Crony Capitalism

Don Sorchych, my view

(Note from the publisher: I want to apologize for missing our April Fool front page, “Snor’n Snews.” It has been a long standing tradition and well received by our readers. We are working to replace Wes Grunden and await a new reporter in a week. Thanks to the wonderful two ladies who are filling in, Maja Peirce and Macie Williams.)

cro·ny cap·i·tal·ism1 (noun):

“Is an economic system characterized by close, mutually advantageous relationships between business leaders and government officials.”

This is where governments begin to rot whether the government is local, county, state or national.

We have had a fair amount of corporate capitalism (CC) here in Cave Creek and Washington is known for the practice.

From Wikipedia:

“Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism.[1][2] Crony capitalism is believed to arise when business cronyism and related self-serving behavior by businesses or business people spills over into politics and government,[3] or when self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.”

“The term “crony capitalism” made a significant impact in the public arena as an explanation of the Asian financial crisis.[4] It is also used to describe governmental decisions favoring “cronies” of governmental officials. In this context, the term is often used interchangeably with corporate welfare; to the extent that there is a difference, it may be the extent to which a government action can be said to benefit individuals rather than entire industries.”

There are thousands of examples of CC so it is a widely used practice. Notice, for example, politician’s net worth seems to growth although the gains are not based on salary.

Since we don’t pay council members here they probably reap no financial gain from their position but gains are possible from decisions favoring certain businesses. I hope not.

However, why does the town staff close our roads for four businesses on the west side of Cave Creek Road? And especially since they typically need parking because they pack their parking lots with out of town businesses while local bricks and mortar businesses suffer losses on the best business days. And worst of all, the 80 percent of town citizens who don’t want roads closed suffer delays using the only road in and out of town. It is not even close to being fair.

How did this happen? Especially the Roadhouse and Hideaway benefit from these town “permissions.” In some cases the events were primarily due to Adam Stein’s planning but Town Manager Peter Jankowski apparently approved his actions.

The current council appears to be wakening and most new council members made promises about road closures only being allowed for Wild West Days, Fiesta Days and Cactus Shadow’s Home Coming Parade.

Current council seems to be afraid to make strict decisions and move on. It turns out that the town already had controlled a small part of the problem but CC had reared it’s head. Any event four days or more were supposed to seek council approval. Stein admitted with a red face that he broke four events to “two times two” events and avoided council approval.

With Jankowski’s support council voted in a development agreement for a barrel sign in front of the Roadhouse. What Jankowski didn’t tell the council is that it is 100 percent on town property and so we the citizens own the liability if someone hits hit.

So why is it still there?

In the recent council election our next mayor, Ernie Bunch, refused to promise not to close roads in spite of that fact it is classic CC. So I assumed other council members who pledged to stop closing roads will out vote him out. The council has done nothing.

So I would like to repeat my offer to support a qualified candidate for mayor to recall Crony Capitalism Bunch. My cell phone number is 602 315 5964. Office is 480 488 2021 Ext. 25.

Council member Kathryn Biko Royer wrote a letter and published it on Facebook. In the letter she essentially bragged about the council and Town Manager Carrie Dyrek for renting the crosswalk signs on Cave Creek Road and calls it a “Pedestrian Safety Measure.” It may be, but how about drivers? Every one I have talked to has had a similar experience. The signs, printed by an idiot, makes the STOP bigger than the other text and so drivers stop before they read “for pedestrians” nearly causing rear end accidents. One man followed a driver who stopped at every sign. Those signs are a menace to drivers!