by Ben Cohen
The contradictions Republicans refuse to see in their ideology is now so glaringly obvious that only narcissistic blowhards like Michael Steele can promote it with a straight face (remember the “Not in the History of Mankind Has the Government Ever Created a Job” line?) .
The model of socialized risk and privatized profit is about as close to a free market as Communist China, yet Republicans continue to rail against any attempts to change it regardless of its glaring discrepancies. Take for example, New York City’s development strategy. Here is John Petro, an Urban Policy Analyst he Drum Major Institute for Public Policy:
When city tax dollars are used to subsidize a private developer,
community residents should benefit from the deal. That is the principle
behind the fight to bring living wage jobs to the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx. Community leaders are prepared to stop the redevelopment of the historic structure into a mall–unless the developer agrees to require new retail tenants to pay a living wage.
The effort to redevelop the Armory goes back ten years to the Giuliani administration. Last year, the City chose Related Companies
as the developer of the project, which will convert the building’s
575,000 square feet into retail space. The City will subsidize the
project, providing Related Companies with $40 million in tax breaks and
city-funded repairs on the structure.
But even though Related is getting public dollars for the project, it refuses to provide the public benefit of living wage jobs.
Herein lies the classic tale of corporate socialism. The tax payers funds the dreams of greedy developers, then get nothing in return for it. The scandal in New York City happens on a grand scale everywhere else: Banks get loans and bailout money from the public, then are rewarded by having their own money lent back to them at interest. Halliburton and Northrup Grumman get paid by the tax payer to build infrastructure in Iraq, while all the profits go back to them.
It’s a scam and a disgrace that the interests of private power are held above that of the public, and the worst thing about it is that in situations like the above, we are actually paying the rich to keep us poor.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.