Conspiracy Theorist: 1/26

Theft replaces profits

Mark Luedtke

In his new book about Dayton’s great innovators, “Dayton’s Children,” Mark Martel shows some things never change. Angered at Dayton government’s system of patronage, poor schools and having to pay bribes to get valuable work accomplished, John Patterson confronted his obstructers. “He convoked a meeting of a thousand local leaders, telling them, ‘Dayton is known now, and justly too, I believe, as being the worst city in the state,’” Mark Bernstein writes. After showing pictures of many of the culprits who were in the room, Patterson issued a threat. “NCR would quit Dayton, taking its factory, its 3,800 jobs and its $4 million annual payroll to the East, where it would enjoy lower tax rates, better transportation and ‘have higher class visitors,’” Bernstein continues.

Today, that corrupt system of patronage we call cronyism has run amok. Bribes have been legalized and institutionalized, and the system has been propagandized as economic development. We know the system is worse today because Dayton grew into the 1950s, before government overburdened entrepreneurs to the point where the city began to shrink. NCR finally carried out Patterson’s threat and left. Dayton is still shrinking today as businesses and people flee for greener pastures with lower tax burdens.

But one thing has changed. Cronies don’t have to be giants like NCR to threaten to leave. Because of the institutionalized corruption of government, Patterson’s threat has become a trend.

While Dayton government is the worst locally, that’s why Dayton shrinks while suburbs grow, others are plenty bad. The Dayton Daily News recently reported, “The Miamisburg City Council has approved issuing $400,000 in bonds in an attempt to keep the headquarters of one of the city’s largest employers. The revenue bonds passed Tuesday night would finance the forgivable loan the city has committed to in its efforts to retain Evenflo, keeping nearly 130 workers and creating 20 more jobs.”

Miamisburg’s rulers put taxpayers $400,000 in debt to benefit their cronies at Evenflo.

As they say on The Price is Right, “but that’s not all.” The DDN continues, “Miamisburg is also seeking $200,000 in Economic Development/Government Equity funds toward a $2.3 million project for Evenflo to modernize its office space to satisfy the concerns of its owner.” For political cronies, politicians throw around other people’s money like they’re hosting a game show. Every crony is a winner.

The DDN parrots Dayton’s rulers’ propaganda regarding their crony game show. “The city of Dayton continued its push to retain or grow jobs downtown by approving a $60,000 payment to help a company with office improvements,” it wrote. “Dayton commissioners last week approved contributing the development funds to help Aimia move to 130 W. Second St. from its current home at the PNC building at 6 N. Main St.”

That’s a nice gift of stolen money for Aimia’s crony owners, but it doesn’t benefit the economy. Stealing money from successful businesses and people and giving it to cronies costs jobs.

FYI, if you want to move, don’t bother to apply. These handouts are for cronies only. Our rulers are patting themselves on the back for coming up with a creative new way to enrich their cronies and themselves while pretending to benefit the people. It beats making an honest living.

But the consequences are terrible. Rulers are stealing money from successful people and giving it to unsuccessful business owners, harming the economy. They’re making economic losers into political winners and vice versa. And we wonder why our economy still stinks.

But that’s not all. This sends a message to business owners they don’t need to make a profit. They can work less and be less successful as long as they give money to politicians in return for tax dollars. No need to innovate. No need to invest. Just line the pockets of rulers. That’s what the politicians want.

Some think rulers commit legalized corruption like this because they don’t understand how the economy works or they believe it’s beneficial. The DNN proves otherwise. ”An agreement to bring nearly 300 jobs to West Carrollton has been approved by its city council,” it wrote. “The deal approved by West Carrollton City Council Tuesday night offers several incentives to NuVasive Inc.”

The incentives are local, state and federal tax breaks. Rulers at every level know cutting taxes draws and retains businesses, boosting the economy and benefiting everybody, but it reduces their looting, so they never allow it. They’re not stupid. Like all crooks, they’re greedy.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at

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