The desperation of state and local governments to try and preserve jobs in their jurisdictions is becoming palpable. Usually that means giving huge tax breaks to predatory corporations when they threaten to split town or even the country. Not content to stop there, the "leaders" of the city of Grand Island, Nebraska, decided to go one step further and just flat out hand $600,000 in taxpayer money to one such company. So how did that all work out for them? Not too well, as was reported by a local television station:
The company Structured Solutions in Grand Island has been in the headlines for weeks. They were given $600,000 from the city. All they had to do was add two hundred jobs and create 50 new ones by the end of 2011.That's just fucking brilliant. I really hope the voters in Grand Island are paying attention and will wreak their vengeance upon the idiots who approved this deal in the next election. Actually, they had better, because the idiots don't seem inclined to learn from their mistakes:
They didn't meet either deadline, only creating six jobs.
So Grand Island City Council decided not to grant an extension to the company and, severed ties with Structured Solutions.
Last week, a new development to this continuing headache for the city appeared.
On January 24th, Structured Solutions filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For the city, this could mean that they don't see a cent of the $600,000 returned to them.
"It was clear that Structured Solutions was in serious financial trouble and it didn't terribly surprise me that bankruptcy was filed," said City Attorney Bob Sivick.
The city council is chalking this up as a lesson learned.Yep, fuck free enterprise and fuck the markets. Instead, just turn over the public treasury to the private corporations because they are able to blackmail your community by threatening to take advantage of our insane "free" trade agreements and leave the country. That's the new socialism...American style.
"There are safeguards to how the LB-840 funds are distributed, and we didn't use those to the fullest and we will be more careful in the future," said council member Peg Gilbert.
Gilbert wanted to emphasize that while this LB 840 grant did not flush out, they have had sixteen or seventeen economic development projects that have been successful.
She said that the city must continue investing in economic development, regardless of this setback:
"That's the future of our community... we must."
Bonus: Today is the day for playing Springsteen's "Nebraska" album: