published Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

West: A public event — Chattanooga, UAW and free markets

Mark West

Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. there will be a public forum about the costs and consequences of a possible United Auto Workers Union presence in Hamilton County.

It’s called “Chattanooga, UAW & Free Markets” and it is organized by Citizens for Free Markets, a coalition of citizens concerned about the UAW’s drive to organize the town’s Volkswagen plant.

Speakers include labor specialist Matt Patterson, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, labor economist Dr. Charles Van Eaton, and Don Jackson, a former executive at the VW plant who has seen firsthand the destructive and costly nature of this particular union.

This discussion is greatly needed, because everyone in Chattanooga will be affected by the decision of the Volkswagen workers whether to unionize.

• The UAW is a longtime and enthusiastic supporter of left-wing politicians and progressive causes, including Obamacare. The president’s health care reform law amounts to the largest tax increase in United States history, the job-killing effects of which are already being felt, thanks to help from the UAW.

• Bob King, president of the UAW, brags that he and his progressive allies “scored a huge victory in November when [we] re-elected President Barack Obama.”

• The union spends millions to help elect liberal politicians at the local, state and federal level.

If you don’t still think the UAW is your business, ask yourself: Who bailed out General Motors after the union drove it into the ditch? You did, to the tune of almost $50 billion — a massive and outrageous public gift to Obama’s private friends.

So come see the discussion Thursday night at the new Embassy Suites in Hamilton Place at 6:30 p.m. You’ll hear things you may not want to know, but that you definitely need to know.

Mark West is the president of the Chattanooga Tea Party.

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gypsylady said...

You read it here first, folks. The Chattanooga Tea Party - A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce. Our motto - "We've Never Met a Business Subsidy We Didn't Love." Free Market, yeah baby!

July 16, 2013 at 8:57 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

It's always interesting when someone who made their fortune in the healthcare industry accepting government money and benefits describes themselves as free marketers.

July 16, 2013 at 9:36 a.m.
soakya said...

Did Volkswagen and the Mega Deals boost the Hamilton County –Tennessee economy?

Free market? Where does anyone see the free market operating in Hamilton county or TN

According to recent report by the University of Tennessee paid for by the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce or more correctly, taxpayers, Volkswagen has saved not only Hamilton County but Tennessee and put them both on the path to the land flowing with jobs and prosperity.

The contents of the report was made public June 05 by the Times Free Press. The report was nothing more than a precursor for a future request of additional taxpayer money as evidenced by a June 07 Times Free Press article “Incentives part of VW talks, Chattanooga, Hamilton mayors say.”

The chart below shows the actual results in Hamilton County from 2001-12. In 2006-07 we see a sharp incline in population which continues to climb until 2012. In the same time period we see a rise in the number of unemployed and a decline in the actual number of employees. Since 2007 the number of unemployed has increased by 5,550 and the number employed has fallen by 5,440. Per Capita income grew at a faster pace from 2001-2007. Per capita income grew by 26% or $7,971 dollars during 2001-07 compared to 4% or $1,829 dollars from 2007-2011. From 2007-12 the employed to civilian labor force ratio rate fell by 3.32 %. Today, more than 2 years after Volkswagen opened their doors Hamilton County has fewer workers and more unemployed and slower growth in per capita income.

Take a look at the debt over the same 6 years. It has ballooned to over 200 million. Elected officials and those that support these handouts (PILOT Agreements) will say the majority of the debt is due to schools. Ok. How is that not connected to these agreements?

Tennessee looks very similar to Hamilton County. In 2007 TN had 9,400 more people working than in 2012. A massive 101,100 Tennessean’s joined the unemployment line since 2007 and we have added $1,061,526,000 in net bonded debt. Since 2007 the employed to civilian labor force ratio has declined by 3.1%. Per capita income also grew at a faster pace from 2001-07, $6904 dollars or 26% compared to $4487 dollars or 13% from 2007-12.

The only thing that has taken place is a shuffling of jobs from one industry to another and from one county to the other and from one state to another state.

The Chamber and elected officials are using the same hypothetical fuzzy math as Washington. They say without Volkswagen the numbers would have been worse. I believe we could have done worse for a lot cheaper. How do you measure what could have happened and when did that become an economic indicator? How about measuring what happened. It’s time to quit digging and put down the shovel.

Both Tennessee and Hamilton County have fewer workers today even after Hemlock, Wacker, Amazon, Volkswagen, Electrolux, Whirlpool, and a host of hundreds of other PILOT agreements.

July 16, 2013 at 1:46 p.m.
soakya said...

What would have been the consequences if neither Tennessee nor Hamilton County offered PILOT agreements? Is it possible people would have moved to where they could have found work. What’s wrong with moving? Would we have experienced such a population growth? Would new schools need to be built? Would the debt have sky rocketed?

If the objective was to increase Tennessee’s and Hamilton County population, the number of people unemployed and bond debt, congratulations, job well done. TN and Hamilton County certainly has seen a population boom, but jobs have not kept pace with this growth. How much of this population explosion is a result of the mega deals TN has handed out. Government at all levels need to get out of the way and quit spreading the risk to taxpayers.

Did the mega deals save TN? Did Volkswagen save Hamilton County and TN? You can decide for yourself if 727 million in federal, state, and local tax incentives for 2,415 direct jobs at Volkswagen was worth it. If you believe the cost is worth it, do nothing. However, if you feel differently tell your elected representatives it’s time for them to get a back bone and tell the Chamber, the industrial development board and the companies they represent if they want a physical presence in TN they need to assume all the risk involved and pay their taxes like the rest of us and quit expecting tax dollars to subsidize their business.

With or without the UAW there is nothing free market about the VW deal. As a matter of fact letting the employees choose whether they want representation is more of a free market ideal than the agreements and incentive put together by the Chamber and our elected officials despite the evidence that they don't work and the public outcry to stop this madness.

Source:TN.Gov Hamilton County Financial Statements TN Financial Statement Census Bureau estimate

July 16, 2013 at 1:46 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Soakya, on your first post, I am so impressed at your research with data to back up your claims. That is the best analysis I have read on the VW PILOT scams.

A+++++ The Chamber PR machine is in full force spreading the corporate love of VW, another taxpayer robbery.

Pilot and TIF are pauperizing Chattanooga, our poverty rate has climbed from 18 to 30 percent, and the population is declining. To save the day, the City began massive annexation under the last administration.

Funds allocated for blighted areas are diverted to private insiders.

Yet, these elected officials carry the lie torch for converting public resources into private capital for VW and private developers. These elected official are a joke, it requires NO talent at all to give $212 million to VW, and continue to tell the public the big lie, that giving taxpayer resources to private corporations is good for us.

Soakya, ain't drinking that Kool-Aid for sure.

July 16, 2013 at 7:15 p.m.
soakya said...

Thanks aae1049. I had a couple of graphs I wish I could have got up. I did ask the author for the research for the economic impact report and I was told the report was the report in its entirety. They simply used standard methodology by using a multiplier. I then sent the author of the report the graphs and the stats and asked them to show me where I was wrong but they have not responded and it has been weeks. Their report does not take into account the entire effects of these agreements and incentives. The problem then becomes the majority of people will only see the report and conclude that it must be working.

July 16, 2013 at 8:26 p.m.
fairmon said...

What is it the UAW will do for the city? People fail to realize that a union has nothing invested in the business and survives at the expense of members. Unions do not make business decisions and can mislead people in saying what they can do.

July 16, 2013 at 11:51 p.m.
ldbf said...

A forum is generally described as a medium for open discussion of ideas. This is not a forum - this is a lecture pushing a one-sided pro-corporate view. Tea party is nothing but a tool for corporate interests, all while claiming to be about We the People.

July 17, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.
fleuredeflorida said...

This is incredibly misleading. "Citizens for Free Markets" is cited as the group that invited this speaker from CEI, yet, the leader of said group is in fact the president of the Chattanooga Tea Party. Apparently unions aren't the only groups that can "mislead" people with misconstrued information and intentions. What exactly is the benefit for these groups in protesting this issue? That's the question that should be asked by the individuals attending this meeting.

July 18, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.
fleuredeflorida said... CEI's listing for this event on their website, which lists Mark West as the president of "Citizens for Free Markets", yet Mark West makes no mention here that he is in fact the organizer of this group in addition to the Chattanooga Tea Party.

July 18, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.
soakya said...

Mr. West, Tell us your position and the Chattanooga Tea Party's position on the federal, state, and local handouts that went to VW and the many other corporations. Should our state and local politicians in partnership with the NGO Chamber be deciding which industries to bring to TN with our tax dollars.

July 18, 2013 at 1:34 p.m.
soakya said...


I went to the staff page and I don't see Mr.West listed. I don't think he has anything to do with CEI.

July 18, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.
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