Job growth or corporate welfare?

From the NYT:

A Tug-of-War of Tax Breaks Tightens Across the Hudson

Late last fall, bankers from BNY Mellon went to state officials in New York and New Jersey with a proposition: The bank was planning to sell its headquarters on Wall Street and was looking for office space on either side of the Hudson River for more than 1,100 employees.

The bankers wanted to know who would cut the best deal.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration responded quickly with a hefty offer — nearly $100 million worth of tax credits — if the bank would move one mile west to Jersey City.

New York countered with its own incentive package that real estate executives say is worth millions of dollars if the bank remains in Lower Manhattan.

The bank is leaning toward New York, real estate executives say, but no victor has been announced and officials on both sides of the Hudson refused to discuss the high-stakes negotiations.

The tug-of-war is the latest skirmish in what is becoming a fierce competition between New York and New Jersey to heap subsidies on some of the country’s wealthiest corporations as enticements. With a struggling labor market, jobs are precious to both states, but in New Jersey there is also a political factor: Mr. Christie is widely presumed to be a contender for the Republican presidential nomination and has promoted himself nationally as a prudent financial steward.

So while offering incentives to businesses is a common practice across the country, New Jersey has been extraordinarily generous under Mr. Christie, awarding over $4 billion in subsidies — tax breaks and credits — since 2010 to JPMorgan Chase, Forbes, American Dream Meadowlands, RBC Capital and other corporations. But that also raises questions about how well Mr. Christie is managing the state’s economy, since many critics argue subsidies are an ill-advised use of taxpayer money that fail to yield significant economic benefits.

The $4 billion is also far higher than the $1.2 billion in incentives the state granted in the previous 10 years. The figures are included in a report published on Wednesday by New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal policy organization whose analysis was based on data from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Some of the subsidies went to companies already in New Jersey — Panasonic got $102.4 million to move its headquarters nine miles within the state. New York State, by comparison, has provided more modest incentives.

Mr. Christie has used every deal to trumpet his success at job creation. “JPMorgan Chase Bank’s decision to choose New Jersey exemplifies our enhanced ability to compete in the regional, national and global economy,” the Economic Development Authority said in a news release issued last month after the state’s decision to provide the bank with $224.8 million in tax credits over 10 years.

The average cost of the subsidy package has soared to $75.9 million from $10.1 million and the amount of tax forgiveness per promised job has jumped to $47,916, from $16,430, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective. Just this week, the state announced $82 million in tax breaks to the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team to move its training facility from Pennsylvania to Camden.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Gordon MacInnes, the president of Policy Perspective, “where such large chunks were granted to a handful of corporations.”

This entry was posted in Economics, Employment, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

90 Responses to Job growth or corporate welfare?

  1. Juice Box says:

    Would it not suck royally if you lived in Long Island or Westchester and had to commute to Jersey City?

  2. Fast Eddie says:


    Move to Jersey? :) I turned down offers to do contracts in Manhattan. Taking two trains and a subway is not an option. Bring the jobs to Jersey! :)

  3. Street Justice says:

    Over the past two decades, two of the offices of my current employer (financial firm) moved from Manhattan to Jersey (before they were purchased by the larger parent firm). A third, whose main clientele is high net worth customers, remains in Rockefeller center. However, their lease is up, and Jersey is being considered. A majority of the employees live in NJ, and are sick of the commute. However, management lives in Manhattan, and want to retain a “prestigious address”. No decision has been made yet.

  4. anon (the good one) says:

    @iWorldCup: 10 hours left until kickoff!

  5. JJ says:

    Jersey does suck for commuting. I say that cause the only thing close to Jersey is Jersey. And even then depends where you live in NJ.

    Long Island to Jersey sucks more than it did when I did that commute. Back then everything was in New Port Pavonia, now they are in other parts off Path which involves two path trains, a walk to Penn, then LIRR to train station then drive home.

    Even worse companies in particular Japanese banks put folk there and Japanese banks are one of few industires that hire folks over 50 at a good salary. Tough doing a commute like that your last ten years.
    1.Juice Box says:
    June 12, 2014 at 7:33 am
    Would it not suck royally if you lived in Long Island or Westchester and had to commute to Jersey City?

  6. 1987 Condo says:

    My original commute, Staten Island South Shore to Newark, NJ via public transit. 2.5 hours each way…hey, I was 17! SI Train to Ferry to PATH with lots of walking. Got a car and reduced that to 50 minutes. Since then, made sure commute was no longer than 20 minutes. Not surprising, I have worked from home for last 15 years!

  7. Juice Box says:

    Perhaps cancelling the ARC tunnel was in Christie’s plan to bring jobs to New Jersey

  8. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [7] juice

    Ya think? I absolutely agree that this played a part. Same reason you will NEVER see a train from NE PA to NYC.

  9. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [5] JJ

    Your comment reminded me of an interview I had with the Regional GC of the OTC back when I was at NYU. Their offices were in Jersey City and he commuted from Garden City.

    I was in Phila at the time and he asked me how long it would take me to get to JC. I told him since it was all trains, door to door, 90 min. max. He said “Jesus, my commute is longer than that.”

    I liked this guy, huge golfer. Was wearing his Bethpage Black sweater and I asked him if he played there. He said “not so much this year, only 7-8 times.” That floored me as they probably wouldn’t let me in the parking lot at Black with my handicap, and I thought to myself “no F’ing way I am ever playing golf with this guy.”

  10. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    I was wondering how the WH would take Cantor’s loss. I didn’t think they would see it as a good thing, given that he was an establishment figure, and the old adage about dealing with the devil you know. . . .

    “Robert Gibbs, a longtime Obama adviser, said any glee at the White House over Cantor’s defeat was ‘quickly replaced by the reality that this is the end of anything productive getting done legislatively in Congress either this year or maybe for the next several years.”‘

    So while the anons of the world chortle with glee, the adults (or what passes for an adult in the DNC), are a bit more concerned.

  11. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:
  12. NJGator says:

    Nom 8 – Train from NE PA? Please. The commute from Hackettstown, NJ is already 123 minutes to NY at it’s fastest. Have a job in NYC where you need to be at your desk at 9AM? Better be prepared to take the 5:09AM train that gets into NYC at 7:16AM. The 6:42Am departure is not scheduled to arrive in Penn until 8:59….which really means it will pull in at 9:15.

  13. Juice Box says:

    Home of the week on…looks like allot of updates since 2002 as well.

    “This home on Moeser Place sold for $1,530,000 on May 6, 2014. The property has approximately 4,260 square feet on a lot size of .66 acres. The house previously sold for $1,500,000 in 2002.”

  14. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [12] gator,

    Like I said, I don’t see it happening, ever.

  15. Street Justice says:
  16. All Hype says:

    Gator (12):

    I have a former co-worker who works for Roche in NYC. He rides that train from Ledgewood. Yes, he has a 2:15 commute to work. He then takes an early train home and is in his house by 7:00 pm after another long commute. Luckily for him he gets to work from home 2 days/week.

  17. Juice Box says:

    Iraq crude production is 3.4 million barrels a day and is set to go over 4 million barrels soon. Massive infrastructure upgrades going on as well.

    Anyone want to take odds O will need pull a GHWB? Here was the original speech.

  18. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    Seems Lefty wasn’t involved in what the media and the FBI started as a tacit smear campaign. Makes you wonder if the FBI would have been so heavy-handed if Mickelson were, say, on the Obama donor list?

  19. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [17] juice

    Nature abhors a vacuum. Its as true in politics and economics as it is in physics.

  20. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    My inbox has a junk email from Bradford Exchange, some tchotcke company, that says “Kings sweep the Rangers. Own a piece of history.”


  21. NJGator says:

    All Hype 16 – I don’t know how people do it. I rode the train from NYP to Point Pleasant Beach once. That was enough.

  22. Michael says:

    Who is going to make up for this? 4 billion dollars? So that’s why you can’t make a pension payment.

    Same thing with new york, 10 years of tax breaks? What do you think they are going to do after 10 years? They are going to want another break, or they are going to leave. Great plan!! This should end well.

    “We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Gordon MacInnes, the president of Policy Perspective, “where such large chunks were granted to a handful of corporations.”

  23. Juice Box says:

    Michael – They are building massive buildings in Jersey City right now, lots of new high end taxpayers to move in. How about this masterpiece URL® Harborside a 69-story development going up now?

  24. Painhrtz - from Sabbatical says:

    Holy F*ck I hooked up with the chick in the orange top when I was at Stockton!

  25. Street Justice says:

    23 – That is the ugliest building I’ve ever seen. Why is it designed to look like a jenga puzzle that’s falling apart?

  26. Juice Box says:

    re # 25 – Perhaps it is designed for the Desi crowned to look like Mukesh Ambani’s home?

  27. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice [7];

    Can you blame him though? Its one thing to see jobs stay over the river; its another thing to pick up the tab to make it happen.

    ARC, like any modern public construction project, was nothing but a boondoggle in the making — the next “Big Dig”. I respect CC for killing it in the crib.

  28. grim says:

    27 – I think the whole thing was a bluff, they were hoping the Feds would pick up the entire tab.

  29. Anon E. Moose says:

    Street [25];

    Reminds me of the dorms at SUNY Buffalo, aka LEGOland.

  30. Street Justice says:

    Charles C. Johnson ‏@ChuckCJohnson 17h
    A very famous journalist threatened to fire me over Twitter. Now I use Twitter to debunk stories like Everytown gun map.

  31. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [8] Nuts. I was going to buy some property in the Poconos as soon as they finished the high speed monorail down the median of Route 80.

    Ya think? I absolutely agree that this played a part. Same reason you will NEVER see a train from NE PA to NYC.

  32. funnelcloud says:

    Street Justice #15
    Spent every 4th of July week from 1998-2006 down in wildwood, always loved that beach & boardwalk, great memories with the exception of “Watch the tram car please” which still echoes in my head today.

  33. Essex says:

    Jersey is a land unto itself.

  34. Libturd in Union says:

    I’m with Grim. Though CC really screwed up in taking the money that was allotted to it so far and spending it on repairing highways. You don’t get the feds to buy in that way.

    At first, I was super hopeful that CC was really going to shrink the size of government in NJ. Heck…he made alliances with Dems all over the state. The property tax cap he proposed would have done absolutely amazing things for this state. Once he gave in to the true blue state assembly, it was all over. The presidential run aspirations were the nail in the coffin for his ability to do what was necessary. When it is all said and done, he will end up ranked all the way up there with Mangravy, Corslime, Whitless and Snorio.

  35. Against The Grain says:

    Train line from NEPA to NYC:

    The Andover station has jumped a few hurdles recently:

    A station is also planned in Blairstown.

    For the amount of money this project is costing vs the number of cars it will take off Route 80, it would be cheaper to have a lottery for seats on a free commuter helicopter service from PA or Sussex County to NYC.

    I was at an event a few years ago where Sussex County Assemblywoman McHose acknowledged that the project isn’t cost effective, but claimed that it’s a done deal driven by PA politicians.

  36. JJ says:

    It is amazing how much time I spend commuting and I dont even have a bad commute. What is equally annoying is Jets Games, Broadway, dinners in city also all involve that long commute. Which is why my car has such low milage I think is I dont enjoy traffic or trains so I dont drive that much. My neighbor who works from home drives a lot more than I do.

    Even when I lived in Manhattan sometimes it took me 30 minutes to get to work in Manhattan.

    Some places like JP Morgan or Brown Brothers where I toiled were the worst. The long hours were bad enough but everything was an emergence and your train schedule was meaningless. All the time I would have a 7:33 or 8:06 or 8:56 and I would get done where I miss the train by a minute. Trains started running once a hour after 8:56 and car service started at 9:pm so often they let you go around 8:50 which ment no train for one hour. To add to issue all the Managing Directors and up had places in the city so they were as fresh as a daisy every morning. You leave work at 8pm and grab a five dollar cab right to your apt 20 blocks away and home at 8:05 and then can sleep in to 8am easy peezee. Tacking on four hours of off peak waiting around local trains to a 12 hour workday is a nightmare.

    9.Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:
    June 12, 2014 at 9:08 am
    [5] JJ

    Your comment reminded me of an interview I had with the Regional GC of the OTC back when I was at NYU. Their offices were in Jersey City and he commuted from Garden City.

  37. All Hype says:

    Coming soon: Al Qaeda Oil and Gas. INC:

    I am now convinced that the armies of the Middle East countries remain intact and fight only under the fear of death from their own leaders.

  38. Ragnar says:

    The problem with government infrastructure is that the government’s incompetence is making it unnaturally scarce. Government decided to basically monopolize the provision of infrastructure, while simultaneously running it into the ground, mismanaging it, and mismanaging construction projects even worse, making the cost of new/additional capacity artificially high, and directing it to politically preferred rather than demand-driven uses.

    If CC was a real reformer, he would have demanded change to the whole infrastructure supply racket, because NJ actually could benefit greatly from new investment in transport capacity, led by market forces and helping supply match demand. But CC isn’t a real reformer, and not a maker of hard choices.

  39. Statler Waldorf says:

    The 10 Most Stressed Out States In America

    1. Florida
    2. Georgia
    3. New Jersey
    4. California
    5. Nevada
    6. Illinois
    7. New York
    8. Maryland
    9. North Carolina
    10. Arizona

    In order to measure stress, we selected a set of six criteria that reflect its root causes for most people and used them to look at the lower 48 states:

    * Percentage of population with a long commute (over 20 minutes)
    * Unemployment
    * Hours worked
    * Population density
    * Percentage of income spent on housing
    * Percentage of population without health insurance

    The higher any of these was, the more stressful the people of the state are.

  40. Bystander says:

    As back and middle office change lead, 50% of jobs that I come across are JC. Very tough position to be in as I live in CT. All of these jobs that I won’t consider will go to Indians living in Edison. Same for city folk..they won’t commute to JC either. Probably works out to have IT and batch processing in India and all your MO/BO change folk to be in Indians in JC. Talk about cultural win-win for companies. Front office change will stay in NYC though.

  41. Libturd in Union says:

    Rags. There has never been a political reformer.

  42. Street Justice says:

    I just would like to know why the intersection of route 80 and 287 have been under construction for what feels like more than a decade.

  43. Anon E. Moose says:

    Street [42];

    I just would like to know why the intersection of route 80 and 287 have been under construction for what feels like more than a decade.

    Stimulus, baby. STIMULUS!

  44. Painhrtz - from Sabbatical says:

    street because there are probably no triggers in the contract and it is a no bid contract. you know NJ patronage special.

  45. JJ says:

    Hey I recall lik e18 months ago a discussion on this site how Sandy would effect property taxes in NJ with the massive tax greivances for damaged houses getting transfered to undamaged houses. What ever happened to folks property taxes for houses damaged in Sandy out in NJ?

  46. Street Justice says:

    They went up.

  47. Libturd in Union says:

    “I just would like to know why the intersection of route 80 and 287 have been under construction for what feels like more than a decade.”

    How about the cement divider replacement on the GSP between 143 and 148. How long can it possibly take to pour a friggin’ median.

    When I was in India about 5 years ago, I watched about a mile of elevated highway be constructed in Chennai (by the airport) in about three weeks. What was so amazing about it was the lack of power equipment. The cement was mixed in a mixing truck on the ground and thousands of people would pass it up the scaffolding (bamboo) in buckets to be poured and returned for a refill. Like the old Chinese fire drill. I swear, half of the workers worked in sandals too. When there’s a will, there’s a way. When it comes to spending taxpayers dollars on public service, there’s a lot of will and a way to make it take forever.

  48. Libturd in Union says:

    Wow. That median job is a 28 million job.

    Median Barrier Replacement GSP MP 148 –
    MP 160
    This project includes the inspection, and condition
    assessment of concrete median barrier and the
    implementation of a repair / replacement / upgrade
    program along the Garden State Parkway and
    Turnpike Mainline and Interchange ramps; including
    sections of severely deteriorated concrete median
    barrier that require replacement between GSP MP
    146 and MP 160.

    28 million to replace 15 miles of median. Only in NJ.

    Anyone want to guess how much the turnpike widening project from exit 6 to 8a is budgeted to cost? I’ll give you a hint…it’s 25 miles.

  49. Libturd in Union says:

    OK…well it’s not in the millions.

  50. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice [50];

    “Guido: Let me give you a little advice so you know. In times of economic uncertainty, never ever fnck with another man’s livelihood. Go have fun, now? You know fun, time of your life? Maybe if you follow that, I won’t have to come back here. ”

  51. Street Justice says:

    Jerome Hudson ‏@JeromeEHudson 2h
    So far, ISIS has banned smoking … and guns: … #UniteBlue

  52. Street Justice says:

    Iraq Isis Crisis: Medieval Sharia Law Imposed on Millions in Nineveh Province
    Jack MooreBy Jack Moore
    June 12, 2014 14:24 BST

    The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (Isis) has imposed a strict set of Sharia laws on the citizens of Nineveh province just days after capturing the provincial capital of Mosul.

    In a document circulating on social media attributed to the group, Isis warned tribal leaders and sheikhs not to “work with [the Iraqi] government and be traitors” while proclaiming that women should only go outside if absolutely necessary.

    “For women, dress decently and wear wide clothes. Only go out if needed,” read the document as translated by Al Aan TV reporter Jenan Moussa.

    Further rules included bans on drugs, alcohol and cigarettes while public gatherings, the possession of guns and the carrying of flags not of the Islamic state were outlawed.

  53. Street Justice says:

    Mosul Seized: Jihadis Loot $429m from City’s Central Bank to Make Isis World’s Richest Terror Force

  54. Ragnar says:

    Ten years ago, a state owned but privatized, profit-motivated toll road company in China invested in improving the Shanghai Nanjing Expressway from a 4-lane 155mile long highway to an 8 lane expressway. It took 2 years. Cost was about RMB 10bn, equivalent to about $1.25bn, inflation adjusted should cost about $2bn today. They spent about US$8mn per mile to create 4 lanes, so doing 25 miles would have cost them about $200mn, 10 years of inflation, lets say it would cost them $350mn today to do 25 miles. I’d guess they spend at least 5 times more money per mile than the Chinese. 5 times less efficient.

    I have a suspicion that NJ isn’t adding 4 more lanes, so I looked it up, they are adding 3 + 3, six total lanes? $350 X 1.5 (for 6 vs 4 lanes) X 5 times more wasteful, means my guess is US$2.6bn. I looked up the website for 6 to 9 widening and they said the project is $2.3bn, so pretty close.

    If we had privately run roads and infrastructure without the insane regulatory bs, they would almost certainly be twice as efficient in project execution, if not more so. They would be reinvesting in more capacity at lower cost.

    Here’s a campaign slogan:
    NJ under Chris Christie: less market-driven and less economically efficient transportation investment than China under the communists.

  55. chicagofinance says:

    Rags: not a reasonable comparison…..the equivalent would be Obama mandating that there be a direct highway from the GWB to the Ben Franklin bridge…a straight line..everything would be bulldozed and all hills would be detonated…..then they would take all the workers from MS, AK, OK & AL and dump them in NJ…..the funding would come directly from the U.S. Treasury…..easier to do in a command economy….

  56. JJ says:

    Hey does anyone know if a board member has to sign off on a condo lien. My board all the board members are afraid to sign the lien and lawsuit form. But lawyer claims someone has to sign off.


  57. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (Drug Head Fake Edition):

    Florida woman, Crystal Metheny, arrested – but not for drugs: cops

    The 36-year-old woman was arrested in Polk County for allegedly shooting into an occupied vehicle on May 5, police said. She was released the next day after posting $5,000 bond.

    Crystal Metheny, 36, was arrested for allegedly shooting into an occupied vehicle on May 5.

    A 36-year-old woman named Crystal Metheny was arrested in Florida last month, but cops say no narcotics were involved with the crime.

    Metheny was charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle in Polk County on May 5, police said.

    No other details about the incident were disclosed, but no injuries were reported.

    Metheny — who was arrested for possession of marijuana in 2012 — was released from jail the following day after posting $5,000 bond, records show.

  58. Libturd in Union says:

    2.7 trillion was the estimated cost as of 2013.

    So figure, between 3 and 3.5 final.

  59. Ragnar says:

    No, both projects were for road parallel to existing roads, so this isn’t an apples to orange comparison.

    I’ve seen a good bit of construction in China, and the main thing I notice is that construction jobs there are actually running the people and equipment at high utilization, while in the US road construction I mostly see equipment sitting and people talking if anything is happening at all. Most often months if not years of torn up roads and nobody even doing anything. The China project was financed out of a combination of current toll profits, bank borrowing at 5% or higher average rates, and payables to the contractors. After completion, profits doubled within 2 years, toll revenues soared, and the project completed in 2006 has now already long paid back its investment costs.

    If the Turnpike was run by a private organization incentivized to make money, didn’t have to hire unionized politically connected contractors, didn’t have weave through a web of regulatory roadblocks, etc, I’m sure they could finish quicker and with lower costs.

    Of course if the government wasn’t paying people not to work, and passing laws to make sure to limit competition and hike wages for people who do work on construction, then yes, there would be more people who were less expensive working on roads in the US. Maybe even the 27 year old basement dwellers trolling online would get pushed out into the sun to do a full day’s work for a while.

    There is a huge gulf between the incentives and output of a government run organization and a market-driven organization.

  60. Ragnar says:

    Is there some sort of right to not have to cross state lines to find work that I missed in the constitution?
    I put up with moving to NJ to find work.

  61. The ideas of “state” and “work” will seem so quaint once we’re roaming the country in armed packs.

  62. Kickoff…time to crack open this bottle of cahaca…mmmm….

  63. 1987 Condo says:

    #57…oh yeah, besides my advice to never own a condo, never be part of the board….extra liability concerns…..make the President sign

  64. Michael says:

    Rags, shouldn’t it be cheaper to build a road in china, being that they have cheap labor?

  65. Michael says:

    Pathetic. None of these countries have the resources that we do. How in the world are they ahead of us?

    “Rich Americans. That’s our global reputation.
    The numbers seem to back it up. Americans’ average wealth tops $301,000 per adult, enough to rank us fourth on the latest Credit Suisse Global Wealth report.

    But that figure doesn’t tell you how the middle class American is doing.
    Americans’ median wealth is a mere $44,900 per adult — half have more, half have less. That’s only good enough for 19th place, below Japan, Canada, Australia and much of Western Europe.
    “Americans tend to think of their middle class as being the richest in the world, but it turns out, in terms of wealth, they rank fairly low among major industrialized countries,” said Edward Wolff, a New York University economics professor who studies net worth.”

  66. Michael says:

    66- oh yea, we have more billionaires.

  67. JJ says:

    Starting a new APP called seedmywife

    What do you think? For guys who cant get their wife pregant, you just hit the app and a guy nearby comes by and seeds her. I think it is a winner, now I need seed money. Ha Ha crowding funding to get my seed money

  68. Michael says:

    66- some interesting comments.

    As long as voters back policy makers who suck up to the 1% this will continue. Supply side economics or “trickle down” does not work. It hasn’t worked since Ronald Reagan changed government policy to strongly favor the wealthy. Adam Smith, when he wrote his “Wealth of Nations” left out one crucial factor……greed. But too many middle class folks are clinging on to the notion that somehow keeping the conservative status quo will give them back what they’ve lost. It won’t.
    164 • Reply•Share ›

    Prairiefired mountainlady • a day ago
    Smith was actually much more sophisticated than generally recognized. He was very worried that capitalists would find ways to suppress competition. At the end of Book I of Wealth Of Nations, Smith plainly says whatever you do, don’t let the capitalists make the rules because they will tilt everything in their favor.
    83 • Reply•Share ›

    mimics_clone Prairiefired • a day ago
    Anyone making the rules will tilt it in his favor… the counterexamples are few and extremely far between; far enough to be nearly nonexistent.
    20 • Reply•Share ›

    gh79 mimics_clone • a day ago
    The Chinese Communist Party seems to be an exception. Despite having complete political control they seem to be selecting leaders on a meritocratic basis and working towards progress of the common folks. They even execute top level political leaders for corruption. Many people say countries should follow the Chinese model. But I am not sure every country will be lucky enough to get dictators who are not selfish.
    11 • Reply•Share ›

    FreeLiu gh79 • a day ago
    Actually, the Chinese ruling family clans have amassed wealth beyond imagination at the cost of the Chnese population. They only execute leaders who couldn’t cover up their most egregious excesses (poisonings, murder, burying of collided train cars with living injured inside) or who challenged the status quo. China’s economic growth was fed by our greed and addiction to stuff. Their leaders, and especially the “princelings”, the children of the communist leader families, have occupied key positions in privatized formerly state-owned corporations, insurance and finance companies and syphoned off hundreds of billions of state property. Very similar to Bush and Cheney when they started the Iraq war to enrich their Halliburton friends, syphoning off our taxes into private hands and borrowing from the Chinese, leaving us in debt for generations.

  69. Michael says:

    66- some good comments on this article. Some good reasons listed below for the slow death of the middle class.

    I’d like to add
    13. Lack of training (& job opportunities) for high school grads not college inclined.
    14. Globalization
    15. Policies focused on pushing consumption (cheap garbage) rather than growing production (quality necessities)
    62 • Reply•Share ›

    Kevin janbalcom • 19 hours ago
    16. Low Tariffs

    17. Poor Energy Sustainability

    18. Poor Infrastructure (Lack of mobility)
    9 • Reply•Share ›

    AdMan Kevin • 8 hours ago
    19. Slow death of small business
    20. Loss of national pride due to “political correctness”
    21. Essentially “theft” of billions by groups well beyond their earning potential and true value to the economy (e.g. Wallstreet)
    22. Very poor management of our borders
    23. Loss of intellectual property

  70. yome says:

    Re: Privatizing highways
    I agree it is more efficient because it is being run as a business.How expensive are the tolls is another question. I have seen privatized highways in Asia.It deed made travel more efficient to a very expensive cost. And this money goes to oligarch.People that can afford to pay are the only ones using the highway = no traffic. A $3 one way toll is equivalent to a persons whole day salary. How much will it cost here? NO way a private company will charge same as what we are paying now. We are complaining at the cost already.

  71. Ragnar says:

    The US has cheap labor available too. Or would if we didn’t pay people not to work.

  72. Michael says:

    millerlyte79 someguy78 • 21 hours ago
    Great, so like a lot of other people out there you form an opinion based solely on your own speculations and anecdotes without any data or evidence to back it up. While there are “welfare queens” that abuse the system, the majority of people on Government assistance need some help. We really are subsidizing corporations by allowing them to pay little wages and then using tax dollars to feed those employees and their families. The biggest factor eroding everyone’s wealth is the monetary inflation that all central banks are creating and hiding through falsified CPI numbers. Do you really believe that inflation is only 1% when fuel, most food items, and housing prices are all up double digits just this year alone? Inflation is a great way to rob people without them even knowing who is doing it so everyone grabs at straws and blames other factors for their issues.

  73. Hughesrep says:


    Not a soccer guy. That penalty kick is the reason soccer will never matter in the US.

    Game is for little whiners and fakers.

  74. Michael says:

    We can’t have labor as cheap as china. It’s impossible. You can’t survive on that in America. We pay so much more for everything, from healthcare to household goods. Our corporate leaders suck for selling out America.

    Ragnar says:
    June 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm
    The US has cheap labor available too. Or would if we didn’t pay people not to work.

  75. Don’t look now, but baseball has pretty much died in the youth ranks in the US, and football is about to die, due to head injury concerns.

  76. There is a reason NBC and Disney have thrown billions into soccer. It already matters in the US.

    Fans here also care way more about European leagues than they do MLS. Imagine what it would be like if MLS didn’t suck.

  77. grim says:

    What’s wrong with a middle eastern foreign policy based on arming both sides with weapons of mass destruction?

  78. chicagofinance says:

    It is why the Miami Heat and LeBron suck ball$.

    Hughesrep says:
    June 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm
    63 Not a soccer guy. Game is for little whiners and fakers.

  79. grim (79)-

    The statesman in you is showing.

  80. I’m pretty sure Shia and Sunni would join forces to aim all their nukes at us and Israel.

    “What’s wrong with a middle eastern foreign policy based on arming both sides with weapons of mass destruction?”

  81. Saudi Arabia would make a great parking lot for the cars that GM can’t channel stuff.

  82. This will happen. No way the 2022 WC goes off in Qatar.

    “According to Jorge Ramos of ESPN, FIFA called upon the United States to be ready if Qatar loses the 2022 World Cup.”

  83. anon (the good one) says:


    Transfuse the Cadaver says:
    June 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm
    This will happen. No way the 2022 WC goes off in Qatar.

    “According to Jorge Ramos of ESPN, FIFA called upon the United States to be ready if Qatar loses the 2022 World Cup.”

  84. anon (the good one) says:

    This Monday at 6 pm will be a new record for soccer viewership

    USA! USA! USA!

    Hughesrep says:
    June 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Not a soccer guy. That penalty kick is the reason soccer will never matter in the US.

    Game is for little whiners and fakers.

  85. JJ says:

    soccer is for fruit loops

    Also who does a championship in summer. Part of reason I missed most basketball and hockey championships last 35 years. Other than retirees and kids to young to drive who the heck is sitting around in June watching this boring crap.

    Football is perfect for playoffs trapped at home and Baseball in Late Sept and October also good.

  86. Hello, I really loved your site. Unfortunatly i found it on the second page of google. its really a shame that big G is not ranking your site among the best of the best. Anyway you may want to try this course to really rock it have a Nice day . Greeting from the UK

Comments are closed.