So let me get this straight: The taxpayers of Maryland laid out millions of dollars so General Motors can hire 25 people to make electric engines for cars made in South Korea to be sold only in California and Oregon ("Electric Slide," Mobtown Beat, May 30)! WOW!
This is the result of environmental wackos making laws on the West Coast that uninspired elected officials on the East Coast lay out our bucks for and take credit for for being green. If this doesn't prove that one-party leadership in Maryland is a very bad thing, what will? The only good thing in this is that Baltimore County will never have to make good on their part of the bargain!
I found your opinion piece "Electric Slide" misinformed and negative, and it shows why you failed economics in college. Investments in manufacturing create two types of jobs: "primary"-the 25-jobs estimate you cite-and "secondary," which you failed to consider.
Investment in a new electric-motor plant creates an incentive to build additional manufacturing capacity for other industrial applications that could use the electric motors produced by the GM plant, including not just GM cars but other domestic and internal brands, and for use in trucks, forklifts, tractors, and anywhere else a 130-horsepower, 400-foot-torque motor is needed. Those "secondary" jobs will include those at other manufacturing facilities for other applications, truck drivers, and diners, and lunch counters who benefit from the business generated by the plant.
I would rather see those jobs happen here in Baltimore, and not China, India, Japan, or South Carolina, and the only way that will happen is by investment by those willing to take the risk that the future demand for electric motors will be strong. And those investments with higher risk sometimes yield higher rewards, which is another economic principle that you apparently never learned.
Finally, I would rather have the money go to high-paying jobs in manufacturing then low-paying jobs at a casino, stadium, racetrack, or convention center. To me and most people who understand economics, this is a sound investment.
I have no stake in the matter at all, but felt the need to send a rebuttal to the dumbest opinion piece I have ever read.
Ed Ericson responds : Thanks for your opinion. My story was a news piece. The question of the number of jobs created by this investment-$100-plus million on the government side-is of primary concern. The parties themselves made much higher estimates of "primary" jobs at the time the factory was planned and subsidized. Most of those jobs, as I reported, have not materialized. Make of that what you will, but it isn't my opinion. It just is.
Mick Kipp, R.I.P.
Editor's note: Baltimore lost a true original this week when Mick Kipp, known as a bartender at Pickles, a maker and seller of hot sauces, a pirate, man about town, and an all-around great guy, died of cardiac arrest. Below is an excerpt of the obituary that Charlie Vascellaro, a CP contributer and friend of Kipp's wrote for the website, along with a few of the many comments posted by readers. To read the full obituary and all comments, go to citypaper.com/mick.
"That big collec tive groan you may have heard or felt reverberating through the city this week was for the loss of one of Baltimore's most loving and well-loved citizens, everyone's friend Mick Kipp (City Paper's "Best Pirate," 2004). A long-time bartender at Pickles Pub across the street from Oriole Park and fixture on the city's culinary/market scene, "Whiskey Island Mick" aka "Mick T. Pirate" Kipp, made a name for himself selling hot sauces and spices of his own creation all over town. A three-time survivor of Hodgkin's disease, Mick was a frequent fund-raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. He died of cardiac arrest the day after completing a 30-mile hike on the C&O Canal at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia."