Gee, I’m a tree

Most of the things we do have some sort of payoff. May we feel lighter because we just heard a good joke, “A nun, a priest, an Irishman, a Scotsman, a rabbi and a blonde walk into a bar. “The bartender looks at them and asks, ‘Is this some kind of joke?’”

The payoff for the good things you do for others is better self esteem and a feeling that you’ve contributed in some way. Contribution always pays off. It makes you feel good. A present to someone, the happiness you bring them; taking care of a loved one, the love in return; the satisfaction, the meditative affect it brings you.

Think about it, everything you do has some sort of payoff even if it is a lesson in life or why you shouldn’t do that again.

Incentive and awards have been around for a long time. The retirement watch and pension for working for a company for most of your life and the trophy, even though your team came in last place.

When I coached baseball, our team and all the rest would get a trophy at the end of the season whether they won or not. I’ve often wondered if the snack at the end of the game meant more than the game itself. I remember one little guy whose famous words right before his bat was “do I have to?” He spent more time sitting on the ball bucket than he did playing, because he just didn’t enjoy the game, but he did enjoy the snack after the game and the camaraderie he was part of during the game. The payoff.

It makes you feel pretty good when you see how much you saved on your groceries after the cashier swipes your card – even better when you present those coupons you’ve been saving. “You’ve save $32 today. Thanks for shopping Kroger’s.” The payoff.

Lottery? Easy one. But the payoff could just be anticipation, right? And even a $10 win makes you feel good.

How about large incentives that affect the entire community? Are these incentives worth it? Will they make you happy? I say yes, although indirectly.

Lowered taxes, increased services, better ratings for our schools, the Planning Commission turning down an amusement park on our street or how about more jobs in the area? Those payoffs float all boats. More jobs mean more money to float around the community, especially businesses. Employed peopled keep businesses open; restaurants thriving and bring better roads or even sidewalks, due to an influx of cash into the local economy.

You want that coveted Olive Garden to open on West Hundred Road or even in Meadowbrook? Nice short drive for unlimited salad and bread sticks. The payoff from more jobs is more rooftops, which restaurants count on. One of the problems in southeastern Chesterfield; why we don’t get a bigger piece of the county’s pie; improved school buildings or quality anything; we don’t generate anything to the scale of a Midlothian.

I know we don’t want a Midlo, but we sure want some of their benefits. And, now we should know how to do it better (no title loan businesses would help, and an added meals tax wouldn’t help.) It the public participated and the growth needed came along we could manipulate a community bar-none – A least architecturally. Compare Chick-fil-A in Chester and Midlothian. Midlo has a nice brick building, Chester is stucco, the same with the former Uno’s; brick in Midlo and a brick front with concrete block on the other three sides in Chester.

Several years ago I asked the county’s economic director if Chesterfield had tax incentives to lure big businesses to the county. He said no. But that changed, partly due to state participation and partly due to a more progressive policy.

Let’s look at the advantages of tax incentives. Amazon got an incentive package of a reported $5 million over 10 years. Sounds extravagant, but adds 1,000 workers to Chesterfield’s employment base. Sabra Dipping Company, who makes the best hummus in the world, just brought 140 new employees on over the next three years for a total of 500 working at the plant. Between state and local grants the investment was about $2 million. Fifteen-hundred jobs between just two businesses. They also feed other businesses such as United Parcel, car dealerships, restaurants and so on. The payoff.

Think of only the employee portion of the investment. We’ll use the 1,500 jobs at say $12 an hour – probably low. Let’s multiply that by 52 weeks at 40 hours a week. Get your fingers and toes ready. That adds over $3.7 million to the local economy in one year. Amazon got a 10 year deal. So add a zero and that brings the carrot dangling to $37 million. Well Sabra’s in there, too. Either way that adds a minimum $30 million in wages to local employees in addition to the ancillary businesses it creates and others it boosts. No one could possible argue that math, even if they had six toes.

Teacher: “Little Johnny, give me a sentence using the word, ‘geometry.’”

Little Johnny: “A little acorn grew and grew until it finally awoke one day and said, ‘Gee, I’m a tree.’”

Comments

Email addresses for Village News staff

Why aren't the email addresses for you folks listed like they do in the big leagues? I want to ask you about the Rt 10 widening project that was supposed to be completed in October. Here it is 4 June and they are still moving barrels around screwing up traffic.

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