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View Diary: Corporations get billions from cities and states but they often don't keep their end of the bargain (135 comments)

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  •  No one really thinks much about how we fund (30+ / 0-)

    land developers, but we do. We underwrite the cost of roads, parklands, schools and water and energy resources associated with them. The developers pick up just SOME of those costs. And in return, we get more air pollution, decreased natural resources, more traffic, more light, etc.

    We've been doing it for so long that it has become acceptable.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:01:39 AM PST

    •  It doesn't help that developers and realtors are (11+ / 0-)

      often major campaign contributors - precisely because they're the original corporate welfare babies.

      In one locality where I lived I noticed that the little "I voted" stickers you get at the polls were funded by a local real estate company.

      •  "I voted" and "I work. . . for minimum" (0+ / 0-)

        Pay a pittance to win a bond issue -

        Then, the few jobs they do create are for terribly low pay, often - as is the case with Walmart - such that a person with 2 kids is eligible for food stamps.

        Food stams b/c of low wages - yet another subsidy for the big companies.

        Its infuriating.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

        by 4CasandChlo on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:41:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  In local government this is huge all the way down (13+ / 0-)

      from larger cities to the smaller towns.  They always bite on the bait that the new development will produce sales tax revenue and real estate tax revenue that will be a return on the investment made on behalf of the developers.

      The sad truth is that the government that pics up the developers tab for infrastructure improvement is being taken for a ride.  The new subdivisions or commercial developments will require all that new tax revenue to maintain services to that new area.  In the meantime, that new area will be hollowing out the existing residential and commercial neighborhoods creating areas that will now demand more government services to fight blight while tax revenues from the area fall.

      •  New Orleans is the poster child (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlueMississippi, maracucho

        for contractor rapine.
        We had privatized all our critical services - transit, trash removal, planning, etc. So when disaster struck, they extorted the highest price they could, and gave as little as possible.

        Nagin blew millions on useless tourist attraction and decorative (not) sculptures bought from his friends.  

        This was after decades of the City funding every snake oil 'revenue generator' at the expense of education, infrastructure, citizen services, transit, and worker pensions.

        This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom.” ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

        by nolagrl on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:47:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly edr. Dev. pays for itself for a short (0+ / 0-)

        time period, then it's turtles.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:52:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is called the "growth machine" (0+ / 0-)

        in the political science literature. As you say, it's a fertile source of local subsidies, and behind state laws that enable local subsidies, like tax increment financing.

    •  but, but, but - they built it! n.t (5+ / 0-)

      If money is speech, then speech must be money.

      by dkmich on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:15:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good points! Some great comments here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany

      and downthread. Reminds me of content from the great scholarly "Who Rules America" site:

      http://www2.ucsc.edu/...

      A local power structure is at its core an aggregate of land-based interests that profit from increasingly intensive use of land. It is a set of property owners who see their futures as linked together because of a common desire to increase the value of their individual parcels. Wishing to avoid any land uses on adjacent parcels that might decrease the value of their properties, they come to believe that working together is to the benefit of each and everyone of them. Starting from the level of individual ownership of pieces of land, a "growth coalition" arises that develops a "we" feeling among its members even if they differ on other kinds of political and social issues.

      This "we" feeling is reinforced by the fact that the pro-growth landed interests soon attract a set of staunch opponents--if not immediately, then soon after they are successful. These opponents are most often neighborhoods and environmentalists, which are sometimes aided by university students and left activists. The inevitable tensions between the growth coalition and its opponents led to increased suburbanization, urban renewal, ghettoization, and many of the other problems that plague American cities of the 21st century.

      In economic terms, the "place entrepreneurs" at the center of the growth coalitions are trying to maximize "rents" from land and buildings, which is a little different than the goal of the corporate community -- maximizing profits from the sale of goods and services.

      "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

      by New Rule on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:35:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  BTW THAT is a fabulous piece. I just finished (0+ / 0-)

        reading the entire thing and as someone that has worked on land use for most of my adult life, in one way or another, I can really see a lot of parallels, though my area isn't mentioned and is rather unique in that it is largely owned by two individuals/families (well stolen in the case of one, then stolen in a different sense, again, decades later).

        The power structure here has ALWAYS been based on land.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:07:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're welcome. Lots of good stuff (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cany

          hidden away in academic sites.

          "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

          by New Rule on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:06:00 PM PST

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          •  I'm actually looking for something specific (0+ / 0-)

            at the moment... maybe you would have an idea where to find it.

            I am looking for studies that show that open space v. development around existing communities keeps the property values higher than that area being developed. The Irvine Company did such a study years ago for a development they never proceeded with in Anaheim Hills, but I can't dig it up anywhere.

            Any ideas?

            What I am trying to show is that the conventional wisdom of new tract mansions in an otherwise wild/historical area actually lowers the value of the existing small cabins/homes. These homes currently exist w/i the Congressional boundary of a forest.

            I've seen studies before that reinforce this view, but I cannot, for the life of me, find them.

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:24:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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