Council Approves Taxpayer Parking Structure for McWhinney – Grand Station is Back

In 2007 Loveland’s City Council was asked to allow use of Centerra “public” funds to construct an $80 million parking garage for a private McWhinney development.  Chad McWhinney’s dream to build vertically a “densified” project fell-apart despite the subsidy after all he could attract was a bowling alley and Mexican restaurant from Ft. Collins.

His partners in Promenade sued him for competing against them (it was later foreclosed when McWhinney and Poag McEwen failed to pay creditors) and now McWhinney has tricked the City Council into subsidizing yet another attempt to lure retailers out of the mall he lost to foreclosure – all at our expense.

Back to the justification.  Our beloved newspaper the Reporter-Herald dutifully ran two prior stories this time about a “mystery” fortune 500 employer ready to bring hundreds of jobs if only the city would allow McWhinney to build a parking garage using our public dollars – the false choice again.

You don’t need to read our entire story but please watch the two meeting video clips and also study the map revealing where the city’s sales tax revenue really comes from – not substantially from Centerra.  In one video , McWhinney’s representative fails to give any percent or number of parking stalls that Agrium (the mystery employer) will require in the garage only saying it will be extremely low – meaning not really hundreds of employees coming as promised before Chad McWhinney pulls her off the stage.

The other video clip is Chad McWhinney speaking bolderdash about the MFA (2004 agreement with the city) and nobody on the council willing to challenge him.  As a citizen of Loveland it is embarrassing to watch.  It is clear the subsidy is for McWhinney to build 400 more apartments (he made a ton from the last subsidy for multi-family), more retail to lure existing retailers away from Promenade and another hotel not to mention another office building.

No requirements to bring jobs (like vNet), no requirement of balance to ensure retail actually raises tax revenue to city and especially absent is any protection for existing commercial building owners in Loveland to protect them from McWhinney using his taxpayer subsidized complex to poach their tenants.

Mayor Pro Tem John Fogle was absent but the remaining 8 voted unanimously to amend the MFA once again – allowing taxpayer money to build a parking garage on parcel 206 plus failing to call back any Bass Pro related subsidy.  What are they thinking?

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33 Responses to Council Approves Taxpayer Parking Structure for McWhinney – Grand Station is Back

  1. Nancy Rumfelt says:

    TIF’s and URA’s have become THE tool for crony capitalists such as Chad McWhinney to privatize profits and subsidize losses.

    McWhinney’s core business is development of land into residential and commercial buildings which they then sell or manage for a profit. Why use up corporate resources to fund the operations of your business when taxpayers can be forced to fund your company?

    The city council was not tricked into voting for ANOTHER tax subsidy to the McWhinney dynasty – the city council happily approved another corporate welfare check to be written to Chad.

    The bigger issue is the amount of property tax that is funneled to the URA for payment of debt instead of going to the school district and the county to fund operations.

    Government does not create wealth – government devours wealth.
    This is why it is so critical to have elected officials who understand the proper and limited role of government.

    I am very disappointed that not ONE councilor was willing to say NO to crony capitalism and to tell the McWhinney’s to fund the growth/profitability of their company using their own assets.

  2. Carol says:

    maybe the worst is I heard Chad McWhinney say the current term is too short for them to repay their debt so he needs another few decades instead of the 11 years left.

    • Admin says:

      Carol, that is an excellent point. Troy Krenning opened the door to maybe renegotiating the agreement and Chad McWhinney agreed because he knows this crowd is clueless.

      Even for those who philosophically supported the 2004 agreement, it appears this current city council completely misunderstands the purpose of the 2004 MFA and how it was negotiated.

      It was to entice McWhinney to build and attract RETAIL into Loveland to “substantially increase sales tax revenue” for the city. Office buildings and apartment houses within the Urban Renewal and tax free area are generally a net loss for the city (and especially schools, county etc…) so those were LIMITED.

      Now, 12 years later, that balance between the carrot and stick is completely misunderstood and this council is giving the horse the entire bag of carrots while breaking their stick in half. In other words, what is their end game?

      The architects of the 2004 MFA at least had a specific goal of creating some substantial sales tax revenue for the city. McWhinney failed to meet those numbers so will carefully avoid any discussion of that metric and instead talk about total sales in Centerra which is irrelevant.

      As of 11-2015 the year-to-date sales tax revenue for the city, McWhinney’s $600 million in diverted taxes maybe bought a 15% of the city’s sales tax revenue while occupying arguably the best locations for retail in the city. 83% of the sales tax revenue is being developed everywhere else in the city outside Promenade and Centerra.

      Chad McWhinney didn’t even start claiming the agreement was to bring jobs until after Cecil Gutierrez and Kent Solt were elected complaining about lack of primary jobs by the previous council’s 2004 MFA. Despite what McWhinney now claims, jobs are not mentioned anywhere in the agreement.

      Since nobody on the city council has read the agreement, McWhinney can claim it stands for just about anything whenever he proposes a new ADDITIONAL subsidy over the $600 million already provided for 25 years.

      In the meantime, the rest of Loveland continues to pay increasing fees, fines, utilities and local taxes to cover the city’s growing cost of services to Centerra businesses and residents.

  3. Carol says:

    Admin please explain something. The tax map http://lovelandpolitics.com/images/lovelandsalestax.jpg
    shows the Orhards Shopping Center and King Soopers on Taft (Thompson Valley) together generate more annual sales tax revenue to the city than ALL OF CENTERRA? I pay 1% more in Centerra how can that be?

    • Admin says:

      Carol, go back and look at our 2009 story detailing how retail sales taxes are collected in Centerra.

      http://lovelandpolitics.com/McWhinneycrisis29.html

      So most everyone else is generally collecting 3% of retail sales tax for the city while Centerra I believe is 1.75% or around that number. In other words, if all of Centerra (area Loveland defines as Centerra) from the RV Park to I-25 was not there and the other half of Factory Outlet Mall was full again, the taxes to the city would be the same. Imagine if private development had been allowed what the city revenue could have been?

      Loveland Commercial’s Thompson Valley shopping center (Taft and 402) and Orchard’s (29th & 287) collect together more than all of what Loveland now defines as Centerra because they were built using private not public dollars. In addition, they pay property taxes which Ceterra largely does not since 97% is diverted back to McWhinney’s metro districts under a phony urban renewal scheme.

      In Centerra, the parking lots, signs and other normally privately funded infrastructure is being paid for using public debt that needs to be repaid with diverted future sales taxes (PIF) and other “fees” you pay that really act like a tax. To hide the impact of these fees on the consumer the City of Loveland simply discounts its own sales tax collection by 40%.

      So, the developers of Orchards and Thompson shopping centers paid for the private part of their infrastructure while McWhinney’s Centerra instead uses public debt. This allows McWhinney to turn around and sell the publicly funded private development at huge profits while developers elsewhere in Loveland absorb the cost over many years in financing their projects so even if they sell at a profit need to repay any private debt incurred while McWhinney’s public debt is left for taxpayers.

      The difference buys McWhinney new jet aircraft, high-speed racing boats and residences in Bora Bora where they like to spend time in the winter. It isn’t rocket science.

      Just like a pyramid scheme, however, the scheme requires more and more public debt and development to generate fees to repay the public debt already acquired at $128 million as of Dec. 2014. Because McWhinney doesn’t have a clear path to do that within the 11 years remaining on the MFA without raising their mill levy to unsustainable levels – they want to build more projects and extend their agreement with the city. Like any pyramid scheme, it all comes apart if they stop bringing in new investors (revenue) since those who lent the first money are only being paid interest and will now expect their principle back as well.

  4. RC says:

    Everyone in the region gives sales tax rebates to big retail developers. How do you expect Loveland to compete AND GET ANY development. If they cannot offer sales tax incentives or even build apartments and resturants that employers want close by their buildings? You missed the point completely.

    • Admin says:

      Welcome to the discussion RC.

      Centerra is a double whammy because the city, county, schools, ambulance district, and everyone else relying on property taxes are hurt by development in Centerra because 97% of the property taxes are diverted back to McWhinney under a phony urban renewal scheme.

      The State Legislature had to outlaw the practice of pretending ag land is urban – closing the door on any further abuse by McWhinney and Loveland of urban renewal laws. But they closed the door after Centerra was created in 2004.

      What that means is the 2004 MFA (unlike all other incentives in Loveland) provides McWhinney 97% of property taxes collected. For an office building that is about the only revenue the city gets (increased property taxes) so the 2004 MFA was not structured to benefit the city if it is used to build residential and office complexes.

      We are not arguing the sales tax reduction needs to be removed only pointing out that Centerra’s contribution to city revenue is embarrassingly small when compared to the public monies used to build it and the $128 million in public debt Thompson Valley shopping center and Orchard’s Shopping Centers did not cost the city to generate the roughly same amount of revenue.

      The lack of critical thinking by our elected officials and reluctance to consult an independent outside consulting firm to do a cost vs. benefits analysis means the madness continues.

      Remember, they just signed a blank check for using more public debt for a private improvement (tens of millions) without any conditions upon McWhinney to actually build x amount of retail, limit the number of apartments or even define what jobs they must attract. Remember, Brad Kelly (Cumberland & Western) was forced to sign a deed restriction when he bought the old Agilent campus on S. Taft to tightly regulate what type of tenants he is allowed to lease space to for 5 years.

  5. RC says:

    I get your point. Is there any chance of educating the council before the second reading? Why can’t they place a deed restriction to prevent McWhinney from building 1,000 apartments instead of retails and office space? I develop MF and never thought to ask any of the cities where I build to pay for our parking spaces!

  6. Greg Snyder says:

    Educating the Council would require an honest and competent City Attorney and City Manager. Loveland has neither. We apparently also do not have council members who understand basic business and economics. They remind me of the RNC……

  7. Johnathon says:

    I disagree. They are all compassionate and smart people who want to help our community. On downtown it sometimes just takes some one-on-one time and gentle nudging. You just need to decide what you are asking them for before your meeting and keep the message clear so they understand.

    • Admin says:

      Jonathan,

      Perhaps the most valid criticism I have received lately is to be called crazy for believing these decisions have anything to do with merit instead of simply being a political calculus by politically minded people making them.

      Members of this City Council can well articulate many reasons why they will not approve subsidies for multi-family housing or even office building developments. Multi-family is being built without incentives everywhere (due to demand) while thousands of feet of both retail and office space sit empty in Loveland.

      They told Don Macy (apartment developer) to pound sand when he asked for fair treatment on CEF’s like they discounted McWhinney projects. In fact, Mayor Pro Tem Fogle’s argument was that the prior subsidy to McWhinney was only justified due to the downturn but no longer. Well, how can he now defend city taxpayers covering 100% of the guest parking requirements for a new 400 unit apartment complex which will compete with Macy’s non-government subsided units?

      McWhinney hasn’t agreed to any strictures which prevent them from stealing literally every employer, retailer and restaurant right out from under the South Catalyst project. Councilwoman Shaffer begging McWhinney for help and advice on that failed city venture is like the farmer begging the wolf to check the fencing inside his hen house. Sound extreme? Not at all when it comes to Chad McWhinney.

      Read our fratricide story and see how he tried to do exactly that with the Embassy Suites hotel against the county while “advising” them on their project. Incidentally, he later hired the county staff person helping him, Jay Hardy, who would later run the developer’s local lobbying efforts.

      http://lovelandpolitics.com/emabssysuit.html

  8. Gary says:

    Fox not wolf. Foxes steals chickens

  9. Nope says:

    Since “Greg Snyder” hates the RNC does that mean he condones the anti-semitism of Hillary (Not Rodham) Clinton and THE REPORTER-HERALD?

  10. Which side am I on today? says:

    Hugh wants to run for the State House, on the Republican ticket? Is Hugh really the right person to run? Hugh, of all the council members you know better and you broke this communities trust. If you can’t stop the corporate welfare in the City of Loveland how the hell are you going to stop it at the Capital? Hugh you are not as principled minded as everyone thought you were. You did not represent the tax payers of this Community with your vote.

    Let’s not forget about Don Overcash who has been on council for a few weeks he just voted to give away millions of tax payers dollars…

  11. Greg Snyder says:

    It is tough to walk to the beat of a different drummer, especially when your ego deems it to be most important that you are accepted by those who are either “cool” or in positions of power. Look what they are doing to Ted Cruz because he doesn’t drink the Progressive big government philosophy kool aide of the RNC.

  12. Gary says:

    What are you talking about? the progressives are even worse! Patricia Stryker cut a deal with Troy McWhinney to do business together in FoCo and Leah Johnson and Rich Ball are a couple of cheerleaders for corporate welfare now! It makes me sick to my stomach. I knew Cecil was a sell-out but Leah really made me believe she would be different so I terribly regret supporting her campaign.

    • Greg Snyder says:

      If you look closely you may understand that the Democrats have morphed into a complete socialist party, now identified by the original name of “Progressive”. The leadership of the Republican Party, realizing that their power and funding originates in an expanding government, is playing the same shell game they have for the past 60 years in proposing to “for the base” during elections but immediately becoming “Democrat lite” once elected. Cory Gardner is a great example. He promised to reduce government, lower taxes, roll back Obamacare, and implement many of the other items proposed by the Liberty movement, but instead became a sock puppet for the RNC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (pardon my redundancy) once he took office. When he came through Ft Collins on his victory lap after being elected to the Senate I asked him face to face if he was going to represent the C of C or Coloradoans. His reply was that “he would do what is right”, to which I asked “For whom?” but did not get a response.
      Yes Democrats were formerly the leaders in misrepresentation nationally and still are in local races but the RNC is presenting some pretty serious challenges. Meanwhile, those of us who work hard, pay our taxes, and support a real economy (not one based upon the play money from the Fed) keep getting pushed to the back of the line and forced to carry the load while the cronies get richer and more powerful.

  13. Eric Sutherland says:

    The real question to be answered here … who is going to pay the remainder of the principle and interest on debt created by a metro district? Will it be the taxpayers of the Thompson School District, City of Loveland, Larimer County and State of Colorado? Or will the bank that bought the note be made to eat a bad investment?

    If the Loveland City Council (sitting as the URA Board) simply decided to end payments to the metro district, no one would have any remedy through the courts. The courts may not order specific performance against the URA or the city. The pledge of revenues in the MFA does not comport with the URA statutes. A URA’s debts may not be covered by the City. Nothing that the URA can do would affect the City’s credit rating, nor does the City need to worry about its credit rating for the simple fact that it would be in a much stronger financial postion if the subsidies were to end.

    To wit … this screwed up mess is only perpetuated by a bunch of officials who have no idea what their options really are. This bunch of officials includes the Larimer County Commissioners, who have standing to claim injury caused by the payments of tax increment in a manner that does not comply with state law. They won’t even think about it. The citizens of Loveland and southern Larimer County need to seriously consider whether Tom Donnelly deserves another 4 years.

    On two separate occasions, Donnelly and his buddies have actually sanctioned the use of property tax increment, even though they knew this would reduce County revenues. In one of those situations, Timnaths use of TIF to pay for a $15 million stormwater boondoggle, there is a real good chance that Timnath will stiff the County leaving “feepayers” paying millions more to retire a loan that only the “feepayers” are contractually required to repay. (No one in Timnath is paying any fees.) In other words, this whole antipathy that the BoCC sometimes displays for TIF is quite insincere.

  14. Norm says:

    As a longtime READER only of this blog it troubles me the direction it seems to be headed. Having been born and raised in Europe I have a different view. Any macro economic discussion by Americans becomes highly political. The focus is always over distribution of wealth because so few people seem to be familiar with efficiencies in macro economics and how everyone benefits from those efficiencies.

    Americans in particular have come to understand almost everything through the lens of the left-right divide in American politics. Science has obviously not been exempt from this trend, as the fights over evolution, climate science, cosmology, vaccination, and GMO crops have shown (no word yet on whether Newton’s Laws of Motion are commie scum or fascist bastards). Economics, with all its public policy implications, never had any chance of escaping the tribalist wave. Even basic economic numbers are subject to partisan disagreement…at least until people are paid to get them right. And then there’s the partisan bias in economic forecasts, trade agreements and local government tif.

    As for my second observation – that people understand arguments for redistribution but don’t understand efficiency arguments – I have no hard data to back that one up. My observation comes from long experience and countless interactions with friends and relatives and even this website.

    Here is a hint. Attacking people over political affiliations and the purely of their philosophies is boring. I don’t care that Greg Snyder finds his Republican leaders elected to office ideologically impure and not from the “Liberty” crusade. I don’t care that Gary sees his socialist friends become corporate pawns for McWhinney and I especially don’t care about all the people Eric Sutherland hates because they don’t agree with his jailhouse lawyer interpretations of laws he doesn’t understand.

    What happened to regular people commenting on your stories? What happened to limiting the length of the comment and how about some Editorial privilege in removing or cutting down the diatribes nobody cares to read?

    This blog has become the shining example of why readers of the Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald can sigh relief our Editor takes out all this nonsense so readers’ good senses are not attack by the same tired old American tribal arguments. Nobody cares to hear from these people anywhere else so please show a little discretion and maybe regular people like myself will feel more welcome to contribute.

    Please edit those comments!

    • Eric Sutherland says:

      I have often wondered .. do they declare farmland to be urban blight in other places … like Europe? Having left no stone unturned in my search for historical information, it appears that the Urban Renewal Statutes in Colorado were legislated to cure the ills associated with blight and slum conditions. In other words, no one would think twice about the expenditure of public money derived from and expended upon redevelopment of areas that had fallen into decay. Ironically, those areas that would widely be regarded to be blighted are the least likely to be included in a URA plan area. To me that smacks of inefficiency, not idealogy.
      The politics of our region and even the nation have very, very little to do with a left-right divide anymore. The idealogy of most people who care to engage these days, (an always decreasing number) is generally characterised more by how compromised their ethical values are.

      • Admin says:

        Eric, that is like asking whether people in Europe use a flat head screwdriver for a phillips screw; maybe accidently but certainly nobody intends to since it’s the wrong tool.

        It is important to reiterate that urban renewal is not simply the use of tif (tax increment financing) to modernize an older part of a community. It is specifically intended for “blight” which must be a “menace” to the community.

        Many larger cities suffer from lost revenue to areas that are expensive to police and because of the poverty and use of the buildings become a financial LIABILITY to the community. The idea behind TIF is to allow a developer to take-over the property and rebuild it into something better using, in part, the future property tax revenues on the higher value of the property.

        The reason this makes sense is because the city is LOSING money already in its current use. Therefore, an improved use with law-abiding tenants means the city is no longer policing the drugs, prostitution or other problems so the base taxes they collect also become profitable again for the community.

        If an older building is not a MENACE to the community and the property taxes generate more income than the community is spending than it does not qualify for urban renewal. While many communities have abused this law Loveland took that abuse to a new level with McWhinney.

        In a normal urban renewal program, the improved value could increase property values by 40% meaning the base value of 60% still generates revenue for the city as before except the improved use means it is no longer a drain on city services (general fund). By declaring any farmland the McWhinney’s inherit or buy as a “menace to the community” under urban renewal laws Loveland has changed the equation.

        That is why McWhinney’s Centerra collects 97% of the property taxes for “urban blight” in Centerra every year. Any value increase after the urban renewal designation was established they get to keep and the city the balance. Instead of a 60/40 split it becomes a 97/3 split. So it is the same for the city as if the property was never developed at least from a property tax perspective.

        McWhinney than uses that 97% to repay debt, manage the district and supposedly build regional transportation improvements. Unfortunately, through a series of amendments to the MFA McWhinney has largely absconded with those monies by getting relief from subsiquent councils from their obligations to improve regional transportation and other promised improvements.

        It didn’t happen in most communities because local officials were unwilling to commit fraud. Before declaring an area eligible for tif under urban renewal laws the council must first make a finding that the property is a known ” blight” and a “menace” to the health, welfare and safety of their community.

        Unfortunately, our mayor and many on council are willing to rise to a certain level of dishonesty in abusing the trust of their position to please the McWhinnneys. In this case, only a charlatan could pretend open farmland is blight. Due to this ongoing abuse of their discretion in Loveland and the McWhinney’s attempt to corrupt other communities the State Legislature was forced to step-in and curb the abuse.

        The only real antidote to this type of abuse by local officials of their office is an informed electorate. Unfortunately, the Loveland Reporter-Herald has chosen to not take a stand against the abuse of urban renewal laws and most citizens are simply unaware of what is going on.

        Until people start to pay closer attention and demand ethics at the local level of government, Loveland will be governed by McWhinneycrats whose decisions are based on their last private meeting with the McWhinneys instead of what is in the interest of this community at large.

    • Admin says:

      Norm, welcome to the discussion. It is authentic and not contrived. Therefore, anyone can promote or defend the ideals they believe without concern for an editor’s pen striking a key phrase.

      We do hope to promote a conversation regarding current issues instead of just a billboard for people to post their worldview or slam someone they do ‘t like. Since the comments are not edited we don’t always achieve our objective.

      You are welcome to join the conversation. And hopefully stimulate an interesting discussion.

  15. Jacki says:

    Does anyone know the legalities of giving false testimony at a City Council meeting? Specifically I am asking if City staff testifying that the McWhinneys would be bringing a “new” employer to Loveland, while knowing that Agrium / Crop Production Services Inc is already in Loveland and that they have offices right down the street, is that illegal? Is the approval of funding the garage void because the public was deprived that information before the vote was taken?
    The public and presumably City Council themselves cannot properly comment or raise questions and concerns if the information given is incorrect. I did speak at the 1/5 meeting. However what I said would have been different had I known that Agrium is already in Centerra. This is not a new company. I drove by Agrium’s offices yesterday and the proposed new development site. Building a garage for a developer to build more office buildings and apartments is not Public Improvement. Those monies should be returned to the citizens of Loveland before being used under false pretense. That unanimous vote should be voided and the public should be invited to comment after full and accurate disclosure is provided.
    What are the legal remedies, does anyone know?

    • Admin says:

      Jacki,

      That vote is only an administrative matter. If enough people show-up and speak I think it can be changed at the second reading (if there is one scheduled).

      One option is to have the City Council deed restrict the parcel so McWhinney may not bring any existing tenants (businesses) already in Loveland or attract anyone already sign-up for the South Catalyst.

      McWhinney will fight any such restriction which exposes their real ambition is not to attract new retail to Loveland but steal from Promenade (which they lost to foreclosure) and adjacent shopping areas.

      • Jacki says:

        Thanks for your input, the January 5th meeting may have been the second reading. The first reading may have been the 12/1/2015 meeting. My memory of the 12/1/15 meeting is that the renderings and the information given by city staff and representatives of the McWhinneys led people, at least me, to believe that the new development would include a new to Loveland employer with 300+ jobs of an average salary of $70,000 – $75,000. Included in this new development would be retail, restaurants and some entertainment. That is not the same development description as what was approved on 1/5/16. On 1/5/16, Chad McWhinney specifically stated that there would be very little sales tax revenue generated. In response to employee salary, the Agrium representative made some statement as to their expectation to qualify for a State tax credit. Which is not the same as 300+ jobs in the $70,000 – $75,000 range.
        Are city employees required to give accurate information? Are City Council members obligated to correct inaccurate information? Literally the topic of a new development with a “new to Loveland employer” was introduced by a city employee. How can the public voice be heard if we aren’t told the truth, with the truth being accurate and full disclosure? This is a sham and a mockery of “public input”with the citizens of Loveland being the losers.

        • Admin says:

          Jacki,

          The action was a resolution so doesn’t require a second reading from what we can see. Normally, a resolution is used by local legislative bodies to express an opinion so is less formal. They also convened as the URA board in taking the action. Below is the city’s agenda item from the January 5, 2016 meeting.

          16. CITY ATTORNEY (presenter: Tami Yellico) CENTERRA MFA PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS
          1. A Motion To Adopt Resolution #R-5-2016 A Resolution of the Loveland City Council Approving the Seventh Amendment to the Centerra Master Financing and Intergovernmental Agreement
          2. A Motion To Adopt Resolution #R-6-2016 A Resolution of the Loveland Urban Renewal Authority Approving the Seventh Amendment to the Centerra Master Financing and Intergovernmental Agreement
          These resolutions are administrative actions to approve the proposed Seventh Amendment to the Centerra Master Financing and Intergovernmental Agreement (“MFA”) to amend the MFA to designate the public parking structure on Parcel 206 as a Local Improvement and to either impose certain restrictions on the Service District’s authority to construct the Parcel 505 Parking Improvements as a Local Improvement permitted by MFA Section 1.54, as set forth in version one of the Amendment, or to eliminate the Parcel 505 Parking Improvements as a Local Improvement permitted by MFA Section 1.54, as set forth in version two of the Amendment.

  16. Greg Snyder says:

    Norm: At the risk of calling down the wrath of the administrator of this site upon myself, can you give me an example of where European style socialism (you call it efficiency) has led to long term betterment of any society. Taking from the individual to reward the group leads to stagnation, apathy, and sloth. Take some time to read the works of George Orwell or of Hayek and maybe you can also be enlightened as to really help humanity advance.

    • Norm says:

      Finland. But that wasn’t what I meant by efficiencies. Advances in technologies and distribution methodologies all impact our standards of living and are increasingly important to macro economics. You need to stop seeing everything through your narrow prism of right (good) and left (bad). Keep an open mind and remember culture plays an important role in why a capitalist country like India is so poor and socialist countries like Norway and Finland are so wealthy.

      • Greg Snyder says:

        The Scandinavian countries fared well with their socialism as long as the population was small and had a work ethic. The unfortunate problem socialism has is humanity. Once something is given that is not earned the parasites flock to it and the producers flee. Margaret Thatcher’s comment about the flaw of socialism is indisputable truth……

  17. Carol says:

    I heard a rumor that Tom Lucero is jumping into the House District 51 race in the primary against councilor Hugh McKean. Conservatives will be excited to see a non-McWhinney sponsored candidate. Admin- did you know about this and when can we expect a story?

    • Admin says:

      Carol, we also heard Lucero might throw his hat in the ring but have not verified that information with him directly. If true, we will indeed provide our readers a news story about the primary candidates.

    • Larry Sarner says:

      I don’t know what kind of hyphenated conservative Mr Lucero can now claim to be, but his record proves out that it will not be my kind. Ten years ago, he helped pass Ref C, the (GOP) governor-led blowout of TABOR. Five years later, running for Congress, he defended his repudiation of TABOR with some of the lamest, pro-insider reasoning imaginable.

      Councillor McKean (along with three others) has some serious explaining to do about his latest McWhinney-enabling vote. But even without a satisfactory explanation from him, Mr Lucero is certainly not an acceptable alternative for the statehouse by my lights.

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