dan326

Baton Rouge Coffee House

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31 minutes ago, Antrell Williams said:

Z28 is Kamara*
Tryna make it stick

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Cool!  I can dig it :shades: That's a good way to describe his running style!

Got confused be Adrian Peterson had been #28 :whistling:

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Cool!  I can dig it :shades: That's a good way to describe his running style!
Got confused be Adrian Peterson had been #28 :whistling:
Yep, I'm fact over on Saints Report, they were wondering if he would get to wear 28 now that AP is gone.

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Do you guys remember Kip Holden's proposal to expand the River Center Convention space? 

Did he have a business study for that or was he just sort of winging it?   Do you guys think it is possible to attract more conventions and other events to Baton Rouge, such as more athletic events, bowling championships, etc?   Those kinds of things really help the retail community, hospitality industry, and the airport.  

Could more effort be made to push for that?  

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Do you guys remember Kip Holden's proposal to expand the River Center Convention space? 
Did he have a business study for that or was he just sort of winging it?   Do you guys think it is possible to attract more conventions and other events to Baton Rouge, such as more athletic events, bowling championships, etc?   Those kinds of things really help the retail community, hospitality industry, and the airport.  
Could more effort be made to push for that?  
Was that when they were talking about the hotel on top? Or was that just us dreaming?

Anything is possible as far as attracting more conventions. I think it was Bernham* talking about the Pan American games being held here. Is something like that realistically feasible? Would LSU have the space for such an event?


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20 minutes ago, Antrell Williams said:

Was that when they were talking about the hotel on top? Or was that just us dreaming?

Anything is possible as far as attracting more conventions. I think it was Bernham* talking about the Pan American games being held here. Is something like that realistically feasible? Would LSU have the space for such an event?


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I think he got a commitment from one hotel chain to manage and run a hotel on top of what would be new convention space.   BRAF was going to build the convention hall and hotel with tax dollars funding the additional convention space and parking deck specifically.  

I wasn't sure if this was an "if you build it they will come" thing or if Holden actually had some sort of economic study done on this investment.

There are things like the bowling championship, Miss America, and special olympics that were held in Baton Rouge.   I don't see much effort from the current mayor's office to attract more of that.    In fact the ironically named Together Baton Rouge crowd that supports her appears to be extremely anti-business, and I'm a bit frustrated that Bayou Country Superfest was practically given away to New Orleans.   It had a huge impact for the local economy during a fairly quiet time for tourists in this area.    For a mid-market city like Baton Rouge, it would take a real motivated cheer leader to go out and sort of recruit these types of events.

LSU football games are still the biggest tourist draw for the city by a long shot.   College Baseball tournaments, Southern U football, Spanish Town Mardi Gras, and things like the Louisiana Marathon are also a very big deal.    Baton Rouge needs another 2-3 big events every year though to really boost the tourism industry (which helps support restaurant and night life amenities) -  preferably events in the spring and summer, which in Louisiana's climate would have to be done mostly indoors.    For that we probably do need more climate controlled floor space at the River Center.

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I think he got a commitment from one hotel chain to manage and run a hotel on top of what would be new convention space.   BRAF was going to build the convention hall and hotel with tax dollars funding the additional convention space and parking deck specifically.  
I wasn't sure if this was an "if you build it they will come" thing or if Holden actually had some sort of economic study done on this investment.
There are things like the bowling championship, Miss America, and special olympics that were held in Baton Rouge.   I don't see much effort from the current mayor's office to attract more of that.    In fact the ironically named Together Baton Rouge crowd that supports her appears to be extremely anti-business, and I'm a bit frustrated that Bayou Country Superfest was practically given away to New Orleans.   It had a huge impact for the local economy during a fairly quiet time for tourists in this area.    For a mid-market city like Baton Rouge, it would take a real motivated cheer leader to go out and sort of recruit these types of events.
LSU football games are still the biggest tourist draw for the city by a long shot.   College Baseball tournaments, Southern U football, Spanish Town Mardi Gras, and things like the Louisiana Marathon are also a very big deal.    Baton Rouge needs another 2-3 big events every year though to really boost the tourism industry (which helps support restaurant and night life amenities) -  preferably events in the spring and summer, which in Louisiana's climate would have to be done mostly indoors.    For that we probably do need more climate controlled floor space at the River Center.
What do you mean by anti-business specifically? I personally have a conflict with tax dollars going to huge private business investments. That's what it seems like people mean when they say they are pro-business. To an extent, I believe most everyone would consider themselves the latter.

What were we offering to the organizers to host BCSF? And didn't that happen under Kips administration?

I was just at a movie set out in Hammond yesterday and I do miss having that kind of industry here. I think that could have help drive tourism a little. I think Mardi Gras is a great way to increase tourism and create an identity better suited for tourists. What are the chances of something like the Bowling Championship being a reoccurring event?

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I know it's an exceptional case of exceptional cases but I wish we could know what Dubai did and copy them (I guess that's every locality's dream). But I mean their stated goal was to end dependence on oil which is presumably Louisiana's goal or should be.

Maybe it's more productive to focus on being a "perfect" average city and then it'll be much easier to attract amenities since we'd have the basics on point.

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I know it's an exceptional case of exceptional cases but I wish we could know what Dubai did and copy them (o guess that's every locality's dream). But I mean their stated goal was to end dependence on oil which is presumably Louisiana's goal or should be.
Maybe it's more productive to focus on being a "perfect" average city and then it'll be much easier to attract amenities since we'd have the basics on point.
I'd absolutely love that. I highly doubt there's any support for it though.

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On 10/27/2017 at 12:50 PM, Antrell Williams said:

I'd absolutely love that. I highly doubt there's any support for it though.

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I know. Someone would find issue with it. 

 

 

One point someone brought up about basic income was the question of whether that makes us employees of the state? 

On 10/27/2017 at 3:17 PM, Antrell Williams said:

Actually I was reading a forum where they were talking about the reality that there's enough money around for the rich to stay rich while robots to much of the hard labor and citizens receive a form of basic income. It was not a form of communism though and was very interesting to read about coming from a conservative Louisiana population.

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Edited by dan326

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Ya know, I was playing on Google Earth and noticed Europe doesn't seem to have a lot of large new developments which made me wonder when the US would be saturated with housing to the point where we didn't need to build a bunch of new housing.  I was just wondering because I read an article on business report saying that we were reaching the saturation in restaurants which made me wonder what will keep our economy humming if real estate dries up.

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That's thought provoking stuff. Good question.  How much Fiat currency will continue to be printed??

Impressive how the new houses continue to pop up across BR.  Where is all this $$ money coming from; go into Old Goodwood & check the infil all over the place of mansions.  There is some nice new houses going up in Southdowns too. + New subdivisions continuing to pop up in SE BR.  Interesting to see how quickly Long Farm TND & Harveston will fill up....

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On 10/27/2017 at 10:36 AM, Antrell Williams said:

What do you mean by anti-business specifically?
 

Their expansion into other parts of the state as "Together Louisiana" for the sole purpose of fighting industrial development and tax exemptions is pretty eye opening to me.  This group was supposed to be an advocate for a unified East Baton Rouge Parish when they started.   They've abandoned that by supporting the special taxing district in north Baton Rouge and branched out into fighting one of the only real tools that the state has to attract outside investment. 

That kind of detachment from economic reality is a much bigger threat to the health of East Baton Rouge than an ISD ever was or ever will be.

Quote

I personally have a conflict with tax dollars going to huge private business investments.

I'm conflicted about these practices as well.   The reality is that tax incentives and exemptions (both of which the radical TogetherBR opposes) are the only viable way for the state of Louisiana to be even remotely competitive in the reality that surrounds us in 2017. ......that is unless of course you have a viable tax plan in your back pocket that will eliminate corporate income taxes, deliver tort reform, and quickly pass through Louisiana's legislature without everyone that lives off of the taxpayer crying all over CNN and FoxNews (as F King Alexander did every legislative session until a democrat was elected governor).

Louisiana's corporate tax rate is the opposite of competitive, the infrastructure is 3rd world,  the education system is horrific, and the mayors in two of the largest cities are openly hostile to much of the business community at best - downright corrupt at worst.    The only real thing Louisiana has outside of oil and gas is access to the Mississippi River - which has to compete with both the port of Mobile and the Houston Ship Channel.

The pragmatic solution to diversifying the state's economy is to offer targeted tax breaks to industries that make real investment here - and I don't mean to a transient industry like film.  

Even competitive states like Tennessee has promised tax credits and purchased thousands and thousands of acres on which they will spend hundreds of millions to route rail and highways for the sole purpose of attracting an automobile manufacturer.     You may not like the credits they provide, but they are credited against corporate and personal income tax revenue that wouldn't exist without the tax credit anyway.     It doesn't cost tax revenue if the tax revenue wouldn't be there without the incentive anyway.    

The options for many of these high tax states that are trying to land Amazon right now is to not collect the corporate income taxes and fees and have a massive employer invest in the region......or to not collect corporate income taxes and fees and not have a massive employer invest in the region.    Conservatives and Progressives a like are angry at what they call corporate welfare.    The reality is that they aren't going to miss what they never had to begin with - namely the corporate tax revenue from a new employer.   

This is the exact kind of issue where Louisiana needs to ditch whatever BS political  principles they pretend to have and embrace pragmatism.  Understand that in the state's current condition, you have no leverage over potential employers and very little over existing ones.    

Quote

That's what it seems like people mean when they say they are pro-business.

People that are pro-business in Louisiana are typically tired of watching their children and grandchildren move to Houston, Dallas, or Atlanta for opportunities that would exist in this state if our politicians offered a better tax environment and demanded fewer bribes.   

Corruption and crony capitalism are both cancers to Louisiana's long term economic health.    So is having a BS tax code (which is politically impossible to fix) and craptastic infrastructure next door to Texas of all places.   

Clearly offering tax credits and incentives against income tax revenue that wouldn't exist without the corporate investment (especially in the form of an industrial facility that will provide economic output for decades) that we are trying to attract makes too much sense for Louisiana's current leadership or TogetherBR, as very little outside investment have even been announced in the past 3 years.  

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On 10/31/2017 at 9:18 PM, richyb83 said:

That's thought provoking stuff. Good question.  How much Fiat currency will continue to be printed??

Impressive how the new houses continue to pop up across BR.  Where is all this $$ money coming from; go into Old Goodwood & check the infil all over the place of mansions.  There is some nice new houses going up in Southdowns too. + New subdivisions continuing to pop up in SE BR.  Interesting to see how quickly Long Farm TND & Harveston will fill up....

Ikr, my friend and I still can't figure out where these people work to afford these houses and how we can get on that hustle, lol!

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^

^I think I'm really going to start collecting these posts for my congressman.

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On 10/27/2017 at 8:30 AM, Antrell Williams said:

Was that when they were talking about the hotel on top? Or was that just us dreaming?

Anything is possible as far as attracting more conventions. I think it was Bernham* talking about the Pan American games being held here. Is something like that realistically feasible? Would LSU have the space for such an event?


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Cajun, as he is in most things we discuss here is very correct. Baton Rouge is big enough to attract some mid-level events that could attract tourism and business to the city. We could do this using facilities that currently exist. The key is a big city cheerleader that can inspire and motivate the city to go for stuff, and be willing themselves to dedicate their lives towards promoting the city. 

Baton Rouge hosted the World Special Olympics back in the 1980s, this past year they were held in Los Angeles...so it was a sizable event (though much larger now than then). The Pan-American Games would be quite the achievement...it's not currently realistic...but with the right business climate, investment in infrastructure, and a decreased hostility toward to the free market,  I believe Baton Rouge could do it. Birmingham is hosting the similarly sized Global Games in 2021. Hell, a better Baton Rouge than the current one could probably even (with the right stuff and leader) host the Youth Olympic Games which is even a little smaller of an event than the previous events. You could host opening ceremonies at LSU, track/field at a renovated Bernie Mack, etc. you'd need some temporary venues  constructed, athletes could be housed at the dorms, and we'd need way more hotel rooms, but in 20 years we could probably do it...but only with the right leaders. 

That's what all this comes down to. From hosting sporting events to attracting businesses, we need better leadership and a citizenry that is more willing to take risks and make big investments in both people and the economy. Under our cities current leadership I see things getting worse, but nothing lasts forever...even nightmares. 

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On 11/2/2017 at 6:33 PM, dan326 said:

Ikr, my friend and I still can't figure out where these people work to afford these houses and how we can get on that hustle, lol!

Energy, Medical, and higher education.......

Not nearly as many white collar jobs as I'd want to see in Baton Rouge, but it definitely isn't a poor town by any stretch.

On 11/4/2017 at 10:49 PM, mr. bernham said:

Cajun, as he is in most things we discuss here is very correct. Baton Rouge is big enough to attract some mid-level events that could attract tourism and business to the city. We could do this using facilities that currently exist. The key is a big city cheerleader that can inspire and motivate the city to go for stuff, and be willing themselves to dedicate their lives towards promoting the city. 

Baton Rouge hosted the World Special Olympics back in the 1980s, this past year they were held in Los Angeles...so it was a sizable event (though much larger now than then). The Pan-American Games would be quite the achievement...it's not currently realistic...but with the right business climate, investment in infrastructure, and a decreased hostility toward to the free market,  I believe Baton Rouge could do it. Birmingham is hosting the similarly sized Global Games in 2021. Hell, a better Baton Rouge than the current one could probably even (with the right stuff and leader) host the Youth Olympic Games which is even a little smaller of an event than the previous events. You could host opening ceremonies at LSU, track/field at a renovated Bernie Mack, etc. you'd need some temporary venues  constructed, athletes could be housed at the dorms, and we'd need way more hotel rooms, but in 20 years we could probably do it...but only with the right leaders. 

That's what all this comes down to. From hosting sporting events to attracting businesses, we need better leadership and a citizenry that is more willing to take risks and make big investments in both people and the economy. Under our cities current leadership I see things getting worse, but nothing lasts forever...even nightmares. 

I think parts of Baton Rouge would be an excellent setting to a Hunger Games.  :)

 

In all seriousness, Holden's administration went out and recruited like no other administration ever has.   Not one or two big events mind you....but countless smaller and mid market events that kept the hotels occupied, the restaurants full, and the bars open.  

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12 hours ago, cajun said:

Energy, Medical, and higher education.......

Not nearly as many white collar jobs as I'd want to see in Baton Rouge, but it definitely isn't a poor town by any stretch.

I think parts of Baton Rouge would be an excellent setting to a Hunger Games.  :)

 

In all seriousness, Holden's administration went out and recruited like no other administration ever has.   Not one or two big events mind you....but countless smaller and mid market events that kept the hotels occupied, the restaurants full, and the bars open.  

Holden was great when it came to promoting the city. Broome couldn't even convince a hurricane to come here if she tried.

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On 11/4/2017 at 9:49 PM, mr. bernham said:

Cajun, as he is in most things we discuss here is very correct. Baton Rouge is big enough to attract some mid-level events that could attract tourism and business to the city. We could do this using facilities that currently exist. The key is a big city cheerleader that can inspire and motivate the city to go for stuff, and be willing themselves to dedicate their lives towards promoting the city. 

Baton Rouge hosted the World Special Olympics back in the 1980s, this past year they were held in Los Angeles...so it was a sizable event (though much larger now than then). The Pan-American Games would be quite the achievement...it's not currently realistic...but with the right business climate, investment in infrastructure, and a decreased hostility toward to the free market,  I believe Baton Rouge could do it. Birmingham is hosting the similarly sized Global Games in 2021. Hell, a better Baton Rouge than the current one could probably even (with the right stuff and leader) host the Youth Olympic Games which is even a little smaller of an event than the previous events. You could host opening ceremonies at LSU, track/field at a renovated Bernie Mack, etc. you'd need some temporary venues  constructed, athletes could be housed at the dorms, and we'd need way more hotel rooms, but in 20 years we could probably do it...but only with the right leaders. 

That's what all this comes down to. From hosting sporting events to attracting businesses, we need better leadership and a citizenry that is more willing to take risks and make big investments in both people and the economy. Under our cities current leadership I see things getting worse, but nothing lasts forever...even nightmares. 

Well said man. 

I've said this many times but I really wanted to see Kip at the Lt Gov. position. What is he doing now?

Also, I think the Atchafalaya Basin could be a much larger recreational asset than it is now. It's not mountains or white sand beaches but its the largest swamp in the country! And beautiful to boot. 

On 11/6/2017 at 8:34 PM, mr. bernham said:

Holden was great when it came to promoting the city. Broome couldn't even convince a hurricane to come here if she tried.

Nor could she hire one with legit credentials. 

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On 11/2/2017 at 2:16 PM, cajun said:

Their expansion into other parts of the state as "Together Louisiana" for the sole purpose of fighting industrial development and tax exemptions is pretty eye opening to me.  This group was supposed to be an advocate for a unified East Baton Rouge Parish when they started.   They've abandoned that by supporting the special taxing district in north Baton Rouge and branched out into fighting one of the only real tools that the state has to attract outside investment. 

That kind of detachment from economic reality is a much bigger threat to the health of East Baton Rouge than an ISD ever was or ever will be.

I'm conflicted about these practices as well.   The reality is that tax incentives and exemptions (both of which the radical TogetherBR opposes) are the only viable way for the state of Louisiana to be even remotely competitive in the reality that surrounds us in 2017. ......that is unless of course you have a viable tax plan in your back pocket that will eliminate corporate income taxes, deliver tort reform, and quickly pass through Louisiana's legislature without everyone that lives off of the taxpayer crying all over CNN and FoxNews (as F King Alexander did every legislative session until a democrat was elected governor).

Louisiana's corporate tax rate is the opposite of competitive, the infrastructure is 3rd world,  the education system is horrific, and the mayors in two of the largest cities are openly hostile to much of the business community at best - downright corrupt at worst.    The only real thing Louisiana has outside of oil and gas is access to the Mississippi River - which has to compete with both the port of Mobile and the Houston Ship Channel.

The pragmatic solution to diversifying the state's economy is to offer targeted tax breaks to industries that make real investment here - and I don't mean to a transient industry like film.  

Even competitive states like Tennessee has promised tax credits and purchased thousands and thousands of acres on which they will spend hundreds of millions to route rail and highways for the sole purpose of attracting an automobile manufacturer.     You may not like the credits they provide, but they are credited against corporate and personal income tax revenue that wouldn't exist without the tax credit anyway.     It doesn't cost tax revenue if the tax revenue wouldn't be there without the incentive anyway.    

The options for many of these high tax states that are trying to land Amazon right now is to not collect the corporate income taxes and fees and have a massive employer invest in the region......or to not collect corporate income taxes and fees and not have a massive employer invest in the region.    Conservatives and Progressives a like are angry at what they call corporate welfare.    The reality is that they aren't going to miss what they never had to begin with - namely the corporate tax revenue from a new employer.   

This is the exact kind of issue where Louisiana needs to ditch whatever BS political  principles they pretend to have and embrace pragmatism.  Understand that in the state's current condition, you have no leverage over potential employers and very little over existing ones.    

People that are pro-business in Louisiana are typically tired of watching their children and grandchildren move to Houston, Dallas, or Atlanta for opportunities that would exist in this state if our politicians offered a better tax environment and demanded fewer bribes.   

Corruption and crony capitalism are both cancers to Louisiana's long term economic health.    So is having a BS tax code (which is politically impossible to fix) and craptastic infrastructure next door to Texas of all places.   

Clearly offering tax credits and incentives against income tax revenue that wouldn't exist without the corporate investment (especially in the form of an industrial facility that will provide economic output for decades) that we are trying to attract makes too much sense for Louisiana's current leadership or TogetherBR, as very little outside investment have even been announced in the past 3 years.  

I haven't kept up with the organization, did they officially turn into Together Louisiana? And if they are fighting against industrial development, what is the objective problem? I mean, I would not like to see further industrial development in the form of processing along the River. Isn't that more of a personal opinion type of issue? If you meant they are lying about their intent, then I understand the frustration. 

Do you not support the special taxing district because they are pushing it, or for other reasons?

I wouldn't say you're conflicted from my perspective and I would disagree about tax breaks being the only viable solution to our economic problems. One of the main ones being a lack of diversity in the economy which more tax incentives for more industry doesn't help solve. 

Can we address the infrastructure and education as a state, for once? Because we don't, we won't, we never will. And I believe it's a direct result of these massive incentives given to these industries. And they are not quite as stable when they lay off thousands of employees and the whole region feels it. Lake Charles will feel that wrath in the coming years. 

Can we take that money we are giving them and use it to rebuild our schools, roads, coastline, LSU, SU, UNO, etc? I understand using tax incentives, without them downtown wouldn't be what it is today. However, I cannot understand the reason why we don't take the idea of "throwing money at a problem" and use it with our poor folks and broken infrastructure.  If you disregard the rest of this post, I truly would like an answer as to why huge rich companies are prioritized higher with our tax dollars over our own poor and everyone in general and if you think that giving them tax money would have a larger net gain over the investment of our citizens?

I don't understand what you mean about Tennessee's tax incentives. The tax incentives are paid by the income of the business and employees receiving the incentives? 

I can't believe that anyone who wants this state to prosper is anti-business. I would imagine that I fit that bill. Although I'm not anti-business. I'm anti corporate welfare at the expense of the citizens. I'm anti cancer alley along the river parishes. I'm anti dangerous jobs that can lay you off at any time. I would imagine that Broome and Landrieu share at least one of my ideas (not a fan of either, fyi).

Having Amazon in your city and not paying taxed is blasphemous when everyone else does. This is why I'm glad some other city will land it. I prefer to build an environment in our state so that we can foster these types if companies rather than beg them with tax payer dollars. Think Golden State and how they drafted that team and won 72 games, don't think OKC and give away your assets then try to lure targets to finally compete with teams who know how to grow a team instead of through free agency. 

Amazon would skyrocket housing prices, offer no benefit to the poor and vast majority of the middle class, impact our infrastructure that we would promise to upgrade for them, impact our emergency services, etc all without paying a dime. Is that correct? 

This is pragmatic, I would agree. I am extremely pragmatic. Although I think this helps the well off more than anything.  

I get that we have no leverage. That's my whole point in supporting the idea of starting from scratch and rebuild from the bottom up. Golden State drafted an All Star in the freaking 2nd round. That does NOT happen in the NBA. For the love of whoever you pray to, I do now want to see schools falling apart while we dole out $50 million in incentives to some Chinese plant. 

People that are pro-business tend to neglect our infrastructure over corporate profits in my experience. I've never seen a pro-business politician slash taxes for small businesses, never see them investing in roads (unless they can lure a huge company),  and never care about the people of the state.  Their primary concern seems to be helping their rich friends and donors. They never include any type of diversification worth much (IBM, cough cough).  I'm not moving to Denver because of those reasons, I'm moving because of the ones I stated and my friends who moved there did the same. I'm not sure you know what we want as millennials. I'm certainly not speaking for all, but we generally want a larger social program system than generation before us, along with a work environment where you're more than an employee number, and many other improvements in employer/employee relations. Out of the numerous people I know who have moved, most of them have jobs they could have here. The others are in California and work in film/arts. The one thing that seems to entice them is the stuff to do. The job is great, but the parks, the schools, the universities, the trails, the light rail, the roads, and all the shiny stuff is basically the same draw as the postwar suburbs. That's what makes them stay. That is a huge reason why I'm leaving. Seeing the type of city that Seattle is and how much money is put into the infrastructure from transit to decorations was bewildering. I don't know if I used that right but oh well. Coming back to Baton Rouge was depressing as even our nice areas are run down compared to theirs. 

Diversifying the economy is a HUGE one. We don't want to work in the plants. My best friend was working in the plants, making $1900 a week once. Lost his job. Now at almost 27 he's waiting on the ability to go back to school and leave Louisiana. I think we really should have gone in on the movie industry. That's a good start to keeping the bright kids at home. I would like to see how much we were losing compared to oil and gas and the impact on the economy. 

Corruption is the death sentence for this state, and most of pro-business politicians seem to revel in it. When I hear pro-business, I think campaign donors and their kickbacks. 

We've been doing the welfare thing for a while now, and it doesn't seem to work well. And for the record, I'd support incentives for some kind of transformative industry like renewables but never for the same oil, gas, and chemical processing that we have now and I think that tide is turning. 

Sorry it took so long and sorry if I went off topic any. 

 

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^Lol, no prob, this is the off topic thread. Good points, sometimes I wonder if other states/entities conspire against Louisiana the same way New Orleans does against everyone else, the way some say the US subverts Latin America in a developing state, etc. 

 

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Thought this was a cool video...showed this during the Louisiana HS Football Championship earlier tonight (actually 8 months old)

 

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On 11/10/2017 at 12:18 AM, Antrell Williams said:

I haven't kept up with the organization, did they officially turn into Together Louisiana? And if they are fighting against industrial development, what is the objective problem? I mean, I would not like to see further industrial development in the form of processing along the River. Isn't that more of a personal opinion type of issue? If you meant they are lying about their intent, then I understand the frustration. 

 

 

As far as I know, the political infrastructure they've used to push against a grassroots effort to incorporate St. George has morphed into a new "Together Louisiana" push as well as a push to set up a unique taxing district in north Baton Rouge.    That latter part is pretty screwed up given the groups hostility towards people attempting to do just that a year earlier in unincorporated East Baton Rouge.  

The entire group is a complete lie.   There is nothing about what they promote that includes "togetherness".  

Quote

Do you not support the special taxing district because they are pushing it, or for other reasons?

I don't support it because it is run by corrupted fools who will accomplish nothing aside from getting their friends jobs.    This is not the method we used to improve downtown Baton Rouge.   The focus is on political power.   They aren't even doing a good job pretending to care.  

And it's ridiculous that a separate taxing district in north Baton Rouge is good, but a new school district in southern East Baton Rouge is not. 

Quote

People that are pro-business tend to neglect our infrastructure over corporate profits in my experience

That's rather odd, since it is the business community begging for better infrastructure.   That's not even just a Baton Rouge thing.   It's pretty much universal.    Better infrastructure improves the ability to move goods and products around.    It opens new areas to development.    Where would Amazon be without decent broadband service all over the US?   Where would General Motors be without decent roads and highways?    Businesses demand and support infrastructure - and better infrastructure helps attract business.   

In fact, Louisiana's privatized pipeline infrastructure is a big part of why the region has been so successful in attracting industrial expansion projects that rely on natural gas and oil production.   Those are direct investments into the state's infrastructure made by the business community.

In today's politically divisive environment, infrastructure spending may be one of only a handful of things that has bipartisan support among politicians and widespread support within both the public and private sectors.    That's why your statement is not just wrong....it's asinine and offensive to our intelligence.  

And the second part of your statement is even more ridiculous than the first.   Corporate board's responsibility is to the shareholders.    Their job is to maximize profits.   That will never change.  If Louisiana's corporate tax rate and crappy infrastructure means less profit, they won't invest here.     It should be our job as citizens to elect officials that can make Louisiana more competitive.  

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One of the main ones being a lack of diversity in the economy which more tax incentives for more industry doesn't help solve. 

I guess if I ignored reality completely, I'd agree with you.   Targeted tax incentives are massively helpful in attracting industry and investment for the purposes of economic diversification.   IBM and DXE are good examples of that.     It's one of the few impactful tools in the state's war chest that doesn't involve a politically impossible feat like tax reform. 

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Having Amazon in your city and not paying taxed is blasphemous when everyone else does.

A pragmatic person would realize that Amazon isn't going to pay taxes either way.   Your options are to provide the tax breaks for them and let them bring thousands of jobs, or don't provide tax breaks for them and let them go to a city that did.   Either way, you are losing out on that tax revenue.....but one scenario is massively better than the other.

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Can we take that money we are giving them and use it to rebuild our schools, roads, coastline, LSU, SU, UNO, etc?

What money are we giving them specifically?   You either provide the tax breaks and have the jobs, or refuse to provide the tax breaks and have nothing.    Either way, they aren't paying those taxes.   Those "schools, roads and coastline" budgets were not getting directly enhanced either way.

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However, I cannot understand the reason why we don't take the idea of "throwing money at a problem" and use it with our poor folks and broken infrastructure.  If you disregard the rest of this post, I truly would like an answer as to why huge rich companies are prioritized higher with our tax dollars over our own poor and everyone in general and if you think that giving them tax money would have a larger net gain over the investment of our citizens?

Those are not your tax dollars.   It never was and never will be.    In a case like DXC or Amazon, there would be no revenue to collect against those companies if they don't move to Louisiana.   Choose to provide a tax break (or credit if they build a factory or office building), and you still won't collect revenue against those companies, but you'd at least have the additional tax revenue gained by the economic impact they make.

Your options here are to provide tax breaks and collect nothing from the company or to not provide tax breaks and collect nothing from the company.    At least by providing tax breaks, you get the indirect benefit of thousands of workers, each paying income taxes and stimulating the economy by buying food, entertainment, airline tickets, etc.

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Amazon would skyrocket housing prices, offer no benefit to the poor and vast majority of the middle class, impact our infrastructure that we would promise to upgrade for them, impact our emergency services, etc all without paying a dime. Is that correct?

No.  Like most your post, this is also both factually incorrect and a significant misrepresentation of my argument (which would be the common straw man fallacy).

Amazon will not be paying taxes wherever they locate.   They will get significant incentives to move wherever they choose to.  That's not some grand prediction...it's just a recognition of the reality in which we live right now.    Cities can either provide the tax rebates to them and enjoy the indirect benefits that having thousands of high paid employees bring (each with their own paycheck and tax contribution) or they not provide tax breaks and get nothing in return.   

Amazon's decision will increase demand for housing and increase housing prices.    That would incentivize private investment into the housing stock and improve struggling areas significantly.   People who owned houses (the middle class in particular) would enjoy a significant bump in net worth as their existing real estate investment climbs in value.    

Wherever Amazon locates, there will be a flood of new service jobs - including legal, financial, retail, medical, hospitality, and entertainment.    That is the multiplier effect - and that will make it even easier for even the most unskilled person to find work, and vastly easier for the state and local governing bodies to collect additional tax revenue.  

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I've never seen a pro-business politician slash taxes for small businesses, never see them investing in roads

You clearly aren't paying attention.   You've got an example of this in the White House right now that is attempting to do both of these.   In fact, the previous 2 administrations also invested in infrastructure and at least attempted to reduce the tax burden for for small businesses.   

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They never include any type of diversification worth much (IBM, cough cough). 

So you admit that IBM is an example of diversification but argue against the tax breaks that brought the investment to Louisiana because it doesn't diversify enough?

IBM's biggest problem right now is finding enough local labor that hasn't yet move to Texas.   There isn't enough people in the local labor pool for them to grow here fast enough.    That isn't a problem they'd have if they were in the energy or manufacturing business.  

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I'm not sure you know what we want as millennials.

How old do you think I am?

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I'm certainly not speaking for all, but we generally want a larger social program system than generation before us,

 

The expansion of social programs is not  a generational demand.    It's a progressive one.   Millennials, like every other generation, don't subscribe to one single political belief system.    

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along with a work environment where you're more than an employee number, and many other improvements in employer/employee relations.

And Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and every other generation didn't want that?

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Seeing the type of city that Seattle is and how much money is put into the infrastructure from transit to decorations was bewildering. I don't know if I used that right but oh well. Coming back to Baton Rouge was depressing as even our nice areas are run down compared to theirs. 

Pump the brakes.  I thought you were against the increase housing costs and growing pains that Amazon brings to a city.    But you are using Seattle as an example of how to do it right?   

Amazon currently employs about 40,000 people in the Seattle metro right now.    Housing prices are increasing there, and vast swaths of the city have long since been redeveloped by the private investment dollars provided by those workers and the service jobs they support.   Those nice things that you like are only there because those Amazon workers (the ones you don't want in Louisiana) are there to demand it and pay for it.

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We don't want to work in the plants. My best friend was working in the plants, making $1900 a week once. Lost his job. Now at almost 27 he's waiting on the ability to go back to school and leave Louisiana. I think we really should have gone in on the movie industry. That's a good start to keeping the bright kids at home. I would like to see how much we were losing compared to oil and gas and the impact on the economy. 

You may not want to, but a lot of people do.  

Louisiana isn't in a position to turn away an investment.   Things like a Steel Mill or refinery expansion brings jobs and investment into the state.   Thosemulti-billion dollar industrial facilities represent skin those corporate entities have in the game, which makes it less likely that they'll set up shop somewhere else in a heartbeat.      Those workers are well compensated and spend money on things like houses, cars, entertainment, night life, and food.     You may hate that they exist or would prefer if they were employed by another industry, but they are a huge part of the local and regional economy.     Louisiana's quest to diversify may take a generation to see major success, but that does not mean the state should ignore companies that are actually demanding a lot less to move there.    A lot of those industrial expansions rely on the state's strong labor pool and deep water access - and those are two things that are not easily replicated.     

Industrial expansion in Louisiana along the Mississippi River is pretty inevitable.  

Corruption is the death sentence for this state, and most of pro-business politicians seem to revel in it. When I hear pro-business, I think campaign donors and their kickbacks.

Corruption knows no political party.   It's a cancer in Louisiana that has spread to all levels of government.  

The most glaring example in Baton Rouge right now is probably Council on Aging and CATS.    Historically the most iconic example of state corruption is the kickbacks that people like Edwin Edwards and Cleo Fields received to ensure that the right people got riverboat gambling licenses.    That one went right up to the governor's office and netted in about two dozen high profile convictions, including Edwin Edwards himself.   

It's ridiculous and dishonest to pretend that corruption is only a problem with certain political groups.    

The unfortunate truth is that Louisiana's citizens will continue to see things like Council on Aging, Sharon Weston Broom,  Edwin Edwards, and Mitch Landrieu because they clearly don't have a problem with it.    THAT is why you should move to Denver.  

Edited by cajun
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