Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Planned Economies and Maine Seafood Processors

Anyone who wonders why planned economies are so evil needs look no further than the experience of Lyndon Smith. Maine's Economic and Community Development Department is perverting the free market among seafood processors by providing grants to processors to whom banks won't lend money because the processors are too vulnerable financially. This puts the processors who are able to swing a bank loan at a competitive disadvantage. Once again, government favors those who are failing in business in order to increase dependency on government, and expand the power of the political elite. And the whole economy suffers for it, especially the working class.

Lyndon Smith noted the competitors were able to buy new cookers and do renovations to make their businesses more efficient and thus be able to lower their operating costs.

"I built my business myself. When I need money, I have to go to Camden National Bank. I can't get government grants," he said.

"I don't mind if someone sets up shop next to me and competes. I do mind if my tax dollars are going to people who compete against me," Smith added.

Bounty employs five people, down from 10.
"“I don't know how much longer I can keep the doors open," Smith said.

He noted he built his business from the ground up, putting in as many as 20 hours of work each day. He said he does not want to get government grants and feels the government should not be aiding other businesses in this way.

Jeff Fitzgerald, a planner with the Hancock County Planning Commission in Ellsworth, said he understands the frustration of Smith but that the program in Hancock County was not creating new competition but simply allowing existing small, at-home processors to remain in business.

Jeff Fitzgerald should be fired, along with the rest of the Hancock County Planning Commission and the entire staff of the Economic and Community Development Department. Their positions should not be filled with new employees; indeed, these government functions should be shut down. Planned economies have never worked. The plight of Lyndon Smith proves it.

There's no telling if Lyndon Smith would be able to stay in business without having the power of the state giving advantage to his politically-approved competitors. But he, along with all the other small businesses in Maine, deserves the chance to try.



Linking to: Freedom Watch, historymike's musings, Common Folk Using Common Sense, Stingray