To the editor:
The Lee County Commission's proposal to fund Gartner, Inc. with Lee County taxpayer money is an abomination to the free enterprise system. The dollars proposed are nothing more than corporate payola, crony capitalism, or, in other words, it is robbing from the poor Lee County taxpayers to give to the corporate big rich.
Lee County's so-called incentive to Gartner, Inc. is $1.48 million. The state would give another $3.47 million for a total of $4.95 million of the taxpayers' money. Think about it! Gartner, Inc. is a $1.6 billion multi-national corporation with offices in 45 countries and 6,000 employees. Now they come to Lee County looking for a handout? Aren't the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, the 400 miles of waterfront canals in Cape Coral, the Spring Training mecca of the Boston Red Sox, the Minnesota Twins and hopefully others, plus an 84.1 F average high temperature (with the mean average temperature being 74.4 F) enough for them to relocate here just like it is for everyone else?
Gartner, Inc. is headquartered in Stanford, Conn., and pays one of the highest corporate taxes in America. The claim that Gartner, Inc. will pay $63,000 per employee is right for Connecticut but they will never pay that in Florida, a right-to-work state.
Experience with VR Labs, which was given a $5 million handout by the Lee County Commission, (so far they have actually created two jobs according to news accounts) should be enough information to stop immediately all private-public funding of any private industry.
Big corporations, big media and big banking are the destruction of our free enterprise system. Much of the money from this so-called incentive plan likely will go to wealthy millionaire shareholders, CEOs, and CFOs who make their money on the backs of the working poor with middle class taxes paying for most of it. This commission is all for the 1 percent. They abhor the 99 percent who they want groveling at their feet as they plunder their way of life.
Bell & Howell, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs all started their businesses out of their garages and Gartner, Inc. wants to work from a new $20 million office building.
To give these multi-national corporations one dime of taxpayer money is criminal.
Our Republic is being bullied by the Lee County Commission. Corporations make their money by downsizing, outsourcing and firing in true monopolistic fashion. The Lee County Commissioners rule from the shadows, only disclosing important knowledge of events at the last minute. Their bizarre claim of Lee County job creation is antithetical to their own big brother policies.
As a veteran I took an oath of office to fight all enemies foreign and domestic. We, the American people, have been able to conquer our foreign enemies; however, the only real enemies we have today are domestic... the multi-national corporations, big banking, big media, big bureaucracy and the so-called political class. This criminal Just-Us system is steering a rudderless raft leaking like a sieve with its destination hell.
I will fight this destruction of our great country and its noble Founders until hell freezes over and then I will fight them on ice!!!
Jon Larsen Shudlick