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Tales from a small town

Short stories about life in a small town. Non-fiction. Great reading.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I am the eggman, you are the eggman...

If you've been following my blog recently, the post titled "dirty little secrets" was background for explaining why I think politics are so intriguing.

For example, the economic development agency, the few times they expose themselves to the public eye, they're careful to portray themselves as the "robin hoods" of the local political scene. They know that only a handful of people actually know what's going on behind the scenes, so everybody's ignorance allows them to portray themselves anyway they see fit. And how they see fit to portray themselves, is the "robin hood," "we're-doing-you-poor-folks-a-favor" type of organization.

All they have to do, is point to the unemployment rate, and say to the public, "See how our efforts are contributing to one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state?" It's true: our county does have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. Nevermind the fact that a majority of the blue-collar workers are making below-poverty wages, at least they're working, and at least their jobs contribute to one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state.

It doesn't have to be that way, because our county is situated within a 500 mile radius of 80% of the US population when you factor in the population of SW Ontario that falls within the radius. Because we're so ideally situated, we should be getting all the big, good-paying factories that you read about alot of other communities getting, but we don't, because those kinds of companies are chased away, due to the fact they aren't offered the gravy, long term tax abatements, the way a giant retailer like Wal-Mart gets, even though their wages suck and they're militantly anti (and non)-union.

This is why politics is so intriguing: an organization like an economic development agency can set up a situation like the fox watching the henhouse, and make it seem to the general public like they're doing the hens a big favor. Isn't it amazing how that works? I wonder how many other political organizations work on the same insidious principles? Makes you wonder, doesn't it?