There is an old saying that asks, “Are we on the same page?”
First, let’s examine the meaning of that idiom:
A meeting of people who share the same interest.
So, with that in mind, here is a “page” that presents the list of people who share a common interest. Interesting, isn’t it? But before you dive into the pictures and connect the dots regarding the Who’s Who among the movers and shakers of Baltimore, there is one glaring omission. Someone please point out to me a “common” person in this bunch–a sanitation worker, police officer, ER nurse, schoolteacher, or just about any other occupation that represents the middle class.
Why do we differentiate the two groups–if you will, into the haves and have-nots? It’s simple, really. Going back to what is taking place here, we find this particular idiom:
After scrolling through, we find plenty of words like: beautiful, capitalist, county, designer socialist, elite, and jet-setters.
Do you begin to see a pattern?
Now that we have the technical jargon out of the way, let’s move on to what is at the heart of this editorial: power, money, and greed, as Baltimore’s elite pave the way for the future … riding the backs of the “common folk.”
And, as the title suggests, it makes for some strange bedfellows–people who should not be colluding on such important matters, yet they are attached at the hip for better or worse.
Some of you may recognize that the publisher of Baltimore’s largest newspaper and the CEO of a sports apparel company are sharing this common interest. But should they be working together, or should the media stay vigilant and unbiased?
There are other connections as well, and we are sure that you will spot the collusion as you browse through the literature.
Here’s a very interesting quote from Brookings:
The American upper middle class is separating, slowly but surely, from the rest of society. This separation is most obvious in terms of income—where the top fifth have been prospering while the majority lags behind. But the separation is not just economic. Gaps are growing on a whole range of dimensions, including family structure, education, lifestyle, and geography. Indeed, these dimensions of advantage appear to be clustering more tightly together, each thereby amplifying the effect of the other.
So let us begin our journey through the pages of the well-heeled and begin to connect the dots. We will point out some of those connections to the uninformed, as well as provide some links to back up the material we have presented.
Our topic for today is:
The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC)
The GBC consists of the following jurisdictions; Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Harford County, Howard County, and Carroll County.
What drew our attention to this group are the various people involved – a who’s who of the most powerful and prominent people in the state of Maryland.
Here is a quote that is rather interesting from the GBC CEO Donald C. Fry:
• Government leadership that unites with business as a partner.
• Workforce that is highly-educated and meets Maryland’s needs.
• Regulatory policies that are streamlined, stable and predictable.
• A tax structure that is fair and competitive.
• Competitive costs of doing business.
• Superior transportation infrastructure with reliable funding mechanisms.
• Strategic and effective state investments in business growth.
• Business marketing strategy that is aggressive, coordinated, long-term and well-funded.
That information raises some interesting questions regarding who benefits from the marketing. Is it the “common folk” who make up the majority of Baltimore?
Mr. Fry reveals a certain proclivity toward socialism:
To counteract the first bolded line above, here is a very contrasting article that appeared in the New York Times. A quote from that article states:
A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains.
The cost of the awards is certainly far higher. A full accounting, The Times discovered, is not possible because the incentives are granted by thousands of government agencies and officials, and many do not know the value of all their awards. Nor do they know if the money was worth it because they rarely track how many jobs are created. Even where officials do track incentives, they acknowledge that it is impossible to know whether the jobs would have been created without the aid.
As our readers scroll through the list of names, you can start to see those strange bedfellows from various industries and organizations. You may also see how this alliance leads to padding the bottom line of those corporate endeavors.
Call it what you will, but the concept of the entrepreneur taking a risk and reaping the reward now seems to morph into taxpayers taking the risk and reaping…?
If anyone doubts the validity or sincerity of this editorial please turn to page 29 and read the following quote is published by the GBC:
The GBC coordinated a private-sector effort to defeat a proposal before the Baltimore City Council to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
We will close with two thoughts: one deals with the recent Baltimore County Council infusion of taxpayer funds into a gaping hole in Towson, while the other deals with the death of the steel industry at Sparrows Point and the birth of Tradepoint Atlantic.
As our saying goes, “You read; you decide.” While you’re doing that, the Post will be aggressively investigating more of this somewhat distorted view of capitalism and its risk versus reward philosophy.
When the taxpayers take the risk, that changes the whole dynamic. We instead get a multitude of scenarios that go against the idea of “dollars and sense” and instead rob us “common folk” of our hard-earned dollars and cents, not only within the GBC, but across the nation.
Those in the 1% fail to remember that there are 99 times more of us watching their every move.