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Do not subsidize Maryland polluters with tax dollars | READER COMMENTARY

Excess nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay from sources such as the Valley Proteins plant in Dorchester County causes algae blooms such as this one near the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel that robs aquatic life of precious dissolved oxygen. (Ryan C. Henriksen | The Virginian-Pilot).
Excess nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay from sources such as the Valley Proteins plant in Dorchester County causes algae blooms such as this one near the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel that robs aquatic life of precious dissolved oxygen. (Ryan C. Henriksen | The Virginian-Pilot).

I’ve been reading about the $13 million grant given to Valley Proteins to clean up the pollution the company caused and then complained that they couldn’t afford clean it up and stay profitable, which means they will have to close down (”$13M in Maryland taxpayer money headed to Eastern Shore factory with water pollution woes, outraging some lawmakers,” March 11).

So what? The money should be given as a loan with interest to be paid back over time. Treat it like a real loan and the company would be used as collateral. If they have investors, they will take a hit, but investors know the risk when they get into the game of investing. If they default on the loan, better yet, the state takes over the company keeping all the employees and then turn it into a employee-owned business.

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With all the money saved from paying the investors all the time, which is a substantial amount of the profits the company makes, they can give the employees raises on a regular basis and better benefits. Now that the business is not a publicly traded, it will have a lot more money to pay good living wages to themselves, the employee-owners. That sounds good.

This and many other businesses that are too big to fail, or too big to fail for the investors only, can be restructured to work as an employee-run business and then those businesses can operate for years to come taking care of families and not investors.

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Jeff Rew, Columbia

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