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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A "Progressive" Defense of Public Corruption

NYC Blogger Jonathan Geeting considers himself an expert on ... well ... everything. He particularly loves to see public money thrown at cities (he calls them urban cores) even if it's taken from other cities and old boroughs without any kind of prior notice. I'm not going to get into that debate, but instead want to point to his defense of public corruption, so long as it's "progressive."

It started the other day, when I criticized the nominees to Allentown's NIZ Board, suggesting that a few of them will use their positions to make themselves even richer. Geeting asked, "So what would be an example of something that a person on the ACIDA board could do to enrich themselves that would not also be good for Allentown?"

Incredibly, he actually argues that the use of public power for personal enrichment is justified so long as it also enriches the "urban core."

He follows that up with this question on his own blog, which he calls a "challenge" for NIZ critics. "Can you come up with an example of a development project that would make an individual Board member filthy rich but have no net benefit whatsoever for the city of Allentown?"

Public corruption is never justified even if it might incidentally benefit Allentown, too.


Anonymous said...


On the national stage we see "Fast and Furious" is OK to.

Scott Armstrong

Jon Geeting said...

When people head over to the link, they'll see that it's a thought experiment, not a defense of public corruption.

My point is that if somebody's going to put up a building, even if they're getting filthy filthy rich, Allentown still has that building. Businesses are going to use it for office space, their employees will be customers of area businesses, and the whole city is better off for this. There's almost nothing you could do that wouldn't add value.

Personally, I think the idea that people are going to use this board to enrich themselves is hilarious, given how many other members are there to scrutinize these projects, how much media attention the board will get, and because of basic professional ethics that you see in every non-profit organization, where it's standard practice for board members to recuse themselves from voting on things where you have a conflict of interest. To believe that ACIDA board will be any different is just paranoid.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like the secret deal Angle and Stoffa made with Chrin to get a favorable TIF vote.

Anonymous said...


One more note, Geeting's post is a good example of the institutional defense the left will provide to excuse or mitigate the malfeasance of their elected officials. Try to find similar behavior by Republican's for Pat Browne's actions. I don't see it, instead I see expressed outrage by local conservatives.
Integrity requires one to do what is correct without bias. What are we to make of anyone who rails only against those he /she disagrees with?

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jonathan, pin it whichever way you want. It is a defense of public corruption, for which you should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Geeting is predictable and that's what makes his blog neither educational nor entertaining.

ironpigpen said...

What do you want from a guy who first operated under the title


Anonymous said...

Seems like only yesterday WHAT-AM-I-GETTINGS-FROM-BIG-GOVERNMENT was just telling us all how the ANTHONY WEINER SCANDAL was no big deal.

Of course, I am now banned from comenting there ...


Anonymous said...

Hope and change requires lots of backroom dealing among big people in order to benefit little people (who weren't tossed from the NIZ as undesirable to the Pawlowski regime).

It's a weird brew of lefty trickle up economics (e.g. unemployment extensions are stimulus) and left trickle-down economics (e.g. make exactly the same corrupt deals with rich dudes that you excoriate the right for doing, and throw a program at the great unwashed with someone else's money). That's why we're told we have to pass bills in order to see what's in them.

Geeting's doublespeak validates Orwell every day.

Anonymous said...

As I've said before, cities are funtionally obsolete.
The density of people and enterprise that once drove the reason fore their existence now provdes nothing but an opportunity for high efficiency corruption and crime.
I propose a "hospice" approach to cities. Let them fade away in an orderly manner.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we know what he said. Now what is YOUR argument? Why post hit pieces on some guy and then not even have the courtesy to follow it up with a rebuttal?