Takeover of land does have some elements of socialism

Wednesday August 14, 2013 2:01 PM

To the Editor:

I enjoyed and basically agreed with the comments of Mr. Thomas Storck in his July 18 letter, "Land purchase inappropriate, but not socialism."

These government takeovers of the means of production (remember land, labor and capital) can have the impact that Mr. Storck points out that can eventually lead to "private enrichment" in many cases, after a city has trouble being a private developer and in marketing the property, etc., there can be a pattern where they give away the taxpayers' money in some measure, for example, free grading, free streets, free water lines, free sanitary sewer lines, tax abatements and other incentives.

These are, in effect, taxpayer subsidies that the city uses through giveaways to eventually get the property sold or developed and declare a victory.

There is seldom any cost versus benefit analysis done, or an accounting, so the citizens are unaware of what allowing city bureaucrats to play at being developers, and to often keep and expand their jobs and pay in the short run, costs them. The taxpayers are stuck with the cost of paying bonds off later.

There is at least one central Ohio municipality that got into this game and they are now squealing for a tax hike.

Since this is a takeover of land, I will disagree on one point; the definition of socialism, according to Webster, is:

"1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods;

"2 b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state ..."

Walter G. Reiner
Reiner Realty & Consultants Inc.