Business As Usual

First of all I know the hypocritical concern about government debt and deficits is a pile of steaming, stinky manure.

That said I think we can all agree that subsidizing businesses that are already making incredible profits and paying their executives princely sums is a huge waste of money that could easily be spent on worthwhile things like bridges and public transportation, teachers and firemen and police; and this is true whether it’s the mere Billions that go to Gas and Oil or the Military Industrial Complex, or the TRILLIONS the Banksters tap at the Fed Discount Window.

Or even the paltry $500 Million that Bass Pro Shops get from State and Municipal Governments in tax breaks and infrastructure improvements for stores and jobs that never materialize.

In case you are unfamiliar with this enterprise, it’s basically the WalMart of outdoorsy stuff with the added kick of upscale presentation like indoor fishing ponds, the kind of place you can pick up your cammo and canoe in one stop.

You can also buy a Glock with a 40 round clip and some armor piercing or hollow points to fill them for huntin’ varmints.

All in all a triumph of entrepreneurial capitalism with annual sales of some $2.6 Billion and worth almost $3 Billion, all privately held by John L. Miller.

Bass Pro Billionaire Building Megastores With Boats, Guns

By Seth Lubove, Bloomberg News

Jun 3, 2013 4:55 PM ET

Bass Pro’s critics complain about the company’s practice of accepting municipal subsidies to build megastores in their communities, often with the understanding they would create jobs or increase tax revenue.

The Public Accountability Initiative, a Buffalo, New York-based research group, estimated in a 2010 report that Bass Pro-anchored retail projects had won more than $500 million in taxpayer subsidies.

“Far from being surefire, Disney World-type attractions, Bass Pro stores often fail to spur growth and do not produce outsize economic advantages for the cities that subsidize their arrival,” the Public Accountability Initiative said in its report.

In Buffalo, Bass Pro was poised to receive subsidies of $35 million to build a store in Canal Side, a 20-acre historic area, according to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. After nine years of talks, the company pulled out in July 2010, following the Public Accountability Initiative report and a lawsuit filed against the company and municipal agencies by a group of citizens complaining about the subsidies.

“It’s sort of funny because they had had a lot of success in the local media in getting their story out,” said Kevin Connor, director of the Public Accountability Initiative.

Bass Pro said in its statement to Bloomberg News that because of “development challenges,” it gave up after spending $1 million in a good faith effort to locate in Buffalo.

The criticism was revived this year in Florida’s Hillsborough County, where commissioners debated whether to spend $6.25 million on road improvements to attract a Bass Pro store to Brandon. They approved the deal in February, despite complaints by small businesses that a larger competitor was being subsidized by the government.

Oh and his hiring practices are also discriminatory-

Bass Pro was sued in 2011 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which accused the company of discrimination against blacks and Hispanics in its hiring. While Morris isn’t named as a defendant, he’s accused in the complaint of condoning the hiring practices.

According to the third amended complaint filed in federal court in Houston on April 15, out of 14,374 employees hired during the EEOC’s administrative investigation, only 995, or 6.9 percent, were black. Only 8.4 percent, or 1,207, were Hispanic. Its investigation period ranged from 2005 to 2009, although it varied for certain stores.


    • on 06/04/2013 at 19:30

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