With Wednesday’s news that Micron–Idaho’s largest non-profit company–has failed in its latest government subsidized venture comes a message that taxpayer cash is no ticket to prosperity.
The firm announced layoffs of 30 workers and a shutdown of a venture aimed at producing LED lights. The company frittered away $5 million in stimulus money paid by the citizens of America and Idaho. Another Micron venture in Nampa called Transform Solar which closed earlier this year, costing 250 jobs in Nampa. That was a partnership with an Australian firm.
The solar eclipse also hit the Hoku solar panel production facility at Pocatello–also recipient of energy funds, urban renewal money, and God only knows what else. That Chinese outfit couldn’t even pay its electric bill.
Of course we must mention the $2 million the Ada Commishes “invested” in the Dynamis waste to energy scheme at the county landfill which looks doubtful at the present time.
The long-touted Zonda electric bus factory promised for the Valley has never materialized, apparently rerouted. That outfit doesn’t have anything in Idaho, but claims to have its USA headquarters in Boise. They have an Idaho phone number and not much else. Nampa Mayor Tom Dale calls it “the real deal,” obviously taken in by the promise of 1,000 jobs.
With less business travel and an ailing economy, the airlines are dropping Boise flights like losing lottery tickets. In fact passenger loads are lower than they were more than 10 years ago. What to do? The local Chamber of Commerce suggests pouring cash into subsidizing the airlines in hopes that more flights will somehow translate into corporations locating their facilities in Idaho.
Then, to top it off the BOI airport has announced it will sell bonds to pay for a new parking garage.
It’s enough to create major cases of GROWTHOPHOBIA–the fear of growth for the sake of growth. The GUARDIAN message of welcoming businesses and individuals to our community–as long as they pay their fair share of taxes and a decent wage is more important than ever. It’s simply impossible to spend your way to prosperity
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