Money, Honey - And Response

Monday, February 10, 2014
Several years ago Tennessee spent $278 (M)illion to move the $100 (M)illion Nissan headquarters here from California, planted that baby in the most affluent county in the state, then paid California employees 50 grand each to move here too. But that's okay. It was just our tax money.

Elvis once sang:

He said
Money, Honey
Money, Honey
Money, Honey, if you want to get along with me

On his way out the door, instead of turning out the lights former Governor Bredesen used several (M)illion federal and state tax dollars to set up former Economic Development Commissioner Matt Kisber and former Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr, both of whom he'd appointed to serve in his administration and both of whom left before the end of his last term in office, in a solar energy business.
Silicon Ranch Corporation serves only large, state and federally subsidized solar energy projects. Their supplier is a German company, Phoenix Solar. A German company... interesting.

Money, Honey...

In early 2013 Wacker, another German company, announced it would delay completion of its plant in Bradley County for at least a year and a half, thereby delaying jobs promised to local residents, paid for by Tennessee Taxpayers to the tune of $500 (T)housand per job. Hemlock Semiconductor also announced mothballing their brand spanky new plant in Clarksville, paid for with $1.2 (B)illion Tennessee TaxBucks, and permanent layoffs of 300 employees who were already hired and trained. That was a real shot of hemlock for them, wasn't it. But again all of this is okay. It's only tax money, and we won't even mention Blue Cross Blue Shield's new digs.

This, while weeds grow in what used to be the parking lots of Dura Automotive and Eclipse Manufacturing in Pikeville, Tecumseh in Dunlap, Honeywell (formerly Bendix) in Cleveland, Dzurik and Carrier in McMinnville, Robertshaw Controls in Knoxville, what used to be Philips Consumer Products in Knoxville is now a community college satellite facility and their manufacturing facility in Greeneville is no more, just to name a few existing companies that have ceased operation here in Tennessee the last few years.

Money, Honey...

Volkswagen pops it's head into the picture and how do Claude Ramsey, Zack Wamp, Bob Corker, et al respond? Oh my, it was almost orgasmic. They couldn't offer enough.

Charlie Rich:

Who is the hippest that's happenin' all over our town
Tearin' up the chicks with the message that they lay down
Who are the coolest guys, that is what they are
Fast-talkin', slow walkin', good-lookin' Tax Buck Stars

We don't need to even mention all the giveaways our elected officials provided while lending their negotiating expertise to the process. At $280+ (T)housand per initial job, VW and our legislators stuck their collective hand so deep in Tennessee Taxpayers', and especially Hamilton County Taxpayers', pockets we should all still be smiling. But it's the little things.

Our local legislators are all twitterpated about the possibility of one of those dastardly unions coming to their jewel. It's easy to sit up on that dais looking mean, talking tough, after having given away our hard-earned money... money they confiscated with the power of a government gun.

Mack Davis:

Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble
When you're perfect in every way
I can't wait to look in the mirror
'Cus I get better looking each day
To know me is to love me
I must be a h--- of a man
Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble
When you're perfect in every way

Is this what they call a "Public/Private Partnership," where the public takes all the risk and legislators' private business cronies take all the profit? Shouldn't they have been able to see the proverbial handwriting on the wall when VW had to get approval of their German union before building in Chattanooga? Little things...

One of the greatest pieces of advice I ever received from a friend early on when I went into business for myself was, and second only to "always have a woman collect your money," a subject for another day, "Never buy a steak to get someone's business. What happens when somebody comes along with a bigger steak, or a Filet Mignon?"

But it's all good, and they're all wonderful... even the offspring they've personally trained and mentored. It's all tax money, don't you know, and there's an endless supply of that.

Bon Jovi:

I'm here trying to make a living
I ain't living just to die
Never getting back what I am giving
Can someone somewhere help me justify
Why these strong hands are on the un-employment line

Many will denigrate, some even dog cuss, our capitalist system. But it isn't a capitalist, free market system any more with the interference of government elitists so arrogant as to believe they can more effectively direct business cycles than a truly free market, a symptom of those who've never built anything in their lives.

What more can we expect when we allow families to become so entrenched in government they honestly believe they deserve their imperialistic positions in society? Perhaps there's a reason donations to Karl Rove's organizations are down by 98% in 2013, especially after his 1.3% success showing during the 2012 elections.

But when we speak about our legislators and their cronies, we always get back to Elvis:

Money, Honey
Money, Honey, if you want to get along with me

Turn up the stereo.


Royce Burrage, Jr.


* * * 

And not a word , much less a stanza , in honor of Pink Floyd's 1973 anthem ,"Money"...An omission of egregious proportions, Royce. 

"Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash." 

Hutch Smith
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