Ostrowski noted the irony of how the politicians expect us to support this project when it is shrouded in secrecy and the details have not been made known. “Even the time and place of the Governor’s press conference has not been disclosed,” Ostrowski said. “I guess they don’t want real live citizens showing up to rain on their corporate welfare parade.”

Ostrowski also noted that as some information about the project trickles out, we find that this is not just a deal to promote economic development, but one which strengths the role of big government in our lives. “The city gets to own more parking ramps; our bloated and inefficient transportation monopolies get an expensive new station; and the State gets the Aud. The corporate welfare model gets more firmly entrenched. Anyone who thinks this a movement away from big government and toward the free market is sadly deluded.”

Here are some excerpts from Ostrowski’s report:

“Nor will any other current politicians do anything to turn this place around. They are all clueless. They don’t know what the problem is and so naturally they don’t have a solution. So they revert to selfish careerism, the operating principle of politics around here since the great Grover Cleveland left town. They focus on quick-fixes (one percent sales tax increase), public relations gimmicks (regionalism), and magic bullets (Bass-Pro) that will single-handedly save the day, or rather con the public into so thinking. It’s a sporting goods store, for Pete’s sake.”

“We’ve seen this kind of nonsense during the entire forty-five year period of Buffalo’s decline. It allows the politicians to get re-elected enough times to reach the magic age of fifty-five, at which time they can start collecting their outrageous pensions, a reward for doing absolutely nothing good for their communities in their entire careers!”

“The Bass Pro deal that conservative-turned-liberal George Pataki has put together will not rescue Buffalo. Any benefit from giving Bass Pro $66 million in public money or benefits will come at the expense of $66 million in losses to the taxpayers. Anyone who can’t grasp this after it is explained is, I am sorry, just plain stupid! Unless money grows on trees, that money has to be seized from taxpayers who would have spent it on their most urgent needs in voluntary free market transactions.”

“Stealing all that money from taxpayers will destroy jobs. The jobs Bass Pro will create are artificially subsidized and may well disappear without further subsidies. The record of government-subsidized jobs is atrocious. Huge amounts of money are spent per job and those jobs very often disappear later. Any questions?”

“Here’s a list of the magic bullet projects the politicians said would turn Buffalo around but never did:

• Urban renewal
• The subway line
• The theater district
• Subsidized construction of office buildings and hotels downtown
• The baseball stadium
• The convention center
• Marine Midland Arena
• The Adelphia Project (never got off the ground)
• The Medical Campus (in the works)”

“The failure of these projects proves factually what I have already proven theoretically: seizing small amounts of money from hundreds of thousands of taxpayers for use in concentrated form for a politically-chosen project will always fail—except to line the pockets of the developers and politicians and their errand boys and girls.”

“One of the problems with Buffalo is that we keep rewarding failure so long as it hath the power to assume a pleasing shape.”

“To sum up, the corporate welfare schemes our politicians are addicted to fail because they suck the energy out of the far corners of the market economy and concentrate that energy in one place and time where it can do the most good for the politicians. After the press conferences are over and the consultants, lawyers, and power brokers have been richly paid off, these projects are left to face the harsh reality that they are not sustainable in the free market. Their costs exceed their revenues. Duh! That’s why they need a subsidy in the first place. The choice then is to either keep subsidizing them—stupidly sending good money after bad—or abandon them. A grim prospect but the politicians don’t give a damn because they are long gone by then, spending our pension funds in warm weather climes to avoid our high taxes.”
James Ostrowski
Free Buffalo (from big government, political machines and special interests)
984 Ellicott Square
Buffalo, NY 14203
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Buffalo Author Slams Bass Pro Deal
as Corporate Welfare

Buffalo, New York. November 28, 2004. Buffalo attorney and author, James Ostrowski, will hold a press conference Monday, November 29, 2004, at 10:00 a.m. in front of Memorial Auditorium to release his 2000-word critique of the Bass Pro deal, entitled “Bass Pros at Corporate Welfare.” Ostrowski is an adjunct scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a columnist for one of the most popular economics sites in the world, Mises.org.

Ostrowski will also announce his plans to form Buffalo’s first independent think tank—Free Buffalo. Free Buffalo will attempt to reverse the top-down, top-heavy political model that has devastated this once great city and replace it with a highly decentralized system that returns power to the people and to communities and neighborhoods, and is based on a free market economy.