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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Where Are All The Proud Self-Made Business Entrepreneurs?

Here we go again. Another local business is requesting government assistance, this time to help pay the rent ...and oh, we can't forget the 30 jobs it will create.
JG Excerpt:
With Janesville City Council approval Monday, URT would receive a $50,000 forgivable TIF loan. The company would use the loan to lease a 40,000-square-foot facility from HCP ...and create 30 jobs.
The names of the players really don't concern me (they do, but for sake of web crawlers I replaced them with initials), but what does concern me is the monotony of these requests, their automatic approval by our city council and the steady lack of journalistic curiosity from our monopolized media.

Like in any and all of these government freebie deals, whether it involves a single individual or idea, but even more so particularly a hand-out to for-profit free enterprise business, I would want to ask for documented proof of hardship. In today's Orwellian political and social environment, I know many would call me a Socialist or worse for asking such a hurtful question, but there should be no good reason for government to distribute taxpayer dollars to private-for-profit entities just for the asking without a viable system of means testing.

$50,000 might sound like a cheap good deal to create 30 jobs, but that is not the point here. The point is why an established business can't seem to expand or create jobs without some sort of a tax perk or cash hand-out. Now, some might argue that if the government assistance is available, they would be foolish not to take it. I guess. Others could say I'm targeting the wrong party here, that its' the government's fault for making the assistance available. Yeah, I suppose.

Given our completely upside-down world of growth economics, this will probably sound either a bit old-fashioned or eccentric, but where are all the proud Americans, you know, the kind of people and business folks who would find it beneath them to take a government hand-out unless only as the very last resort for survival and existence. I know they're out there, I just never hear about them. But I hear and read about the businesses that request and capture tax payer's dollars all the time as if we're supposed to be all jolly and giddy over it. They get all the exposure.

So, I'm taking a different turn on this one and request to hear from anybody who started an independent business (unaffiliated, non-franchise) or business expansion in Janesville or anywhere in Rock County (10 employees or more) AND did not apply for or receive ANY type of government assistance such as a low interest government loan, TIF District advantages or funding, federal grants, contracts, a rail spur, or any other assistance or special exemptions paid for with tax dollars - when it was available to you. You know, NO federal, state, or local government assistance whatsoever - just pulled up by your own sweat and bootstraps.

You are the people the government and everyone else needs to hear from. We need to know what drove you away from government assistance and into the arms of private venture capital, private lenders or your own pockets. We need to know from where you learned these bizarre self-respecting and patriotic free market values. What schools did you attend? How you came to possess these virtues and how these valued traits could be passed on to others. In addition, you are the local businesses area residents need to become aware of and support with their spending dollars. You are my heroes.

I can't say for certain our local media would care to publish your self-made success story framed as I'd like to tell it. But if you're out there, I'd sure be willing to post your story here - with all the bells and whistles I could offer.

Note: There seems to be a controversy brewing in the Gazette's comment section involving the company requesting the TIF funding. It appears a former employee has accused the company of unethical business practices involving the disposal of contracted goods. I'll keep note on whether the Gazette follows up on the allegations and how the Janesville City Council handles the request for tax payer dollars.  


Anonymous said...

Hey Lou, what I thought was odd is the company requesting the TIF loan is not the recycling business URT - but the building owner Hendricks developments. Plus, Hendricks is underwriting the loan if URT defaults - which means Hendricks is helping themselves to our tax dollars to pay the rent for their own building. If URT defaults by not supplying the jobs promised, they still pay rent to Hendricks.

It's a creative agreement between URT and Hendricks to scam city taxpayers out of another $50,000. The hand-out has absolutely nothing to do with creating jobs.

Lou Kaye said...

I agree. The only smell more powerful than the smell of fear, is the stink left by those that capitalize on it.

Thanks for the comment.

proud progressive said...

The same hendricks who had an article in the USA today saying government needs to get out of their way so they can create jobs?

Lou Kaye said...

Yes, the same Hendricks. Billionaire owners of ABC Supply in Beloit, Hendricks Development Group and owner of a lot of real estate in Rock County. Except you might be referring to Ken Hendricks from the USA Today article, the founder, who passed away about two years ago in a construction accident. In Janesville, the Hendricks Development Group rarely proposes anything without first leveraging themselves for some kind of government hand-out.

proud progressive said...

Nope it was Diane Hendricks, who gave an "interview" to USA today where she pretty much echoed the republican talking points. it sounded like a chad lee interview.

Lou Kaye said...

Thanks for the article. I was unaware of the recent USA Today interview.

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