Thursday, March 20, 2014

Liberal Nuvo Columnist Finds Market Square Development "Boring," Again Takes a Pass on Criticizing Corporate Welfare

For years, Nuvo has had two columnists, David Hoppe and Steve Hammer.  The columnists had something in common besides their liberal political leanings.  Both consistently supported every corporate welfare scheme cooked up by the Ballard administration.  Meanwhile they also faithfully supported tax increases on working men and women to pay for city services.

The Hoppe and Hammer writing tandem always reminded me of Bob & Tom's Mr. Obvious bit in which a person, let's call him "idiot," can't make the obvious connection between two things. 
David Hoppe

Neither Hoppe or Hammer have ever made the connection between the corporate welfare schemes they consistently support and less tax revenue for public services.  In short, Hoppe and Hammer would be the idiots in the Mr. Obvious bit.

But then again, maybe I'm the idiot because keep reading Hoppe's column thinking he will eventually oppose a corporate welfare scheme as a drain on revenue that the City could use for basic services.  This week I was sure that day had finally arrived.  Hoppe had penned a column about the Market Square Development in which the City is giving a private, politically developer property and a subsidy of over $23 million (over $40 million if you count interest on the money being borrowed), in order to build luxury apartments and retail.

I just knew this time would be different, that Hoppe would have to write about the land being given away, the $23 million subsidy, and the fact that the city has much more pressing priorities when it came to the tax dollars that would flow to the private developer.   But once again I was proven wrong.  Hoppe managed to write a whole column on the development without ever mentioning the huge taxpayer subsidy.  Instead he spent the whole article complaining that the proposed structure is "boring" and that the City lost an opportunity "to make a major cultural statement."

I am working on this Mr. Obvious bit starring David Hoppe:
HOPPE:  The Market Square development is boring.  And what about culture?  This city needs more culture.
MR. OBVIOUS:  Aren't you in the least bit concerned that taxpayers are shelling out a $23 million subsidy to a private developer to build luxury apartments? 
HOPPE:  Culture...culture...culture.  I like that word.  I try to say it as much as I can.  
MR. OBVIOUS:  We don't have enough tax revenue for basic services, things like parks and public safety.   
HOPPE:  That's why I want to raise taxes.
MR. OBVIOUS:  But if we stopped giving away tax revenue to every politically-connected developer in town, we would have plenty of revenue to fund city services.   
HOPPE:  Huh?   
MR. OBVIOUS:  By giving $23 million to a private company to develop the Market Square apartments, that means we have $23 million less to spend on city services.   
HOPPE:  What? Are you saying that if the City gives money away, that means the City has less money?   
MR. OBVIOUS:  Yes.   
HOPPE:   Huh, I never made the connection.   Thank you, Mr. Obvious. 


Tim Zank said...

Well done Sir, Well done..

Gary R. Welsh said...

Nuvo ceased being an alternative newspaper when it was acquired by a member of the McKinney banking family. The only reason the newspaper was purchased by Kevin McKinney was to shut down alternative views that the downtown mafia found so objectionable, particularly the writings of its former editor, Harrison Ullmann.

Unigov said...

Hoppe and Nuvo are part of the statist media cabal. "Statism" is my term for the partnership between Marxism/labor and corporate fascism. Thus Hoppe and Tully will always support public works projects.

Big Business and Big Labor both wanted a new NFL stadium, cause they make money from it. True leftists should oppose such corporate welfare, but they accept it as it increases the size and power of the State. True capitalists should oppose government involvement in the private sector, but they love that they can get taxpayers to foot the bill.

The Statists own 99% of the media because the Statists control most of the economy, and hence our culture. Statists control government spending and borrowing; without massive deficit spending the economy would cool rapidly to Depression levels. Stock in media companies would revert back to 2008-9 lows, meaning quite a drop for Gannett (GCI). So Tully really works for the State.

Flogger said...

I was an avid reader of Nuvo back when Harrison Ullman was a columnist. I recall he said Indiana had the World's Worst Legislature. He labeled the Democrats and Republicans the Bayh-Smiths (Evan Bayh and Steve Goldsmith) meaning they were all one - Republicrats.

While The Star eagerly embraced Corporate Welfare, in Ullman's day there were numerous articles in Nuvo attacking it. Attacking Corporate Welfare appealed to me as a Liberal. Both Democrats and Republicans have lavished billions of subsidies direct and indirect on Downtown.

The old political line of Left and Right is obsolete. It has been replaced by a Third Dimension of Corporatism and Crony Capitalism, which takes pieces of the old Left and Right. It combines Big Government, Big Business (or perhaps more precise - the Crony Capitalists) and Organized Labor.

Hoppe, Hammer, Erica Smith and Matt Tully are all cut from the same cloth. They may differ on somethings, but they all agree Corporate Welfare as subject is to avoided at all costs.

Nuvo is now as irrelevant as The Star.

Pete Boggs said...

Thoughtless, conscription of cowardice to the statist narrative, is other than enlightened...