Thursday, July 11, 2013

O'Malley's Convention Center Hotel Blunder

I've said before that the government, be it national, state, or municipal, should not be in the business of competing with private corporations.  There are several reasons, and, despite what Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley says, none of these are former Republican Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich's fault.

The government has a de facto advantage over private organizations.  One example is that the government has the abused power of eminent domain.  If the government (read former Baltimore County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger) wants to remove some homes or underutilized waterfront properties, it can abuse its powers and confiscate the properties, removing the tenant, and giving them what they think is just compensation in return, even if the compensation is re-donkulously low.

The government tends to not understand simple economics.  For example, my car may be worth $100.  However, if a member of the Maryland House of Delegates like Kumar Barve gets drunk again and crashes into my car and totals it, then I have to replace the car.  I cannot replace it for the $100 that it was worth.  My cost of replacement is much higher.  So let's say that the government confiscates a retired person's property and gives them $35,000.  What are they going to do with that?  They may not be able to afford a house payment on a new property, despite being able to use the proceeds as a down-payment.  They are retired and have no earned income anymore.  See how this is a problem?  Private corporations cannot remove you from your property.  Advantage - the government.

Additionally, the government can stonewall private corporations from getting their projects completed.  Need an inspection?  We'll be there in August.  Need a review of your site plan?  Should be done by next May.  Need a tax-break?  Nope.  Oh, this is a government project?  We'll send someone out today.  Tax-break?  Sure, no problem.  Advantage - the government.

Now onto today's big news.  The Baltimore Convention Center Hilton Hotel is failing.  It is failing miserably.  The giant eye-sore hotel that obstructs the nice view that Camden Yards fans once had is losing MILLIONS of dollars per year.  Martin O'Malley pushed hard for this city-owned hotel when he was mayor.  Why should the city be in the hotel business???

Baltimore City-owned eyesore Hilton Convention Center Hotel
And to top it off, Martin O'Malley is blaming Bob Ehrlich for the boondoggle, and even took a stab at former President Bush.  O'Malley said, "You may recall, at the time, that we asked, we were told no by the then governor" regarding putting the state tax-payers on the hilt for the bill.  Ehrlich had the balls to say, 'no, it is not in the best interests of the state tax-payers to build and operate a hotel in Baltimore City'.  But yet it's Ehrlich's fault.  O'Malley got all mad. He then put city residents on the hilt for the bill, who now cannot afford it. O'Malley then went on to mention that this occurred right before the recession, an obvious jab at Bush.  George Bush got us into an illegal war, then destroyed the environment, and gave oil money to Halliburton, which sunk the entire country into a recession, which caused companies to not want to come to Baltimore for conventions (ignore the fact that most companies weren't coming to Baltimore for conventions in the first place), which caused revenue shortages, which now causes the city tax-payers to be responsible for the short-fall.  Stupid George Bush.

Nothing is EVER Martin O'Malley's fault.  He NEVER makes bad decisions.  It's ALWAYS someone else's fault.  He sounds a lot like my brother.  Listen, Gov.  You need to start taking responsibility and be accountable for your actions.  This is what we tell our children all the time.  It's time to lead by example and stop whining like a politician.

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