The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Los Angeles:
Another shameless handout to big developers

Feb 19, 2007

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and City Council both overwhelmingly voted to subsidize the “Grand Avenue Project,” which includes a five-star hotel, two residential high-rises with 2,000 luxury apartments and hundreds of offices and retail shops.

This is no small handout. The city and county politicians are giving the developers prime land, acquired half a century ago with taxpayer money, when the Bunker Hill neighborhood of downtown L.A. was cleared. Plus, the politicians are writing off hotel and parking taxes for 20 years, officially estimated at 66 million dollars.

And this is certainly not an exception. Another project planned for downtown, called “L.A. Live,” for example, has already been granted a subsidy of 300 million dollars. And, as is usually the case, there will undoubtedly be more handouts after the work on these projects begins.

Hundreds of million of dollars of taxpayer money given away to big corporations, who are already swimming in profits! Handed out to them by the same politicians who have been dismantling the county health care system that serves the uninsured; who let 40 or more children cram in one classroom in working-class neighborhoods; who close libraries and parks; who cut every public service working people need, claiming there is no money!

The money is obviously there – but politicians reserve it for their rich buddies. Or at least they will so long as the laboring population doesn’t intervene with its own forces.