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"Companies like Boeing, CITGO, AA etc create a vortex of economic development that reaches deep into all of our lives. Are they worth attracting, even with calculated incentives? Yes."
A vortex is an apt allusion, but I doubt we forsee the same kind of all-consuming maelstrom. I don't normally think Alfalfa Bill is off the mark, but I have to quibble (I quibble, therfore I blog?) with Bill on the benefits of an economic system based on large corporate employers as anchors. As is exemplified by the American shakedown, these big employers can be a fickle bunch, eager to use their pull on desperate cities to milk what they can. Do we really want to put our necks even further into this noose or do we dare to think beyond this shrinking loop? I don't think Tulsa will ever be equipped with the kind of money, infrastructure or natural advantage to play this game with bigger richer cities. And even if we succeed in creating this extensive web of small businesses that depend on the big corporate employer, what we would end up with is a city full of people that embody a protective mentality towards that industry, even when faced with the inevitablity of its failure.
What I fear most about this process is that once we become dependent on an industry like Boeing for our livelyhoods, we will fall in line with any proposals that seek to extend their reach. In the case of Boeing that would mean any increases in military spending that might positively affect Boeing's financial health. We would become a voting block motivated to expanding the wealth and power of corporations, an illness I think America at large already suffers from. Ourselves be damned, our communities be damned, for we have our own necks to think about if that means unchecked corporate power, so be it?
In general I was appalled that our Vision process has been hijacked by these corporate beggers with their hands out. And I've been turned off by the constant bleating by the "say yes" crowd that handing the keys of the city over to some greedy corporate interests is somehow "for our kids".
For what its worth, the other half of the vision 2025 plan is darn good, and seeing how we stand a slim to none chance of enticing Boeing, I'd say its almost worth appeasing American for the other projects that will see funding...
so, yes.. I'd vote for it. But I hope Boeing goes to hell, their execs would fit right in.
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