People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Kilgore In the Fighting 9th?

It appeared here first (as best I can tell) and then Alton jumped on the idea (here) and Kilo put a spark to the idea (here):
Jerry Kilgore could give Boucher a run for sure, unlike anyone Boucher has faced. If Kilgore keeps the same support shown him in the Governors race Boucher could be in trouble. Boucher has lived easy off SWVA voters long enough. Jerry Kilgore could change that if he runs. It would be a great advantage to SWVA if Kilgore runs.

I'm for it if Kilgore doesn't get tied in knots trying to figure out what we want and loses track of that which he holds dear - namely lower taxes, conservative values, and economic rebirth. We can talk about illegal immigration up in Herndon another day.

If Kilgore says one word about constructing more bike paths and hiking trails in order to lure northerners down here to bring us prosperity, I'll ... well, I'll write this guy in instead.

Somebody is going to turn this travesty around. Kilgore was once the man who could do it. Hopefully he's come to Jesus what with his recent gubernatorial debacle.

Take no prisoners, Jerry. The people in Southwest Virginia are fed up with business as usual and will rally to you.

Give Them Credit For Trying

Roanoke City Council is trying at least to bring prosperity to the area:
Home Depot may get grant
Roanoke City Council will likely offer the home store's site developers an incentive deal.

By Matt Chittum, The Roanoke Times

Roanoke will likely grant up to $1.7 million in taxpayer money to the developers of the site of a new Home Depot -- the same amount the developer must spend on road and other improvements that will benefit city residents.

Faison-Southern Lane LLC is preparing the site for Home Depot on U.S. 220 across from the Lowe's store. (link)
Knowing a little bit about site development and a whole lot about capitalism, I can tell you Home Depot would have been willing to pay the city $1.7 million to be able to insert itself across the street from Lowe's, their only real competitor on a national scale.

But I'm sure they're willing to take the city's money - reluctantly.

At least the city of Roanoke recognizes that we need to provide incentives to business in order to grow business. I'd rather we focused on more effective methods like tax reduction and the elimination of costly regulations and fees, etc.

But the point is they're trying.

So keep your bikepaths to prosperity. I'll take Home Depot and its 250 new jobs.

Framing The Issues

The Roanoke Times, in suggesting the kind of candidate the people there should consider for city council, understands the economic problems confronting our one and only metropolitan area:
Roanoke should reject single-issue candidates

Potential candidates for next spring's Roanoke City Council election already are staking out positions. Before citizens get wrapped up in the personalities and their agendas, they should think hard about the direction they want the council to take and seek candidates who share their views.

The city faces a number of challenges that call for a comprehensive, progressive agenda -- not in the partisan sense but in the sense of having a robust vision of the future that will help Roanoke progress out of the doldrums -- over zombie-like clutching at relatively minor issues from the past.

Chronically underfunded schools need help. Tepid job growth requires active economic development. The Roanoke River, with proper management and resuscitation, could be a jewel through the center of the city. Support for the arts, for open spaces and for trails would improve quality of life for those who live here. Collaboration with surrounding communities on regional issues could replace fragmented approaches often at odds with each other.

Attracting new residents, businesses and tourists to the city and the region could reverse Roanoke's trend toward decreasing population and economic stagnation. (link)

"Tepid job growth requires active economic development." Yes.

But the same tired, worn out solutions will not do. The city has lots of "open spaces" where business establishments once thrived (they're now called weed-choked, vermin-infested vacant lots) and just exactly how many "trails" are enough?

And note that troubling phrase, "comprehensive, progressive agenda." The Soviets always tried to perfect a comprehensive, progressive agenda in the old USSR but they failed miserably - as has such thinking in Roanoke.

What such phraseology reminds me of whenever I read it (admittedly less and less as time goes by and these old fossils and their ideas die off) is a system that the Russians created for themselves to bring prosperity to the people. The Soviet bureaucrats mandated that massive bread factories be built; the capacity of which was intended to feed every hungry child in the land. Now that's comprehensive. The factories were built and the bread was manufactured. The output was wondrous. Tons and tons of bread produced each day. To be stacked up to rot away on the shipping docks because those bureaucrats who were in charge of bread weren't in charge of trucks to transport the bread to the marketplace. A different set of bureaucrats were supposed to be handling that agenda but nobody at the bread bureaucracy bothered to tell the transportation bureaucracy that trucks would be needed. The latter was instead cranking out trollies so that the people of Moscow could make their way to the grocery bureaucracy and stand in line for bread that too often never materialized. The riot police bureaucracy was a mainstay in the "comprehensive, progressive agenda," as you might imagine.

But the bureaucrats accomplished what they were instructed to do. The agendums became ever more grandiose - and comprehensive - and the people starved.

What the folks at the Times mean when they call for a "comprehensive, progressive agenda" is that some nameless, faceless, unaccountable city bureaucracy should make all the economic development decisions and you, the people of Roanoke, expecially you small business owners, should pay dearly for it in the form of ever-growing tax rates and meddlesome rules, regulations, and mandates.

Oh, and shut up because the bread will be there. The comprehensive, progressive bureaucracy has willed it so.

As was revealed on this cite yesterday with the layoffs at SmurfitStone Container, competitive pressures originating in towns and cities in faroff lands dictate the need for a freer and unfettered business climate. Products and services there are brought to market more economically than they can be here because capitalism is encouraged and taxes are kept low - in the jungles of Malaysia, the teeming streets of Singapore, and the villages in Ireland - where once it was a rather neat idea on Roanoke's Market Street.

Rather than continue to try what has proven to fail over and over again - it is that outdated "progressive agenda" notion that has gotten this area into its present circumstances in the first place - do what works.

Reduce taxes. Eliminate regulations. Quit meddling. Encourage innovation. Open the floodgates. Prosperity will come. And Roanoke will begin to grow again after years of "planning" and heart-wrenching stagnation.

Quote of the Day

By blocking much drilling in Alaska and offshore, Congress does nothing to improve the price of oil. Then Congress spends taxpayer dollars to soften the impact of the price, thereby encouraging consumption that raises the price. Then Grassley asks oil executives to join the moral grandstanding by squandering their shareholders' wealth — diverting it to protect oil consumers from some consequences of their representatives' irrationality. (link)

George Will, "Windbag Windfall," December 4, 2005