Hell's Angels?

In a story on TheNerve.org Eric Ward reports that the usual suspects, SC State Representatives Bobby Harrell, Kenny Bingham, Dwight Loftis, Joan Brady, David Thomas, and others are pushing a bill to give credits to high risk investors at taxpayer expense–up to $5 million worth per year.

So, according to some legislators, the solution to our economic woes is out-and-out FASCISM. H. 3779 provides incentives to invest in, and removes a substantial amount of the risk for, risky investments for wealthy people who invest in start-up companies very early on.  The taxpayer subsidized credits come into play no matter how the investments perform.  If highly profitable, this special class of wealthy elites still gets a third of their initial investment piled on top the first pile of money they’ve made.

What we’ve got here, ladies and gentlemen, is a case of preemptive bail-outs!

Aimed right at wealthy people, the low end cut-off is described by the bill:

“The Securities and Exchange Commission accredits angels and defines them as investors with either a net worth of at least $1 million, not including their primary residence; an individual income of $200,000 or more per year; or, for married angels, combined incomes of $300,000 or more yearly, according to Andrea Marshall, executive administrator of Charleston Angel Partners.”

So, even if a bunch of us po’ folks got together and put our money up in a pile to invest, we just don’t rate according to the elites like Kenny Bingham and Bobby Harrell.  Equality under the law?  What’s that?

But then, the usual old excuses of keeping the state “competitive” against other states doing the same thing are brought up.  I’m sure they’d be eager to be first to jump off a cliff if other state legislatures were considering it.  In that particular case, however, I’d support their rationale and buy them running shoes so as to be sure to get up a good momentum for the leap.

And do not consider it a mere coincidence that the people in power will be winning many friends among the corporate welfare elites. Elections can be expensive and staying in power in the General Assembly usually means just throwing enough money out there to fool people into thinking that a “true conservative” is running for re-election.  Those most able to contribute and help raise money are considered valuable commodities among the corrupt politicians in the General Assembly.

The only way this state will truly stomp the competition out there is to not give into the “bribe and tax” schemes of other states. Such legislation comes and goes and is always needing lobbyists to facilitate the money flow. What we need is a concrete application of a level playing field.

Perhaps we can start with an equality under the law amendment to the SC State Constitution mandating that no branch of industry nor class of people is favored over another. If a company is looking for a home where they know that they’re treated equally under the law according to the state’s guarantee in the constitution, we’d not only have a more moral and ethical government, we’d also have a more stable, thriving marketplace in which businesses can safely plan and compete.

Build equality under the law and the jobs will come.

Please read the story at TheNerve.org: