Letter writer opposes corporate-welfare deal for Crestwood mall

To the editor:

A letter to the editor last week said that Crestwood citizens need to get behind the mall project — period.

Might I encourage that we continue to think critically about it, please? Desperation rarely leads to good decisions, especially when the wolves are at the door licking their lips.

Complaints about the nature and type of development aside, I don’t understand how a city agreeing to hand over roughly $25 million in tax revenue in a tax-increment financing deal — or corporate-welfare deal, more accurately— makes economic sense.

I want to see the mall redeveloped, like most people in Crestwood.

I understand that there’s lots of disagreement about what would and would not be appropriate, but I would hope that whatever it is, it will be so economically viable that the millionaire venture capitalists at UrbanStreet will decide to build it with their own money, instead of mortgaging my city’s future for their rich-men’s investment-project.

Would you buy a rundown classic car on sale with a plan to let it sit and crumble unless someone else forked over 10 to 15 times your purchase price to get it running again?

Probably not, because you know that the mythical “bailout,” “stimulus” and “redevelopment” money is only available for big corporate players, not citizens.

After all, they’re the ones who pay for the politicians’ campaigns who go on to write all those nice laws for them. Laws that for over 30 years have codified and paved the way for these robber-barons to roll into every town and city in America and write checks from their budgets, all the while talking about what great capitalists they are and what huge risks they — millionaires all — are taking.

The so-called-stadium deal, a fresh sting for St. Louisans last week, is another example of this same corporatist nonsense — an infinitely funded organization trying to make a struggling city pick up their check.

I think it’s time for Americans — and especially our elected officials — to stop letting our cities get fleeced by carpet-bagging corporations and limited liability companies that are trying to harvest our publicly held assets.

There are other people who are also telling it like it is. Some are even running for president.

I just wish more of us were listening.