Around Colorado: May 4, 2009

Arvada’s Economic Non-Development

Now this is investigative reporting: Face the State published an article titled, “Arvada Redevelopment Project Sits Mostly Vacant, Costing Taxpayers Nearly $800,000.”

The article begins:

After the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority condemned and forcibly acquired an elderly small business owner’s property in 2004, the land was transferred to a private developer who was given the property free of charge. Now city leaders and other project supporters are lauding the project with awards, despite the fact that the new development sits mostly vacant. The total tab to taxpayers thus far is estimated at nearly $800,000 and counting.

Governments, including city governments, simply should not be in the business of “economic redevelopment.” Such central economic planning invariably employs political force through eminent domain, zoning, or taxation. Politicians can’t ably plan the economy. Leave that to free individuals working together voluntarily with their own resources. What city officials can and should do is get out of the way of economic progress.

Fake Free Speech

In a predictably wishy-washy editorial, the Denver Post worries about the FCC’s ability to fine stations for “fleeting expletives,” but adds, “We believe that protecting children from adult programming and swear words is important…”

Parents who wish to protect their children from naughty words are perfectly free to do so. They can choose whether to purchase a television or radio and whether to leave it turned on to any particular station.

The FCC, properly called the Federal Censorship Commission, should be completely disbanded.

‘Job Creation Bills’

The Associated Press claims that Governor “Bill Ritter is preparing to sign two of the top job-creation and business-development bills this session.” A centerpiece of the legislation is granting “businesses that create at least 20 jobs” tax breaks.

But if giving businesses tax breaks creates jobs, then doesn’t taxing all other businesses destroy jobs, damage the economy, lower wages, and increases prices on consumer goods? Of course it does. But, somehow, when Ritter signs a $17.9 billion state budget, he doesn’t describe that as the “economy-crushing bill.”

Also, why is it great to generate twenty jobs but not, say, nineteen? Isn’t it better if two companies each create fifteen jobs than if one company creates twenty? Yet the discriminatory taxes will punish the two smaller businesses and give the larger business a break. Because, under Colorado tax law, some tax payers are more equal than others.

Clear the Bench

Matt Arnold has set up a new organization called Clear the Bench Colorado, an effort to urge voters to decline to retain the four State Supreme Court justices up for vote next year.

In an April 29 speech, Arnold explained why this is an important opportunity to vote against the taxpayer-hating Supreme Court.