The real political divide in America is between the people and our rulers.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Two Tales of Moraine's Big Fish Deal
about time we had some good economic news in Dayton. I'm not talking about
December's official 6.7 percent unemployment rate. That happened because
hundreds of thousands of more people dropped out of the work force.
President Obama and the Federal Reserve continue dragging the US economy
down the drain, and government statistics continue to hide the decline
as real unemployment climbs to nearly 25 percent. The good, maybe great, economic news is Chinese auto glass manufacturer Fuyao Group Glass Industries Co. Ltd plans to purchase 1.4 million square feet of factory space
in the old General Motors plant in Moraine and eventually employ up to
800 people there. Given the exodus of businesses and workers from Dayton
over the last ten years, this is the first, honestly good economic news
I've heard in Dayton in that period.
article began, "The deal to bring 800 jobs to the former General Motors
assembly plant in Moraine involved wooing the leader of Fuyao Glass
Industry Group on three continents over eight months. JobsOhio,
the state’s private economic development arm, started courting Fuyao in
April and sent Managing Director Kristi Tanner to Fuyao’s opening
ceremony for its newest auto glass plant in Kaluga, Russia, and then to
meet with company officials at Fuyao’s headquarters in Fuzhou, China."
tale would have us believe that heroic, tireless bureaucrats at
JobsOhio identified Fuyao as a potential buyer for the old GM plant,
then dogged its reluctant officers, selflessly wining and dining them
all over the world for eight months at taxpayer expense,
to reel them in. We're to believe that bureaucrats marketed the
property then landed the Big Fish, not the owner of the property,
Industrial Realty Group, LLC, based in California, which has been doing
deals like this for 40 years.
Fuyao's billionaire chairman praised JobsOhio, and the deal was supposedly consummated, "with
a formal, highly-scripted ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse, complete
with Chinese and American flags, an exchange of gifts, and the signing
of the sale agreement between Industrial Realty Group, the plant owner,
and Fuyao Chairman and Founder Cao Dewang."
Nobody becomes a billionaire without climbing in bed with government
and making politicians and bureaucrats look good. Plutocrat Dewang plays
that game well.
The only problem with this narrative is it's dishonest. Before the propaganda piece was scripted, the DDN reported,
"Fuyao’s agreement to move to the former General Motors complex at Ohio
741 and Stroop Road is the fruition of months of work by local and
state officials — and nearly three years of work by the plant’s owner,
redeveloper Industrial Realty Group (IRG)." Reporting the real work done by the property owner seems an afterthought.
In another DDN article,
Dewang tells the truth, "'We are here because our customers want us to
be here,' Dewang said through an interpreter at the state capitol." His
customers include General Motors, Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and Hyundai. Furthermore,
from late in the fish tale, "Cao, who is a self-made billionaire, said
he fell in love with the Moraine plant at first sight."
So much for JobsOhio and local government. IRG and market
forces brought Fuyao to Moraine, not government. Government was an
obstacle, not a facilitator. If you fell in love at first sight with a
property you wanted, and if the price was right, ideally, you would just
buy it. Imagine instead, before you could buy your dream property, you
had to pay tribute to the rulers of Moraine, Montgomery County and Ohio.
Imagine you had to spend eight months sucking up to wasteful, vapid
bureaucrats from JobsOhio. You might pass on the property.
Fuyao didn't pass. Before it could buy the perfect plant for its
business needs, it first had to promise tribute to Moraine's, Montgomery
County's and Ohio's rulers. That burden of government delayed the sale
to three years before it was done. That wasteful signing ceremony in
Columbus was part of the tribute. Political
theater was its only purpose. It wasted time and resources for the two
parties making the deal, but it boosted Gov. Kasich politically. The
deal doesn't actually close until April. Government could still ruin it.
JobsOhio didn't woo Dewang. This deal that will benefit everybody in
greater Dayton was made between private sector actors driven by the
profit motive. JobsOhio bureaucrats used this impending deal as an
excuse to fly all over the world and party for eight months on money
stolen from taxpayers. This idea that government helps business deals is
a fraud. It's impossible for government to help. Because of its
coercive nature, government can only hinder business deals, reduce
profits, bankrupt businesses, and drag our economy down. Of
course our rulers offered reduced taxes as incentives, but that's just a
reduction of the tribute demanded by brigands. Fortunately, these two
companies overcame the burdens government put in front of them to make