new catchphrase. Congrats. Is that making the rounds on the right wing noise machine these days?) but I'm sorry, that won't quite cover it.

It's primarily the utter lack of respect verging on distain towards the public shown by Thodos and others in trying to get this through that really sticks in my craw more than anything.

 
At 6/04/2006 5:07 PM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

Thanks for elucidating. Whether a failing on my part or yours,( I don't want to call your post and comments incoherent, but your thoughts were all over the place) I couldn't quite get a handle on why you really objected to Porkville, except for the fear factor.

From your latest, I'm getting that you would be FOR the pork plant (before you were against it, har!har!), if only the powers-that-be would have handled the PR better. This sounds really shallow, but I don't know what to make of your last comment.

And you are incorrect if you think that NIMBY is the only reason I think that someone could or would oppose Porkville. That's just what I was left with when I tried to distill your post/comments.

I may have mistaken "passion" for emotion. Dunno, but it seems to me that you do have strong feelings/opinions about this.

As for "againster"; I'd love to take credit for it, but I first saw it a while back on one of the Davenport blogs (maybe QCI or SoLo). Davenport bloggers and their commenters use the word often. As far as I can tell, there is no "right-wing" provenance to "againster".

But I look forward to your comments about whether you are just an "againster", or if you are not, what sort of business you think we can realistically expect to get here in the QCs, without massive incentives. Or better yet, whether you're one of those who believe we don't need no stinkin' jobs in the QCs.

 

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