"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Is Google Really a Sweet Deal for Jackson County Alabama, or is it "Hemlock?" Update is needed - Transparency is Important!

Google Data Center in Douglas County Georgia .Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary.

UPDATE: February 5, 2015 - Google’s director of global infrastructure explains why Google has planned its 14th data center — a $600 million capital investment — in rural north Alabama. 

Photo opportunities for politicians do not always mean a benefit for taxpayers. Governor Bentley at the Widows Creek site. Photo by State of Alabama, Fair-Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary.

There is a moral to this story - When you place secrecy and corporate Amerika before American taxpayers and transparent governance, it usually costs the taxpayers big bucks, often with a limited return.
Public TVA Photo Map of the Widows Creek "Data Center Site" Fair Use rights for non-profit news reporting and commentary.

Is the Google deal as sweet as we are being led to believe?

Let's look at some history involving TVA, Jackson County, Weissner Enterprises, Google and who knows who else, it is a secret deal. Sometimes secrecy is not such a good deal for those who have to pay for the secrecy and infra-structure, previous article on this blog: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2015/06/jackson-county-commission-june-22-2015.html

Hemlock poisoning, yes strange but true, Hemlock Semi-conductors, Clarksville, Tn. New site of Google - http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2015/12/21/tennessee-silcon-plant-may-become-google-data-center/  Coincidence, the company dies before it starts and it is named Hemlock, hmmm? Think about this, 2 data centers in the TVA area?

Meanwhile back at the Jackson County Google ranch, some speculation and thoughts. The county entered into a secret agreement with Weissner Enterprises, LLC, the shell company representing Google, in what had to be infra-structure improvements. The 1% tax deal died, has the Google deal died with it or do I see a county bond is sue on the horizon?  Soon after the 1% county tax referendum died, Google announced the Hemlock deal up in Clarksville, Tn. Google would have never considered this area if not for the high speed fiber optics installed by the North Alabama Electric Co-op.

Let's pay attention to some other factors, employment by Google. Google is one of the largest importers of foreign workers - H-1B Visa program, "“Over the years the program has become a government-assisted way for employers to bring in cheaper foreign labor...Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama said American schools are graduating twice as many students specializing in science, technology, engineering and math than there are jobs to fill in those specialties...“It has nothing to do with trying to find the best and brightest,” Sessions said of the H-1B visa program’s proposed expansion."   http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/03/18/google-eric-schmidt-congress-h-1b-visa-economy-immigration-tech-workers/

It is all about cheap labor, free property, free infra-structure. All costing the tax-payers, that includes local taxpayers, big expenses. It is time for some transparency on this, secrecy can only go so far. Propaganda is a player in this, as is in Clarksville, Tn. This is not about providing hundreds, even ten local jobs, nor is it about increasing taxes for the area as Google will receive numerous tax benefits at the expense of Jackson County residents. There has to be a known, stated benefit for the citizens of Jackson County, not just freebies for one of the largest corporations in the world.

Money does not grow on trees, politicians and their corporate masters cannot continue to pick us dry. Photo Art by "ColoradoPeakPolitics.com" Fair Use for non-profit news and commentary.

Confidentiality is important in these deals, but there is a limit.  Particularly when it will cost the local taxpayers millions of dollars and increase debt. Secret deals and confidential transactions at citizens expense is no substitute for transparency and good governance. It is the taxpayers who will pay the bill.
I hope all works out for everyone involved in the Google deal. Just remember politicians and appointed officials of Alabama, Jackson County and local municipalities, you work for us the people, not a corporation, you might want to think about giving citizens an update.
See the update at the top.of the page.

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