Something that always amuses me are current or wannabe officeholders who proclaim that if elected they will make job creation their number-one priority.
As residents of the "Empire State" we often hear these promises. However when these same politicians are elected or re-elected they seem to forget campaign promises and join with officeholders from both major parties to continue the New York state "traditions" of continued tax increases at all levels of government, and increased regulations on businesses, often giving rise to dreaded "unforeseen consequences."
Now the real truth is that politicians cannot create private sector jobs, no matter what they might try to tell us. Government can only create public jobs that give power to public sector unions and add to an already overly large and unresponsive bureaucracy. When it comes to vitally-important private sector jobs, all government can do and should do is to step back and create an environment that will attract and allow the creation of private sector jobs by bringing sanity to taxation and making careful consideration of the impact government regulations will have on businesses. So the next time a politician tells you that job creation is task number one, ask them how they plan to cut taxes, cut regulations and make our county and New York state more business and job creation friendly
When ConAgra decided to close its plants in Silver Creek, Dunkirk and Fredonia, and move production to lower taxing regions, the corporation was making a hard business decision that it felt was in the best interest of the company and in fulfilling its duty to it's owners, also known as shareholders, to maintain profitability.
We might not like that decision because a loyal workforce was left out in the cold, but there are lessons to be learned from this event. We, the voters have to demand that the persons we elect also make the hard business decisions in the best interest of our county, state and the shareholders of these entities, who just happen to be all of us.
Until officeholders make those hard "business decisions," all the money spent on a hodgepodge of industrial development agencies and programs like "Start Up New York" is like watching water flow swiftly down a vast gurgling drain.
And by the way, whom do you think pays the taxes that "new" businesses in "Start Up New York" don't pay? To find out, just look in a mirror.
Tom Kirkpatrick is a Silver Creek resident.