Monday, June 19, 2006

Pessimism

So we learn today that two of our cities hotels are on the selling “block” because “now is a good time to sell hotels because hotels are hot.” At the same time some investors looking to build a new hotel downtown to help out the Civic Center, say they can only do it with help from the government. Say what?? Are some of our elected officials going to just write off all the existing hotels in town; forget them and give taxpayers new hotels that the majority of the citizenry do not want? And this time I believe the majority do understand the facts!!

I don’t need to say, build the taxpayers more circuses so the taxpayers don’t notice the new bonds being sold that will need to be paid off some day; they’ve been built or on the drawing boards. I’m not as much worried about the people who have never had anything and could work but don’t, there are a bundle of safety nets out there for them, I worry about the working lower and middle class and retirees without substantial pensions, who have no job guarantees and have financial obligations to meet.

But maybe I’m reading this all wrong. Don’t we judge people by how much their house would list for on the market, the year and model of the Lexus or and the Brooks Brothers clothes they wear?? Isn’t “appearance” used as a determiner as to what we call being a success? So let’s build everything new where visitors can come in and uh and ah and say isn’t that a beautiful RiverPlex or ball park or a Gateway building or a new hotel downtown, and on and on. Isn’t there a saying that “appearance is everything” but isn’t there a saying that “things are not always as they appear to be”? But the financial books are seldom made public and when they are, those presenting are often “creative’. Think WorldCom and Enron. Take visitors a tour of Grandview Drive but keep them away from all the abandoned buildings in Peoria County and City, 40 plus abandoned houses and business structures, probably more that we don’t have on record, in Peoria County alone. Don’t take visitors on a tour of many Peoria streets in the daytime and absolutely not after dark. Save the night time drive for Grandview Drive and Weaver Ridge.

Should we make Peoria one big TIF district? Use taxpayer dollars to help new subsidized companies prosper by taking business away from established business owners. Why not subsidize all new projects and become a socialistic community? I trust that a majority of our elected officials will realize that the over creations of TIF’s are not in this communities best interests. And that the community will realize one day soon that many circuses are illusions that unfortunately once created, don’t go away without somebody, think taxpayer, stuck with a never ending debt.

A Federal Reserve Chairman said today that the fed is obligated to keep inflation under 3%. Tell me how many in public service would graciously accept a yearly raise under 3%? In most well run private industries there are no wage increase guarantees except for union members. If your company doesn’t make a profit, you usually don’t get any raise and may lose your job. Exception of course is GM where some union people were paid not to work.

Many experts talking about our economic outlook feel that while new millionaires are growing like dandelions, never the less; we are approaching a slowing down in our economic growth. These experts including Federal Reserve authorities feel that this economy slow down will result in a soft landing. With a prediction of a slowing in the building of new homes except luxury homes and with the stock market in a relentless decline, I suggest this community may feel a more substantial impact than a soft landing when the bills on all the recreational projects now built, being built or in their planning stages, come due.

I hate to say “I told you so” but go back and look at the “letters to the editors” I wrote and were published in the local media’s and I have yet to be wrong on any major prediction. Next big loss will be the new zoo that makes no sense from a financial position. Even a $10 entrance fee for everyone including kids would only gross $1,700,000 a year and the new bond “nut” is projected alone to be $1,400,000.00 a year. Optimistically, I’m still looking for the wealthy philanthropist who will donate $10 million and $7 or $8 million in a contingency operating fund. Time to step up, friend. I really am an optimist.

History in Peoria is repeating itself and is it appears just a few of us who are noticing. Are we wrong? Hope I’m wrong because I still live here but I’ll take bets that I am sadly right again.

2 comments:

Thome homers best said...

I'm guarded in my expenditures these days. Contemplating on redirecting my investments. CPI was higher last couple of times around. If the Fed overshoots on raise hikes we'll all feel it in 1 or 2 years.

The city however wants to spend a boat load on gateways, southside devels, hotels and new school buildings, etc. I just don't know how it will play out but I am diffident. And I do know that as far as money is concerned if you're not sure what to do sometimes it is best to do nothing (as far as committing to something).

What's Lavetta Ricca on South Greenlawn think about it all?

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