Local Economic Development: Public or Private?

By Michael D. LaFaive | May 15, 1999

Usually, when we hear the term “economic development,” we think of something that improves the standard of living for our community.

Unfortunately, what economic development often implies to some politicians and pundits is government-guided development whereby public officials pick economic winners and losers by favoring one or more specifically targeted businesses with special favors: tax abatements, subsidies, free land, and other benefits, as opposed to other businesses.

How do they do it? With the law. There are several major state laws that enable municipal governments to manipulate their regional economy. These laws allow local governments to abate local taxes or create agencies that build infrastructure for commercial purposes and take other steps to increase its region’s economic development, such as increasing area employment or refurbishing of old industrial sites.

Here is a list (by no means exhaustive) of local tools for encouraging “economic development:”

The Economic Development Corporation Act (Public Act 338): This law allows local governments to create an independent economic development corporation (EDC) for purposes of economic development. EDCs can borrow money or issue bonds (or both) for use on various and sundry projects. They can even use revenue generated from a project to retire debts left over from other projects.

Downtown Development Authorities (DDA): State law allows local governments to create Downtown Development Authorities to “construct, rehabilitate, equip, improve, maintain, or operate any building within the downtown for public or private use.” They are only allowed, however, in areas that have suffered a significant decline in the number of businesses.

Tax Increment Finance Authority Act (TIFA): When property values rise, this law allows local officials to collect a portion of the increase in property taxes, over and above the base year in which TIFA was established. This also applies to DDAs and Local Development Financing Authorities (LDFA). This money can then be used in economic development plans as local officials see fit. The authorizing statute for Tax Increment Finance Authorities has expired, though there are still several in the state remaining in operation.

Local Development Financing Authorities (LDFA): A Local Development Financing Authority is designed for encouraging industrial growth only. The LDFAs are different from the now-defunct TIFAs in that TIFAs were used for much more general purposes.

As of April 28, 1998, there was a grand total of 573 local economic development authorities operating in Michigan. Of these, 351 were Downtown Development Authorities, 87 were Local Development Financing Authorities, and 135 were TIFAs.

One of the most common tools local development authorities use for economic development is the “tax abatement.” For example, taxes that otherwise would be involved in starting up a business are reduced to encourage businesses to open or expand in areas government officials would like to see developed.

According to the Citizens Research Council (CRC) of Michigan, at the end of 1993, 6,654 certificates were outstanding for abatement of taxes on new industrial facilities. These certificates represent a tax advantage over their competitors for those businesses receiving them.

Interestingly, CRC noted in a different report that the tax abatement is used most by local governments with the highest taxes. In other words, tax abatements may be necessary to avoid losing businesses to low-tax areas. Of course, other factors may play a role in business development, too. Low-tax areas may also have great schools and low crime rates, which no doubt play an important role in business and location decisions.

Does the tax abatement method meet with success? Not as much as if local officials simply would keep taxes low in the first place. CRC found that greater economic growth takes place in jurisdictions where taxes are low and which consequently grant fewer abatements. CRC found that “50% of high tax jurisdictions experienced low growth, whereas only 18% of the low tax jurisdictions and 19% of the medium jurisdictions experienced low growth.” This suggests that keeping the economic playing field level and offering no special favors yields better results than government picking winners and losers through the use of tax abatements.

Poletown is an area of Detroit that once was home to thousands of people on 450 acres, sharing 16 churches, 144 businesses, and one hospital. In 1980, the city of Detroit informed the community that General Motors needed its land for a new Cadillac plant. A war ensued, pitting residents against city government, which was represented mainly by the Detroit Economic Development Corporation. The deal the city put forward–fought by the citizens of Poletown–was to provide $450 million in local, state, and federal subsidies, abatements, and infrastructure improvements in exchange for the land. The residents lost their fight and were forced to abandon their homes when Detroit invoked the state’s eminent domain law.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman is famous for saying, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” What he means is that everything has a cost, even if it is an opportunity cost. An opportunity cost is the price of the next best alternative foregone. When local agencies use tax money to attract employers and jobs to their community, they often do so with money that must first be taken from someone else. The money taken from others is money that otherwise would have been saved or invested and spent according to the priorities of the wage earner. Private action on the part of individuals is what drives the private economy and creates jobs. The net result of government action to “create” jobs, consequently, is that an offsetting number of jobs may be destroyed (or just shifted around) in the private sector.

Regardless of how intelligent or talented local development officers may be, they simply do not have the ability to outguess millions of individual decision-makers in the market. No person or government institution has all the knowledge necessary to understand the impact government actions will have on the vast, interconnected network of interests represented by the marketplace.

The great virtue of people free to act in the market is that each person has a small amount of information to use for his or her own ends. Those ends succeed or fail with each person, without endangering the economic well being of the entire community. But when local development authorities attempt to supplant the knowledge of many economic actors by deciding who should and should not be anointed with tax abatements, low-interest loans, or other government handouts, they attempt the impossible and disrupt a delicate balance. They presume to know something that is unknowable: what is best for each individual economic actor.

Public-sector intervention simply displaces private-sector initiative. It sends private businesses scrambling for the biggest tax abatement they can get, instead of looking for ways to satisfy the desires of their communities and make more consumer-friendly products.

The citizens of Michigan need to understand what politicians really mean when they talk about “economic development.” They need to decide whether they really want local officials choosing what ought to be developed, disrupting the local economic balance in the process; or whether private initiative should assume its rightful position as the cornerstone of economic development.

Michael D. LaFaive is director of the Mackinac Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative. He is the author of dozens of commentaries and studies on such fiscal policy issues as state government spending, privatization, economic development and unfunded federal mandates. His Op-Eds have appeared in numerous Michigan newspapers, and he is regularly quoted in television, radio and newspaper stories. Since 1995, LaFaive has served as managing editor of the Mackinac Center periodical Michigan Privatization Report.

LaFaive has undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Central Michigan University.

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35 Responses to Local Economic Development: Public or Private?

  1. voiceofreason says:

    Take a Loonie and buy a clue.

    • Robin says:

      I’m guessing your credentials are much higher than Michael LaFaive’s. Perhaps you’ve written a number 1 best seller on Economics. Perhaps you just denigrate the heritage of people you don’t agree with because you have no argument. By the way, I’m also English, Scott/English, French, what’s your family lineage?

  2. Tom says:

    Great piece that even a great mind like voiceoftreason cannot refute or dispute with facts and figures– even though it’s a 12 year old article. LaFaive is still providing thought-provoking articles to the open-minded Michigander on a regular basis at this site: http://www.mackinac.org/bio.aspx?ID=4
    Thanks for providing this old pearl of wisdom to the masses, Robin; I think someday soon we will see some of these ‘economic development’ schemes be scrapped in Michigan so that the state and local governments can provide the services they were originally instituted by the people to do and not ‘partner’ themselves with favored businesses and special interests to the detriment of all others.

    • Robin says:

      I couldn’t agree more with you Tom! The more the private sector can take control over what the private sector does best, the more prosperous we’ll be. These public sucking institutions have to go…and as a nice little reward – corruption will be stemmed as well. It’s a lofty goal, but one worth fighting for. Our Lenawee Economic Development Corporation just got turned down from the voters for a $3.5 million millage increase over a 4 year term. I’m sure there are some hard feelings out there, especially since they didn’t have a “Plan B” and they’re still on the hook to pay the county back a $90,000.00 loan.

      • Tom says:

        You probably noted, Robin, that the Adrian Daily Telegram came out strongly behind raising the millage with this being the typical article harping about the alleged benefits, http://www.lenconnect.com/opinions/editorials/x669416116/Our-View-Yes-vote-Tuesday-on-Proposal-1-is-a-vote-for-Lenawee-s-future
        they then had to report that it was defeated with 63% of the vote http://www.lenconnect.com/breaking/x54277831/Economic-development-millage-defeated
        But even more interesting is that the Adrian Mayor race had one backing it and one not, and the one who backed the millage won by about a 2-1 margin, roughly the same as the millage failed in the county. The people didn’t want this tax. Thankfully, they had voices of common sense to educate them on the issue, such as is regularly found on Blissfield’s Blog.

        • Robin says:

          Yes, the publisher of the Daily Telegram is the Chairman of the Board for the LEDC (no bias here). Mayors, County Commissioners and other government owned personnel also came out supportive of proposal 1. Apparently, the mayoral candidate that didn’t support the proposal because the LEDC should be privately funded. DuMars has a good spending history; I think I would have voted for Gallagher. It’s pretty interesting how that worked out..

          Yes, thanks to common sense contributors like you that are regularly found on blogs like this, WE can get the pertinent information out there!

  3. voiceofreason says:

    Robin, I’m an American who would never, ever presume that I can interpret our Founding Father’s intent–mainly because they cannot rebut what I’ve said. Clearly you feel the need to wrap a lot of your thoughts in the flag, but I have found that most that do that are merely trying to elicit emotions rather than rational thought. It saddens me to see that there are like-minded people in our community.

    You had to reach all the way back to 1999 to find this information. Isn’t the Internet grand in that you can find information to back almost any point of view.

    I find that it is very humorous that you ask about my credentials, yet you seem to have an opinion on almost everything under the sun. Please take a peek at the DSM-IV (start with personality disorders).

    • Robin says:

      Voice, I did not have to reach all the way back to 1999 to find an article regarding the reality of economic development. I have vetted the author Michael LaFaive, he writes extensively and passionately about this subject. I really like his body of work and feel he is very talented. Go back to the article and read his credentials at the bottom of the post. The credentials you are actually questioning regarding this article, is the author of the article. Because you were so flippant with your response to the article, “Take a Loonie and buy a clue”, I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that your knowledge base and credentials were significantly more substantial than Mr. LaFaive’s.

      The article was not written to elicit emotion, I do not write to elicit emotion. I would prefer discussion and debate with logic and facts. It appears you are blaming others for your emotional reaction.

      • Robin says:

        Regarding our Founding Fathers intent: For any American, it is most advisable to read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the two documents go together. I would also recommend reading as many of the original documents and letters they sent back and forth to each other to further understand the true sense of their intent. I do not profess to be a constitutional scholar, but I don’t believe you have to be a scholar to understand the 18 enumerated powers of the Federal Government or what a Republic is. Michigan is a sovereign state and has the right to operate under communist or marxist principles, if that is what the people want. At present, the Michigan constitution does not support the socialist creep that’s been infiltrating and destroying not only Michigan’s economy, but that of the United States as well. If you’re okay with this destruction and want to trade your liberties for it, I guess that’s your call. I’m going to go down fighting.

  4. voiceofreason says:

    I apologize for the DSM-IV comment.

    • Tom says:

      I’m not in the psychological field, voiceoftreason, but effectively calling someone else crazy and then sensibly realizing your own misdiagnosis is a bit schizophrenic. You write a lot but don’t say anything of substance to prove your point. That isn’t the definition of crazy, but it doesn’t make much sense.

      History has a tendency to repeat itself. The following blog will likely be ignored by folks like voiceofreason who look at the 1996 in the by-line and discount its timeless message. It explains the history of economic development in Michigan, beginning with our first governor and his ambitious public economic development programs. After its total failure, Michigan thrived not by its public spending, but by entrepreneurs investing private money for the eventual benefit of all. That’s America for you!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you for that retraction.

  5. tiredofstupidyou@yahoo.com says:

    One question, and until you can answer it I will no longer comment.

    Given what is in place for public policy right now (that is, no magic wand that can change state or federal laws or policies), what is your plan to help the 10%+ of Lenawee residents who are unemployed right now? Those family, friends, and neighbors are suffering NOW.

    • Tom says:

      That’s an easy one, get rid of the economic development agencies. The millage increase that was just defeated would have taken nearly $900,000 away from everyone, including this 10%+ of the unemployed. It would also make Lenawee less attractive to outside entrepreneurs who would see the increased tax rates as part of the cost of doing business in Lenawee, and locate elsewhere. That $900,000 would have went to administrative fees, bureaucrats, and businesses that want ‘partnerships’ with the local government, so that they can have their improvements paid for by the taxpayer. Free markets do not guarantee anything, but they just seem to work better for all.

      • Robin says:

        Exactly Tom! I’d like to correct the way I laid out the millage increase. It was a 0.28 mil increase for a 4-year term. The 4-year winfall for the LEDC was $3.5 million.

        I’d like to take a shot at a longer version. Let me know if you disagree with anything or something needs more explanation. Starting a few years back, we could have insulated ourselves from the recession – if Michigan wasn’t following the Federal government off the cliff with their European models. Other states have been insulated – Texas, for instance. The Michigan housing bubble bursting wouldn’t have been as injurious if we didn’t have agencies like MSHDA, HUD, MEGA, MEDC, EDC throwing your hard earned money around like it was free fertilizer. These agencies created unsustainable markets and artificially inflated the real estate market. Please allow me one more “if”. Again, if Michigan didn’t follow suit with the Federal government and tried to prop up or fix the government created lagging economy, we would have been long out of the recession.

        Now that we’re here, the already high cost of doing business (fees and taxes) as you Tom have already pointed out has driven and will continue to drive out industry (in pursuit of greener pastures) because what we are doing to fix the situation is further raising the cost for businesses and taxpayers. Other costs of doing business in Michigan are excessive regulations and the fact we’re not a right to work state. In effect, doing the same thing that got us here to get us out of the mess is either laughable or insane. Keynesian economics got us here and since Keynes said his principals wouldn’t work in a recession, I’m inclined to believe that it doesn’t work period. In mathematics, the same is true of an equation – if it doesn’t work all the time – it doesn’t work.

        Government’s role is to referee the game, not play it. Free Market principles bar monopoly, conspiracy and deception; hence, government regulations are to uphold the fair play rules, not make it more difficult or expensive by leaching tax dollars through every step, twist or turn (hidden taxes). When government plays the game, they cannot tax themselves, they’re extracting those taxes from the pool; they also create monopolies or duopolies, thus rendering markets uncompetitive and therefore raising costs for us at both ends.

        If any concerted economic development plan is to be instituted, the private sector should be doing it. If the government did not back the LEDC, it wouldn’t be viable.

        There is so much duplicity and overlap with this kind of organization as they’ve been able to deceptively sell it to the masses by putting warm and fuzzy titles and fuzzy goals attached to them. They cannot guarantee jobs, except their own; they’re only profitable to those they employ. If it really worked, we wouldn’t still be clamoring for jobs.

        In summary, get government out of the way and let free market principals work. Trust in capitalism that made America a super power and the most profitable with the highest standard of living ever on earth. Trust in the ingenuity and exceptional-ism of the American people. Trust free market principles, reduce the regulatory environment, and reduce the cost of doing business with the cost of living in Lenawee by reducing the cost of government (wasting your tax-dollars) and limiting the wealth consumption of said government. Increase the wealth producers.

        When we have cleaned up Lenawee, we can spread our good fortune.

        • Tom says:

          That’s better than what I thought, I’d figured the millage would continue indefinitely starting at nearly $900,000.

          I’d just add to your sensible sentiments that public agencies can’t do adequate wealth redistribution equitably among individuals; how are public agencies devoted to economic development to fairly distribute wealth and benefits among businesses that are so diverse in size, composition, goals, activities, etc. ? Can’t be done.

          • Robin says:

            The law of averages indicates that most tax increases do somehow continue indefinitely but sticking to the 4 year term, the effect still remains the same insofar as the increase is added as another not so favorable cost of doing business as you have said.
            Regarding the wealth redistribution, I’ve viewed it more along the lines of picking winners and losers. Picking winning organizations and picking winning markets. Those markets and industries are not market driven or necessarily supported. How are they sustainable? I strongly adhere to free market principles for these very reasons. Good addition, thanks. I also didn’t catch the missing number 3 truth…you did.

  6. voiceofreason says:

    You did not answer my question. Reducing the cost of doing business with the cost of living by reducing the cost of government is exactly the magic wand I said that you cannot use to solve the immediate problem. No cheating….

    Here is the truth:

    1. Companies make decisions based upon financials. You say that you own a company so you know that.
    2. All other counties in Michigan, as well as the big “O” state to our south, still play in the economic sand box.
    4. Those economic developers are happy to help Lenawee companies relocate (and will give them tax incentives, land, and even CASH in Ohio).

    Once you had cleaned out Lenawee (of existing and possibly new companies), you can spread your whatever. My magic wand would have made it so you would have started spreading someplace else.

    • Tom says:

      I missed the number 3 part of your version of the truth, voiceoftreason.

      Though there are exceptions, companies that move into a region due to tax incentives/abatements, free land and CASH may provide some economic recovery but it comes at a high price. The company’s dependence on continued corporate welfare can actually be a drain on the resources of a region, including the rest of the tax base that is paying for their perks. And when those inducements lessen or disappear, so often does the company.

      If all your neighbors were receiving government assistance, do you think you’d be in a better neighborhood than if they were all self-sufficient? Real, successful entrepreneurs just want the government off their backs, not sleeping beside them in their beds.

    • Robin says:

      You’re right Voice/tired, I did not answer your question, just as you did not adhere to what you said, “and until you can answer it I will no longer comment”. The absurdity of the question assumes you can fix something without changing anything. As equally absurd as doing more of the same thing that created the problem in the first place. You also pretend there is such a thing as a magic wand, when there is none. There are currently safety nets and measures like unemployment insurance, extended unemployment benefits, medicaid, food stamps etc. (including church, service organizations, family, friends and neighbors) for family, friends and neighbors suffering now.

      Companies do make decisions based on financials, a smart business would look beyond the sign on bonus and consider the overall long-term cost impacting his/her bottom line (including the general cost of living for themselves and employees) in association with his/her target market and forecasted market share. You’re right about the economic sandboxes in other counties and states. Don’t you think start-up companies would be more inclined to jump on subsidies (reduce their start-up costs and risks)? Wouldn’t others just be shopping to get the best package, starting the process all over when their contractual obligations from your stimulus is up? In order to keep winning, wouldn’t you have to keep calling the ante and raising it? That sounds like a ridiculous road to go down when you could make Lenawee equally attractive for everybody, not just a select few. Furthermore, you can create more jobs with small business ventures than a couple of large corporations can. I’d prefer to reduce the burden on taxpayers by proactively encouraging entrepreneurship by being more business friendly and less costly than other counties or states.

      The government is not the answer, it’s the problem. I thought Tom answered your question really well (as well as could possibly be done), I just expounded on it.

  7. voiceofreason says:

    Wait, what??

    “You’re right Voice/tired, I did not answer your question, just as you did not adhere to what you said, “and until you can answer it I will no longer comment”
    ” I thought Tom answered your question really well (as well as could possibly be done), I just expounded on it.”

  8. voiceofreason says:

    Wait…..what? (part 2)

    “Yes, I am Canadian.” “I do not write to elicit emotion. I would prefer discussion and debate with logic and facts.”

    “….find a little more respect for your Founding Fathers and appreciate all they have given you. The United States of America is the last bastion of liberty and freedom in the world…and that’s something I’m magnanimously willing to fight and die for.”

    “If you believe in free market enterprise, capitalism and the ingenuity of the American people, we don’t need concerted economic development.”

    “It’s taxation without representation and doesn’t resemble anything our framers had in mind when they drafted the constitution.”

    “For any American, it is most advisable to read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the two documents go together.”

    ‘Michigan is a sovereign state and has the right to operate under communist or marxist principles, if that is what the people want.”

    “. If you’re okay with this destruction and want to trade your liberties for it, I guess that’s your call. I’m going to go down fighting.”

  9. Robin says:

    Tom, I thought this piece of brilliance was…well, brilliant. “If all your neighbors were receiving government assistance, do you think you’d be in a better neighborhood than if they were all self-sufficient? Real, successful entrepreneurs just want the government off their backs, not sleeping beside them in their beds.” I can’t imagine how a profound wake-up call like this wouldn’t hit home.

    As much disdain some may have for the way I think, I’m infinitely more grateful to find another “like thinker,” you have proved this over and over. It’s like Christmas morning every-time I run across someone like you! No kidding.

    • Tom says:

      Ditto! But I think that most objective folks who have looked at the concept of ‘economic development’ and considered its costs and its returns and its basic principles would have to come to the same conclusions. The proponents, who usually are a subset of the recipients of public cash filtered through economic development, are a vocal minority that can make baseless claims about its effectiveness and perpetuate the myth that it’s working.

      For them, it may be; but for the rest of the country, it’s weakening the system and ideals that got America to the top in the first place, while replacing it with the system and ideals of Euro-socialism. Bad idea.

  10. voiceofreason says:

    I don’t distain how you think, just simply do not understand it. You wrote “I do not write to elicit emotion” and then I gave you not one, not two, but six examples of you doing just that. Would you retract the statement that you do not write to elicit emotion or the six in which you are doing just that? Or just let conflicting statements stand?

    One more thing……. A raccoon leaves its “calling card” on my porch once in awhile. I do think it’s sneaking….

    • Tom says:

      Robin would have been more precise if she had said that: “I do not write primarily to elicit emotion.” She does an excellent job of presenting the salient facts in an objective manner, synthesizing them into a readable format, and then editorializing using her perspective and reasoned opinions, which she usually explains in detail and often with some passion.

      If you want facts presented totally dispassionately and without a viewpoint, read an encyclopedia. I prefer Blissfield’s Blog, and Robin’s well-reasoned, well-researched and compassionate prose. And you, Voice, are encouraged and welcome to do likewise in defense of your positions. So why use that time of yours to quibble over whether Robin may inadvertently elicit emotions at times in the support of her views? Particularly in a thread where she initially presented a guest columnist with no extra comments by her, and your 6 examples are not very convincing for your argument.

      • Robin says:

        Thanks Tom, for coming to my defense with so many kind words. The same thing you’ve written about me can also be applied to you. Your encyclopedia example is also a model of what our press should of aspired to have been. I haven’t read about voiceofreason/tiredofstupidyou complaining at all about our local paper’s propagandized view of things. I believe respect for our Founding Fathers would entail some sort of rejection of bias when we are supposed to be getting unfiltered/unadulterated facts from them.

        At any rate, I’m thinking by v/t’s last comment, the author is the same person that felt compelled to write me this piece of hate mail after I distributed postcards giving people a head’s-up about the situation in Blissfield; https://blissfield.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/i-found-your-postcard-in-my-yard-today/

  11. voiceofreason says:

    Using contradictory statements in the very same thought is something I look for. It isn’t very convincing for me, and I am sure that it is not for others as well. Still, this is her blog and she is free to say what she wants–no matter how confusing it is for me.

    • Robin says:

      v/t, clearly, you are the one trying to elicit emotion. Instead of trying to convolute the message, please present your argument. The article by Mr. LaFaive is very self explanatory. Economic development does not work, if you have any evidence to the contrary, send it to me or post it.

    • Tom says:

      Anna Quindlen is quoted as saying: “Ignorant free speech often works against the speaker. That is one of several reasons why it must be given rein instead of suppressed.”

      By all means, debunk or refute Mr. LaFaive or Robin’s positions, Vocieoftreason. Or do you just want to follow the words of Epictetus: “Silence is safer than speech.”

  12. tiredofstupidyou@yahoo.com says:

    “clearly, you are the one trying to elicit emotion.” – stating this is a great example. You are admittedly a Canadian citizen, yet you continue to wrap your arguments in what you perceive to be Patriotic statements designed to elicit the emotions of Americans reading your blog. Clearly, YOU cannot provide me with an example where I did so. (wait….what?)

    Trying to have an open discussion with someone willing to use ANY statement to back up their point is a total waste of my time. I’ll just be watching for “wait….what?”

    • Robin says:

      Tom is correct, again. I’d like to add that even your very first comment, “You’re Canadian, right? That is why you merely “recommend” a no vote.” under the post “The LEDC Scoop” was a blatant insult, not to mention your bogus email address and alias you conjured up to further compound your insults, “tiredofstupidyou@yahoo.com”. Those examples are, undeniably and intently designed to elicit emotion. Your second comment (although, it provided a good belly laugh) failed to contradict your agenda while still ignoring the content of the post. You have not yet bothered to counter any points/facts given you from the last two posts or the numerous comments that have been provided to you. Your only defense of your position/critical thinking you supplied was camouflaged as a question and alluding to doing the same thing that got us in the mess in the first place. Let’s not forget the awkward attempt to malign my motives as merely wrapped in the American Flag.

      On the other hand, information I’ve offered along with my analysis throughout this blog was strictly designed to inform and provoke thought and discussion. Please bow your head and repeat after me, “God help me incite pride and recognition of the unique exceptionalism that IS the United States of America…amen.” If I didn’t feel that in my heart, what a phenomenal waste of time all of this would have been. What our Founding Fathers have given us (at the very least) is the most important protections and liberties any nation had EVER received for the advancement of prosperity and ultimate happiness within the human spirit. There are 40 million immigrants (not born in the US) who know first hand the difference between the USA and every other country on the face of the earth. I think it’s important American’s not lose sight, take for granted or lose their appreciation of how/why we became GREAT in the first place.

      You; however, don’t even presume to understand what our Framers intent was. You should…posthaste. I’m betting we wouldn’t be having this conversation if I were trying to flatten this country and mold it into just another commonwealth…or communist society, leading the way to something even more sinister.

      If you can provide any information or argument to dispute, “ANY statement” I’ve used to back up my point, please do.

      Of course, you could be pretending to advance the stead of the community, when in reality, advancing your own agenda and the bulk of your pocketbook as the end result. Alternatively, you could handily be benefiting from the grants, incentives, economic development scams and ponzi schemes that buy political favor and cause financial burden on the majority of the population while increasingly debilitate a Republic economy. In either case, since you cannot articulate an argument, I understand your transparently, desperate attempt to minimize my impact, anyway you possibly can.

  13. Tom says:

    The comments started out from your side with “take a loonie and buy a clue” an empty comment which was a catty reference to Robin’s Canadian heritage. Soon after you asked her to look in the DSM IV under personality disorders, inferring that Robin was a loonie. Sounds like someone is eliciting emotion while engaging in unwarranted personal attacks.

    Interspersed within the rest of your comments is some irrational point you are trying to make about her “eliciting emotions” in her commentary. In no way is she engaged in demagoguery when she refers to what you claim is patriotic sounding speech, in fact she is just referencing the original laws and their intents, as well as the mindsets of the founding fathers. No melodramatics.

    If you discount all such referencing, perhaps you should question your own values. As a Canadian who has repatriated herself here and espouses the values of the United States over all others, she gains a certain amount of credibility to me. She must like something about the USA to stay here and defend its principles so vigorously.

    You on the other hand, whose only post here with content in it says that Lenawee County would be better off if it put its public dollars into corporate welfare rather than public services, are sounding very “Canadian” to me, LOL.

    History has shown that “economic development” doesn’t work, and is detrimental to American exceptionalism. You think otherwise,

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