Mayor Greg Goodnight- King of Kokomo

Posted on July 17, 2010 by

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As Mayors and Governors throughout the country articulate their plans for the lives of their constituents one has to wonder how all of these plans keep going awry.  In Kokomo, IN, Mayor Greg Goodnight is stifling entrepreneurship with his own special plans for the economy.  He admonishes the division of labor and the benefits of trade by his actions, filching taxpayer wealth in order to install government vehicles with “green” grease guzzlers.  He praises the city government’s lending program that crowds out private lending and the local bank’s free market activities (relatively speaking “free” market, as in liberated not cost-less).

In his “State of the City” address Mr. Goodnight starts out solemn, and progressively sounds angrier as he expounds upon his plans for the lives of his constituents.  “Some of us would be perfectly happy with doing nothing” he admonishes.  Sure, Mr. Goodnight, that may be the case for many people.  However, a 15-20 percent unemployment under YOUR regime may be a sign that you’ve done quite enough.  Goodnight’s “Reach Higher” program has assisted nine businesses, essentially undermining local lending and encouraging bad accounts receivable business practices.

A superficial analysis of this situation could lead someone to praise a program like this.  “Alas” one might shout, “what a remarkable thing this government has done!”  However, economist of old, Frederic Bastiat, may have something to teach Mayors like Greg Goodnight.   It is easy to sing praises to that which is seen, businesses getting loans to fix their cash flow problems, but what is unseen is often ignored or treated as a separate issue altogether.

Kokomo Comics has been a mainstay in Kokomo for about the past 27 years.  Last week my brother and I drove past the shop and it was closed.  It was the middle of the day.  The note on the door was rueful and apologetic to a steady customer base that seemed to dwindle in these economic hard times.  After a gallant effort the owner decided to call it quits.

To the eternal regret of business owners in Kokomo, Mayor Goodnight is not through yet!  He is just getting started.

We captured $50,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture to establish an Emerging Business Revolving Loan Fund for small businesses. Also, in 2009 our city’s Technology & Industry Revolving Loan Fund lent out more than $700,000, which helped create and retain more than 90 jobs.

Though people like Mayor Goodnight may consider it the epitome of achievement to capture funding from the government, and surely it is a challenge, this is all part of the problem.  Perpetual lending to prop up failing business practices at the expense of competing businesses is not going to solve our economic problems! Businesses need to feel the stress and change.  In order for Kokomo to compete in the future there must not be this perpetual bailing out of flawed business models.

However, I don’t want to sound like I am being too harsh on Mr. Goodnight.  After all, it is the Federal government and not State and Local governments that cause business cycles.  When the Federal Government expands the monetary supply it creates a dis-coordination in the economy.  Unnaturally low interest rates reduces individual’s tendency to save (because of the lower payments from saving) and increases that same person’s incentive to consume.  We are now in what economists call a “trough,” the part of the business cycle that is marked with high unemployment.

Should Greg Goodnight be blamed for things he has little to no power to control?  Well, according to his remarkable speech he believes he does have the power to change the circumstances and economic conditions of Kokomo.  To a certain extent he does.  However, his overblown sense of ability is a testament to his economic ignorance.  He is little more than a mouthpiece for government Federal and State government entities.  He is at their whim.

Watching his speech you’ll see how he repetitively brags about the funding he captures from different sources.  The Federal Government is mentioned quite a few time.  His success as a mayor seems to be little more than his success at rallying for other people’s money, or a partial return of the money that we as citizens payed in taxes to the Federal Government.  What benefits are Kokomo citizens really getting from this situation?

Annexation is a tool that this mayor is using to more successfully rally for more Federal money.  While I firmly believe that getting more tax revenues back from the Federal Government is a good thing, I do not think annexation and the aggrandizement of mayor Goodnight’s power is how we should achieve that goal.  There is a better way.

Instead of creating a local tyrant the tea party movement and ANY liberty loving movement needs to join a national effort to get Federal Spending nullified.  Annexation is the result of unconstitutional Federal power that Mayor Goodnight is a party to.  When local tyranny and local action as the result of Federal tyranny occurs, it becomes our duty to vote out those who participate in this tyranny.  Mr. Goodnight, you want change?  Prepare to get a good heaping of it!

-George Edwards-

Update:  If you have a similar story to submit about a local situation, send it to geoedwar@gmail.com, or post it in the comment section and i’ll put in on the front page.  Any requests to publish this on a newspaper or website is granted, but please post a link and e-mail me to notify me.

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Posted in: Kokomo Politics