Monday, September 15, 2014

"Play Long Ball"

Did you hear? Everything is coming up roses! We will be greeted as liberators! Just take a look on the bright side of life! And no matter what, always make sure to admire the bright & sunny "optics".

Last week, the mantra was supposed to be, "Ratification is different from rubber-stamping." But now that Tesla secured the deal it always wanted from Carson City, even the media pundit who uttered those words before the 28th Special Session of the Nevada Legislature is now upset because some legislators didnt rubber-stamp the Tesla deal quickly enough.

Wait, what?! Sadly, even some highly esteemed leaders of the Fourth Estate have caught #Teslamania.

Last week, The Atlantic's CityLab Editor-at-Large, Richard Florida, tried to warn those in Carson City of the risks of placing all of Nevada taxpayers' eggs in one "economic development" basket. And now, Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik is essentially calling our state's leaders "suckers" for approving the Tesla deal so quickly without analyzing the true cost of all the giveaways Tesla demanded along with the possibly way-too-rosy economic forecasts from the Governor's Office. Oh, and Good Jobs First continues to question the wisdom of allowing such a profitable company to operate in Nevada completely tax free for the next decade.

A cool $195 million is already leaving the state's coffers for Tesla corporate headquarters. And that's while Northern Nevada local authorities are just starting to realize the strain on local infrastructure that they just agreed to. How will we pay for the new roads and schools in Washoe, Storey, & Lyon Counties? And how will this affect state funding for the already overcrowded Clark County School District (CCSD), the already overburdened Southern Nevada transportation system, and still-in-need-of-some-TLC Southern Nevada economy?

Yesterday, the above mentioned media pundit used his Sunday Column to chide all the "ivory tower know-nothings and southern partisans" who dared to question Governor Brian Sandoval's (R) "play long ball"/"swing for the fences" strategy. Oh, really? What in any of this deal is "long ball"? How did Sandoval's "economic development team" "swing for the fences" by agreeing to the same old corporate welfare that this state has always tried to use to "diversify our economy"? How's that working out for us? The only difference this time is that the Tesla corporate welfare package is 14 times greater than the previous record setting Nevada corporate welfare package (cough- Apple -cough).

Look, we know Tesla likely has a bright future ahead. We even realize Tesla's potential role in a climate change/clean energy/human survival breakthrough. We can't understate the promise of the ground Tesla broke in Storey County.

We're just wondering why we're once again trying to substitute short sighted corporate welfare for long sighted economic planning. If we truly care about the well being of our state and our people, we know how to secure a far better bang for our buck. Yet in order for us to score this kind of real "long ball" deal, we'll need to approve it ourselves.

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