Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Ok, so after popular request, I've hung up PLEASE STOP WRITING for a while. I may come back to it on occasion, but not today. Today I've got a bigger fish to fry.

Before you read my letter, read this editorial from the Sioux City Center for Worship of Mike Blouin, aka the Journal.

Here's my reply. I doubt they'll publish it, but nonetheless...

In response to “Continue the Momentum” which appeared in the July 19 Journal, I would remind Iowans that the current trend in economic development may turn out to be little more than a blip on the radar screen, and is costing Iowans more than $50 million annually, money which is badly needed elsewhere.

In the last week in the Journal, I’ve seen three writers complain about the cost of school renovations and the lack of funding to complete them. Over 500,000 Iowans have either inadequate health insurance or none at all. But instead of earmarking some of our state’s income to fix these problems, your paper has chosen to endorse large payouts to companies that are already experiencing huge profits. Trickle-down economics didn’t work for Reagan, and it’s far too early to call the concept successful now.

All Iowa is doing currently, and in the years to come, is taxing its existing businesses to lure and subsidize their competitors. Furthermore, Iowa will never see the full benefit of having these new companies here, because the first time the state tries to get them to pay normal income, sales or property taxes, they’ll start building new facilities, either in South Dakota or Central America. To continue to keep these businesses here, we’ll have to keep bidding lower and giving away more. Why play a game we can’t win?

In the meantime, the alternative is being ignored. How many jobs would it save or create if all Iowans could afford to go to the hospital as needed? How many jobs would be saved or created if our schools had enough money to stay open, finish their construction projects and give our children the quality of education we wish they could have?

On the back of the Iowa quarter, it says “Foundation in Education.” Maybe before we give more money away, we should take a look at the “Iowa Values Fund,” and decide if this trend really reflects our values at all.

This has been KL Snow.

No comments: