Feb 27, 2015

Stealing Businesses Is Now Our Industry

When I was a kid growing up in the 1950's, I couldn't begin to tell you everything that was manufactured in Allentown. If it was telephones at Western Electric, toasters at General Electric, or thousands of shirts and pants at dozens of textile mills, Allentown produced product. We now call distributing all the products Made In China an industry. Commercial Development in 2015 is reduced to stealing existing businesses from another state, or even a neighboring town. We pay people to direct Development Authorities, which orchestrate these musical chair jobs. The tax incentives given to facilitate the musical chairs do nothing for the residents but increase their tax burden. Although having no new product, these Authorities and incentives have become an industry in themselves. They have become the talking points for our politicians. Maybe not as a region or a state, but as a country, we would be much better off producing more, and playing musical chairs less.

photo shows toaster ovens being manufactured on S. 12th St. in Allentown


Anonymous said...

Allentown does and has had a industry all of its own an that is importing a fictisiuos number head count? This bein people with two and three last names in turn that makes one human two and three one person numbers for the statistic sent to the federal government for allocations? This is the only box that there calculating miscalcululators subcantracted can think out of, and this I even hope and pray works to bring allentown back close to its hayday?

Please write something funny or an allentown history article to break up the facts of todays atmoshere?

patent pending

Anonymous said...

Tell us your better plan, Mike ...

michael molovinsky said...

@9:56, my answer is contained within the post. all tax incentives which induce a business to relocate from one area to another, are being made up by the taxpayers, the state or local government is not reducing it's budget. here in pennsylvania, these incentives create a never ending need for new tax sources. consequently, we have the highest gas tax in the nation, and may well soon have a higher state income tax rate. this competition to rearrange the pie slices is a national, state and regional problem. our representatives should acknowledge the problem, and see this competition as the negative that it is.

DreamingOfJustice said...

Anon @ 9:56 The elected officials need to be replaced-all of them. That's one measurable. The enormous gas vendor needs to speed up replacing their ancient and dangerous infrastructure, that's another..followed by water lines being upgraded. There needs to be basic quality of life commodities available in center city- such as grocery stores..green space. The city appears filthy and the streets are not plowed adequately. Who would move a business into this town, if they were familiar with the history of the infrastructure failures, unless the businesses are heavily underwritten? That's where we are now- we have to bribe businesses to move downtown..Michael has made these points over again many times. It's common sense. Many of us feel the same way- the Mayor is no longer our mayor. He is a development officer who has forgotten who has to live here-and who has been paying taxes and sending their children to the broken down schools here. I would not recommend moving to Allentown to anyone who asked.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Tell us your better plan, Mike ..."

When the NIZ was first proposed, its supporters strongly denied that there would be any poaching. J.B. Reilly insisted it would stop. Now the sycophants have finally dropped the charade and have admitted they are thieves.

The better plan is not to steal. If this kind of thievery were being performed by a young black man or a Latino, 9:56 would be happy to swing open the gates of hell. But if the thievery is being done by a member of the Lehigh Valley Partnership, it's OK.

As a society, the better plan is not to condone thieves, if only because we don't want to be victims. Byt now, Freeman has introduced a bill that will allow the thievery everywhere.

The better plan is to stop stealing.

LVCI said...

I think what MM is trying to point out is the hypocrisy in some trying to reinvent the wheel by creating small neighborhood friendly businesses via tax supported funding projects led by so called experts who are making a living off the taxpayer's teat..

At the same time Hamilton Street once flourished there were countless family owned small stores and shops nearly every block downtown. Anyone who drives around this city will see countless structures that once housed corner grocery stores, barber shops, dry cleaners, repair shops, ice cream stores, etc. that no longer exist.

Today's urban planners lash out calling us curmudgeons when we point this out, yet are advocating for the very same thing. They too want the return of self sustaining walkable neighborhoods with small stores and shops.

The difference between us both is they think none of this can happen w/o so-called proper planning (through restrictive zoning & eminent domain) rather then letting it happen on it's own. The way things worked (way back then) was someone found a way to make a living off local neighborhoods' needs. In today's' world the cart is in front of the horse. It is they (a few movers and shakers) who determine what a neighborhood should be rather then those who live there. Government should accommodate entrepreneurs. Not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Amen, LVCI

Alfonso Todd

Anonymous said...

Comrade Molovinsky,

A Centrally Planned Economy is the way to go, as you are well aware.

I applaud the transformative Pawlowski as well as his legions of dutifully devoted supporters who continue to lead the City Without Limits in this heroic and noble march towards real progress.

Please get on board and support the community.


Col. Viktor Tikhonov
Soviet Red Army (ret)

Anonymous said...

The NIZ is just the latest and most glaring example of the problem. Before that, we had TIF's, KOZ's, LERTA's and other programs. These programs all had consequences on business poaching and tax revenue (or potential revenue), and I doubt anyone considered the CUMULATIVE effect as they were approved parcel by parcel.

The planners deserve some of the blame but the problem is also us.

We salivate over every shiny new toy that is dangled before us by politicians and developers, whether it's for a hockey arena or a Costco. Instead of recognizing these proposals for what they are, we sit there and weigh the merits of each proposal instead of rejecting them out of hand.

If we really want the crony capitalism and corporate welfare to end, it's high time we stopped looking for instant gratification and realize the long-term effects of what's being done.

doug_b said...

"Business poaching"

In engineering lingo: taking parts out of one piece of equipment, to fix another, is called cannibalism.

Essentially that's what A-Town is doing. It's a zero sum game for the state of PA.

Guy Williams said...

The stores on Hamilton would still be there if we hadnt run off to the whitehall malls. Small retailers would still be here if we hadnt run to walmart. Small independents like meat markets, Tropical market on union blvd and zimmermans and hershes would still be here had we avoided penn fruit,a&p,and countless other super markets. The sad truth is that times change and the market is driven by consumers[area residents,taxpayers, whatever you want to call them]. We have this crazy politically charged obsession to place blame on whoever happens to be in charge at any given moment. How Sad. Not a big fan of current leaders but have grown very weary of the never ending complaining.