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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Look who's talking, Part II: Revenge of The Shiny People

When Jon Talton lied in the Arizona Republic, telling you that Maroney's Dry Cleaning store on Central Avenue had not been killed by Trolley construction, when it fact it had, I wrote this:
The trolley is killing long-established businesses up and down its route, and the green-cheese-heads who inflicted it on us, along with all the other doomed Downtown 'investments,' don't dare admit this and dozens of other obvious truths. They use Soviet-style propaganda to afflict us with Soviet-style 'improvements.'

The next step in the game will be to plead with you to go out of your way to 'support' the businesses that are nope-no-way-uh-uh-never not being hurt by trolley construction. And that is propaganda perfection, Soviet-style, to tell two self-contradicting lies in one moondacious exhortation, challenging you--on pain of being declared a counter-revolutionary wrecker--to question anything you are told.

Phoenix can survive Jon Talton, as odious as he is. And we will overcome the stupid mistakes of the moondacious green-cheese-heads Downtown. But I'm not sure that any good thing can thrive in a place where public discourse consists of nothing but lies, and where anyone who dares to whisper the truth is shouted down and, in then end, self-censored.
The other shoe dropped today. That same Republic editorial page that warned you all about liars this Sunday just past, today issues the very lies I predicted:
Businesses along the construction route bear the brunt of a program that will benefit the Valley for decades to come. All of us should appreciate their sacrifice through these challenging times.
Their "sacrifice" will be to be destroyed. The actual purpose of all of this massive destruction of wealth is to provide upscale amenities for the people talk-radio host Bob Mohan used to call The Shiny People. The downscale businesses in the path of the Trolley will not survive, nor are they meant to survive.

This is important to understand, because again it's the seen and the unseen. The planned "improvements" around which the Trolley is the lynch-pin will not be nearly as nice as predicted, but they will be very nice, especially from the point of view of The Shiny People. But their cost will be a huge, permanent and on-going destruction of wealth, robbing the Valley of everything that might have been done with the expropriated land and money, of all the opportunity costs occasioned by that expropriation, and of all the leveraged future benefits of profit-making investments, as contrasted with the on-going wealth-destruction of profit-devouring government boondoggles.

What will be seen will be all the fun new places for rich people to play – at taxpayer expense. What will not be seen is all the wealth-producing businesses that were destroyed, nor the wealth-producing investments that might have been built instead, if the City had not robbed it citizens of their money, their land and the future taxable value of that land.

An honest newspaper would at least report both sides of this story. But as the Republic itself admits:
[O]nce truth becomes malleable, once lies become facts and facts become lies, then we make ourselves suckers for every con man, every flimflam artist, every propagandist whose schemes may range from petty theft to the takeover of an entire body politic.
When we finally think to ask, "Who crashed the Phoenix?," the best answer will be: The Arizona Republic.

posted by Greg Swann | 9:37 AM  


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