Monday, March 02, 2009

Caterpillar Layoffs Continue

As Caterpillar layoffs continue and white collars work under stress of potential layoffs, as Caterpillar stock drops to $22 and change today, down from its high of $85, meaning someone who bought say one thousand shares and held is now out on paper $60,000, as the stock market continues to tank, as business fold in Peoria at what appears to be an accelerated rate, as the world appears to near a depression, Caterpillar and the museum backers charge on to build another unneeded amenity to the community, sticking taxpayers with a never ending tax. Those in charge say it will end in 20 years after taking $72-80 million out of buyers hands. You know, they could spende these high millions going for interest payments for, say, merchandise. What a novel idea! How many taxes once enacted ever go away? Maybe a new referendum and if that fails then what? The Riverfront Museum will join the other white elephants that dot the Peoria landscape.

So how do you feel if you have no job at Cat anymore but Jim Owens got his option stock, the managers get their bonus and you get a $40-50 million dollar Visitor Center, with a $2 million a year operating cost; a center they never actually wanted or they would have built it years ago? But you can visit it for free.

Maybe you feel a little like stockholders who ask, upper Cat management is doing fine, one just built a several million dollar home, what about the stockholders who thought Cat executives knew what they were doing?

Not only do they not go away, taxes are coming at an ever accelerated rate in Peoria.

I believe as Peoria gets more and more government workers; Obama believes bigger government is the answer to our problems, when most people with a modicum of common sense knows that bigger government IS THE PROBLEM, that the push toward a socialistic type government abetted mainly by the Democrats and stealthily supported by a number of Republicans and Independents, maybe those of us who support the private sector as the way out of our morass, maybe Peoria will wake up, the call I have been making for going on 2 decades.

BelWood, administration and most board members are pushing for a $39 million and rising new building, with rooms that will eventually be available at between $200 and 300 a day. The building will be built with bonds costing taxpayers another $40 plus million over 20 or more years.

Hold on to your pants, those of you in the private sector, your wallets and purses will be gone in the next decade. Look at the evidence as detailed in my blogs starting with "Missed Projections", dated October, 19, 2008.

Don't forget the new library, $28 million financed through new [property taxes or new bonds, still taxes, the new schools, the new downtown hotel, the potholed streets and crumbling curbs, the Civic Center expansion of $55 million, look out here with conventions competition growing and conventions shrinking, and oh, yes, the hundreds of millions for sewers and our drinking water lines in need of millions in replacements, am I making you feel good. I hope not so you will help me to sort out the priorities for this community that I think have gotten lost in our rush to "keep up with the Joneses".


Merle Widmer said...

Oh, I forgot, the Peoria Park District is still asking for at least $5 million to complete a $32 million dollar zoo, a $27 or $17 million dollar zoo, its guesswork as little information on the zoo costs and opening appears in the stripped down Journal Star. Maybe it is opening in the spring as some say, or in mid June as some say, still spring, I guess, school starts in mid August, summer as some say.

And I keep forgtetting ICC's priority new building spending of $31-35 million.

And the Southern Gateway.

Both the City and the County appear to be stuck with our investments in In-Play and RiverStation. No, the County didn't lend any money to Tilly's now out of business.

The County has other investments (loans) to local business.

Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

At least that CAT executive's "several million dollar home" is real economic activity, unlike the so-called stimulus bill from Obama.

Anonymous said...

Our library system is a pathetic joke. If it is horrible to keep a basic public amenity open, one that all communities have, then we as a community are dieing. You won't have the rising 20-30 year olds coming here to pay your businesses to stay open as the population moves out and dies off. They want their families to be able to have as good competitive gain as others do in other places in our country. Should we just close the libraries?

Basic amenities are basic amenities and how pathetic would it be if we were the only "city" nationwide without a library. The only issue I see is Peoria has a lack of ability to make itself attractive, which may not appear important to some, but it matters greatly to new talent that is vital to keep a community alive and thriving. A 200 dollar room hotel is by far a stretch and a blatant waste of taxpayer money but ICC? ICC is a public funded institution and is for the better of the community as well.

Taxes suck but sometime unfortunately we do have to keep up with the Joneses. It parallels on so many levels of our lives. A privately funded library would hold no function in our society and would fall into disuse in the day of blogs and internet. Are blogs even a reliable source of info when anyone with a computer can write one? I know no one here wants to become the next Detroit, but Detroit got where it is today based on pure self interest which has eroded people's interest in themselves. Even nearby communities such as Morton or other districts have abysmal educations systems in comparison to other communities our size in new growth development.

You want to see public functions that work well? See Davenport or Bettendorf, IA. I believe they even manage to do it even on a lesser tax rate. It’s not that the things we are wanting are wrong, it’s that the system we have is wrong. Where does the money go? It doesnt show in what we have by any stretch of the imagination. Getting rid of the tax burden wont help it on its own. It will still find a way to waste, we need to weed out the waste and get our city functioning like it should be.