Archive for May 22nd, 2012

The following is a January 31, 1927 article in Time Magazine about Delaware and Pierre S. du Pont.

Pierre du Pont was the founder of the modern American corporation. He along with 2 other cousins, T. Coleman du Pont and Alfred I du Pont conducted a leveraged buy-out of the Dupont Company around 1902 and proceeded to grow it into the dominant force that it was to remain for 80 years. Pierre then went on the build General Motors, the Empire State building, Delaware’s tax collecting authority and its first blush with educational excellence. Then he got around to finishing the gardens at his home in Pennsylvania, Longwood Gardens.

It is capitalists like this that the “Occupy” “Movement” seems to detest.

It may be hard to read, so the last two paragraph follow:

Here is where he crossed the tracks of the politicians. Delaware has a $3-per-capita filing fee or tax. If this tax were abolished 100,000 people would cheer for the politicians. It would also leave the bulk of the income tax to be paid by about 680 well-to-do people in Wilmington and environs (many of them duPonts). As a vote-pulling measure, it might be tremendously popular. Pierre duPont could go on putting millions of dollars into the school system while most of the beneficiaries would never feel a burden.

So, Mr. duPont called a halt. He felt his commonwealth was becoming a feudal state. Delaware was becoming too dependent upon private beneficence for her public works. Generosity had begun to eat into the self-respect of citizenship. Public conscience seemed to need time to breathe and re-assert itself. Huge dividends from DuPont, General Motors and other sources were diverted from the channels they have taken for a decade while Pierre duPont sat back to see what would become of a hobby as dear to him as Back symphonies and horticulture. Philanthropy, he must have reflected, can be a bigger gamble than poker, and often without the fun.

As the MBNA generated wealth has fled the State and the du Pont family wealth has dissipated, Delaware has resorted to gambling and escheat to balance its books. Delaware’s per capita spending is at some of the highest levels in the nation while our local taxes are fairly low. However, the results of all this “free” money has been economic stagnation, an awful educational system, and a shrinking employment base.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: