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Opinion

December 20, 2012

Amphenol 'incentives' are misguided

You report we’re giving $28 million to Amphenol, ostensibly to move to higher ground in Sidney.

A New York Times investigation concluded that giving to corporations does little to affect jobs or location. They found that “states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies” — 1.5 times the amount of the “fiscal cliff” cuts.

New York state gives away $4.06 billion per year to corporations, which costs an average of $210 per New Yorker.

You reported Delaware County is raising taxes 3.9 percent, an increase of more than $1 million. It gave $2 million to Amphenol — roughly twice our increase in taxes. This is an average of $48.69 per taxable parcel, or $42.05 per man, woman and child living in Delaware County.

Amphenol is primarily a military contractor.

Amphenol is in the top three private employers in Delaware County, one of two which are primarily unionized and therefore paying decently.

Since the “incentives” likely won’t make any difference, why do we do it?

If there is some reason to give them money, why don’t we buy voting shares so that we’d have a say in their decisions? Amphenol shares are about $61. If the county instead bought shares, it would have 33,000, roughly equal to one share for every man, woman and child in Delaware County.

Since the United States is perpetually at war and spends somewhere between 40 percent and 50 percent of the world’s military expenditures, Amphenol’s stocks are probably a good bet, if not a moral one.

There is a governing system characterized by using the military power of the state to support and defend democratically unaccountable corporations. It’s called fascism — which we fought an horrific war to defeat.

Happy New Year,

Michael Kaufman

Bovina

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