It was almost a year ago that the News Journal ran an article about a couple of small, minority owned businesses on the main thoroughfare of Middletown (since archived). Within a couple of weeks, Governor Markell was visiting those same businesses with a News Journal reporter in tow. The News Journal ran an article on the Governor’s visit (also since archived, but the link is here should you wish to purchase).
Well, those business owners hopes were just realized as the Governor has landed a large Amazon distribution center. 849 new jobs will be coming to Middletown at the cost to Delaware’s taxpayers of $8,833.92 per job. I wonder where that money will come from… Oh, yeah, those small business owners. Now, it is true that their businesses will likely benefit as a result of the expensive warehouse jobs coming nearby. But what about similar small businesses in Brandywine Hundred or Greenwood?
As a caveat, and I’ve written this before, I don’t have a problem with a business owner outfoxing a Government bureaucrat and extracting payment for bringing “jobs”. As usual, these business negotiators are just better than the Governor. The large business knows that the Governor hasn’t the patience to wait for nor the knowledge to create an economic environment in which businesses will grow & thrive on their own. He hasn’t the patience because he needs the headline to show that he is doing something. He hasn’t the knowledge because he’s never actually run a business, opened a store, developed a technology, etc. (although he did get quite accomplished at raising money from wealthy donors and business owners which can be found documented in his campaign finance reports — now he’s just paying them back with Greek-sized interest rates).
Of course, our Governor has now out-Minnered Ruth Ann Minner when it comes to paying crony businesses to keep/move jobs to Delaware. According to the Caesar Rodney Institute, the Strategic Fund under Minner/Markell has put $200 million of Delaware taxpayer money into crony pockets. Also during this time, the State has dropped from 11th in the nation to 21st in the 24/7 Wall Street ranking of Best/Worst run States in the Nation with our debt per capita ranking 5th highest in the nation (aka leverage like on Wall Street). Plus NPR ranked Delaware 4th in terms of corruption. Gee, if only Carney had won that primary. Of course, then we’d likely have Senator Markell, and if he spends like this in Delaware, just think of the damage he could do in Washington…