by: Diane Benjamin
K-Mart is just the latest to announce it is closing. Many smaller businesses have or are closing.
Both Bloomington and Normal have reported Sales Tax Revenue is down.
The Pantagraph reported B-N homes sales have improved – but read the article to the bottom. New construction lags behind last year. It’s 1/3 less than 2013, but the actually number isn’t used. The article did say in 2005 new construction was 671 homes, 2006 was 483. Elsewhere the article states, through October, 138 new construction homes were sold compared to 208 last year. Even though the title of the article painted improving sales, the numbers say different – at least on new construction.
Local media and both mayors paint rosy pictures of the local economy. Part of their job is to cheer-lead local investment. I wouldn’t mind if behind the scenes they were doing everything possible to cut spending. Instead both are looking for more money. Obviously citizens have less money to spend while government wants to take even more. This is how recessions start and never end.
Part of the problem is the local labor unions. Renner and Koos were both supported by them, and now they want work. The private sector is doing little construction – so they look to government. Labor leader Mike Matejka was involved with getting Paradigm approved. Governor Quinn’s Office was contacted for help too. Since discussions were still ongoing after the disastrous joint Council meeting, I wouldn’t be surprised if Paradigm returns re-born. If I ever have time to read the rest of the emails, I will post more of them.
Meanwhile, Koos wants more construction in Uptown. Renner wants a downtown hotel. Is it payback with your money?
Before the last City election the local Chamber of Commerce PAC ran radio ads supporting all the potted plants on both Councils. Why would they want to support big spenders? The Chamber used to be pro-private sector. Their members probably still think they are, even though nationally the Chamber wants cheap labor supplied by illegals. Meanwhile, the candidates they support fall in line behind their mayors to tax and spend more.
The problems of jobs leaving Bloomington-Normal is nothing good policy can’t overcome. Fiscal responsibility is imperative however. Since Renner and Koos do not understand simple economics, citizens have to stop them. Next April you will have choices of who represents you – at least in Bloomington. Stay tuned.
Tari: Go visit downtown Decatur. A fortune was spent sprucing it up, their economy has not improved. All Decatur has to show for it is debt and nicer looking buildings.
Government doesn’t create permanent economic activity. The citizens can’t afford temporary economic growth using our money for pet projects.
Maybe IWU or ISU can get you into an Econ 101 Class. Take the Chamber leadership with you.