Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tax Breaks for Big Corp at Work

Just before I got fired for doing my job as a newspaper reporter (and doing it well), I wrote this article:

I had no choice but to write it. Some things you can't ignore; not and call yourself a reporter. There I am sitting at a city council meeting, and in comes this distraught woman. She's been canned from DRS/Finmeccanica (weapon's maker) at the same moment the company is taking massive tax breaks and incentives to move their major operations from Palm Bay into the neighboring city of Melbourne.

The move, costing Melbourne city taxpayers $650,000 in tax incentives and road improvements, was touted as a way to bring in 10 high paying jobs into Brevard County, and retain 450 more.

But the woman, Heike Alpert, said she was only one of 17 employees being laid off in the move, that very day! Which by 8th grade math is -7 jobs.

How perverse are these people, by the way? Fire 17 employees the same week you're getting tax cheese for "bringing in jobs".

Let's see that means for every job lost, $92,857 was paid. Oh but $85,000 was paid to improve roads for the company. And since those improvements remain behind, let's deduct that as we need to be totally fair to everyone included and, yep, $565,000/-7 that makes, -$80,714

Yes, the city paid a corporation $80,714 per full time position nixed, and collateral damaged ten more newly minted "I lost my job" zombies sent to the unemployment lines.

The city said "here's money, so you can fire some workers! Have at it!"

No? That's not what they said? Not fair? It wasn't quite like that? City fathers thought they were doing the right thing? Yeah?

Yeah because the company essentially said, if you don't give us this money, 450 employees, who we are now holding hostage, can't remain in Brevard County any more, bitches! And we'll fire all their asses, or we'll send them to New Jersey! Because we are just that damned crazy!'

No? That's not how it works? I'm being harsh again, am I?

Wake up. That's how these deals work more often than you'd care to know and no one ever calls them on it! What ticked my memory on this beside the fact that my first article may have done the job in getting me fired?

Well, because the company in question just career-killed 70 of those 450 hostages; laying off as many workers yesterday.

And my local paper tried to bury the news on 4-B until I called them on it, on their facebook page. They grudgingly posted the item on their webpage, and I have shared it with you here: the entire story, that no one will ever tell you. Certainly not Florida Today.

That's okay, you can thank me by buying my book here.

Subtlety alert!(The web links are found in the different colored print)

Kids, this is how the "tax breaks" for the "job creators" shell game often works. One has to ask cui bono from these little deals? Because there's always a 'cui' and it never works out that that cui is a taxpayer. So why are public officials so damned lustful toward these deals? Gee, I wonder.

Interesting thing about DRS is they make targeting and acquisition for tanks, heads up displays and so on. You know, war stuff.

Here was an American company raised on the mother's milk of the American tax dollar. They develop this gear which our troops use.

Then in 2006, they sold the company all of it to Finmeccanica, an Italian weapon's manufacturer.

Great. There go your tax dollars and the know-how!

Not that we have a problem with the Italians -yet- but, who are they going to sell this gear to?

Talk about transfer of technology, there's every chance the gear, the know how, all of it will be trained right back on us as weaponry in the upcoming worldwide conflagration.

All of the people in this deal are the same sort of folks who would call you a Jesus-hating communist, an Obamalover, if you point any of this out.

There's no check no balance on whether those who qualify for corporate food stamps ever use their money to "create jobs" or even better society one iota. None.

Hell there are no assurances that your tax dollars aren't going to create weapons that might end up in the hands of someone who eventually kills you or one of your children.

Oh, but, Rick Scott wants to make sure you prove that you're out there making your cold calls every week to qualify for your measly $215 in unemployment. And as you slip into poverty, citizen, he wants to make sure that when you apply for food stamps you're not taking drugs.

You damned freeloader!

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