Category Archives: Economy

Energiya USA

Why we had to learn about this company’s project via the Career Academy spokesperson at the Brunswick Glynn Economic Development Authority I don’t know. Neither do I know why the person introduced the topic by stating that, since there had been a press release, it’s no secret. The press release follows:
Continue reading

What’s so special about scarcity?

Scarcity is a central component of Western economic theory and serves as the basis of our political economy — the system we have set up to utilize access to the necessities of life, determining who’s deserving of life and who’s destined to be prematurely extinguished, to control the populace.

Scarce resources are, in theory, assumed to motivate the accumulation and production of more. The corollary to this is that, if sustenance were enough, humans would languish in leisure and refuse to work. So, scarcity is good because it makes humans do what they should (labor for someone else) and provides some humans with an excuse for ordering other humans around.
Continue reading

Land Laundering

You’ve heard of money laundering. Now I want to introduce you to a slightly different concept–land laundering. It’s like money laundering, except that, instead of coming out clean, it’s as if the land never left the hamper and, when it is finally retrieved, it comes out much as it went in, only cheaper.

At least, that’s how I’m going to explain the fact that most of our public agencies in Glynn County, Georgia are serving as acreage collectors or land hampers. That is the County Commission, the Airport Authority, the Economic Development Authority, the Joint Water and Sewer Commission, the School Board and even the Brunswick Housing Authority are/were all being used as repositories of raw land, presumably to create an artificial scarcity so their developer friends can increase the value of what’s left. And, because buying and selling land are legal matters, they can retreat into executive sessions and do it behind closed doors. (That there are winds of change blowing through the County may, on the other hand, account for the establishment of a private land laundering entity, the Saint Simons Land Trust).

One result of this fascination with buying and selling land is that the real public services these organizations are supposed to deliver get short shrift. And they get loaded down with debt. At least that seems to be how the Joint Water and Sewer Commission got into the situation Tom Boland describes in his report to the Grand Jury, which now appoints some of the members in the interest of making that organization more effective — i.e. focused on its functions, rather than whatever racked up a forty four million dollar debt, which the rate payers are now obligated to retire.

But, I’m going to let Commissioner Boland explain in his own words, which he was so kind as to send to me.

REPORT TO GLYNN COUNTY GRAND JURY FOR YEAR 2014
Continue reading

How it’s done!

This title applies to both continued bank-directed racial and ethnic discrimination and an effective governmental response. Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, is to be commended. Even if the press release is somewhat self-serving, it is worth repeating in whole. That people who purchase modestly priced houses should be excluded from borrowing from banks is unconscionable.

I do want to note that our currency is a public utility. That banks are able to access currency at will places them in an agency position. That is, they are mere agents of the U.S. Treasury and, as such, are obligated to insure that their behavior is consistent with Constitutional requirements. Access to currency is a civil right.
Continue reading

“Killing Beavers is not Management”

That was the subject line of one of my missives in response to the Glynn County Director of Public Works entering into a contract with a trapper to deal with beavers that might presume to clog his culverts with sticks and debris. I was wrong. “Management,” it turns out is the catch-all bureaucrats’ euphemism for destroying and disposing of whatever inconvenience might impede their enterprise. “Waste management” wasn’t just an effort to enhance the social status of garbage men. It had functional relevance because where the latter was originally engaged in a recycling enterprise based on feeding garbage to hogs, waste management focused on incineration and/or burying stuff underground like some dead body.
Continue reading

LCP White-Wash

It has been known for several decades that various industrial enterprises on the coast of Georgia had left a residue of contaminated soils and wetlands. But, that the residues continue to be absorbed by the human population, as well, is not readily apparent because some people just get overlooked.
The income stream from remediation gets more attention because that keeps a small army of “experts” in a job. At present, their focus is on extracting some more dollars from the Honeywell corporation, whose executives made an unfortunate decision to acquire some waste lands on the cheap. A pro-forma public hearing to review the most recent “plans” left all the attendees largely unsatisfied.
Continue reading

“Disaster Capitalism” is too genteel

At worst, “disaster capitalism” suggests that capitalists profit from other people’s misfortunes, disasters, as if those events were mere happenstance. It doesn’t suggest that capitalism, as it has evolved, depends on and engineers disasters to sustain/satisfy itself. Disaster is of the capitalist essence.

In fact, since the disasters afflict their own kind, the more accurate designation of contemporary capitalism would be virtual cannibalism–virtual because bloodless, but nevertheless ultimately destructive. Capitalists neither de-capitate nor sever any other body part. The violence that destroys is all indirect, carried out virtually and even by surrogates. Which is fine. The longer it takes, the more power it demonstrates. A victim’s struggles are a power play, affecting both the spectators and the perps. Sudden death does not have the same effect.

Continue reading