Why Politicians Should Never Run Anything Of Any Kind–XXXV


   Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut.
After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.’ The florist was pleased and left the shop. When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.’ The cop was happy and left the shop.The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door
Then a politician came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The politician was very happy and left the shop.The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen politicians lined up waiting for a free haircut.

  Politician call it seed money, but nothing ever grows.

National Post


Liberals willing to pay additional $65M for building

Ontario’s vaunted public private innovation hub is on the verge of defaulting on a $234-million provincial government loan, according to Liberal cabinet documents released by the opposition Progressive Conservatives Thursday.

MaRS, which first opened on University Avenue just south of College in 2005, has been unable to find tenants for an adjacent tower it later built on government credit.

To prevent a default, the provincial Liberal government is now prepared to swallow that loan,
while spending another $65-million to buy the building outright, plus millions more to turn most of its barren concrete interior into government offices, the documents suggest.


    The politicians make a mistake–the taxpayers pay.

“Failure to act will likely result in a MaRS event of default, foreclosure and fiscal writedowns,” says a cabinet briefing prepared by the ministries of infrastructure, and research and innovation at the end April.

That briefing, along with a longer report prepared for the Treasury Board, were leaked to outgoing Conservative MPP Frank Klees. Mr. Klees in turn released the documents to the media early Thursday.

The PCs have styled the proposal a “$317-million bailout,” while Premier Kathleen Wynne called it “a real estate deal” that would allow the government consolidate its offices in Toronto and help MaRS “move to phase two” of its development.

The story dominated the provincial election campaign Thursday. But lost in the furor was how MaRS came to own the tower at the corner of College and University in the first place.

On the outside, the building is a striking glass Jenga tower of jutting angles and uneven stories. But on the inside it remains predominantly unfinished and unused. According to government documents, just 27% of the building — which stretches to 20 floors — is currently in use. From a side staircase Thursday, floor after floor of undeveloped concrete was visible through the windows. Above the sixth storey, the building seemed almost deserted, barring the occasional construction worker.

MaRS, a federal charity much praised for its mix of business acumen and hard science, finished the first phase of its institute in 2005. It stopped work on phase two, the 780,000-square-foot glass tower, in 2008 when demand for commercial real estate in the city cratered. “We don’t want to build an empty building,” Randal Froebelius, MaRS’ then vice-president of real estate told the National Post at the time.

Construction began again in 2011 when the Liberal government, through Infrastructure Ontario, offered MaRS a $224-million loan. At the time, the government defended the funding as an almost unassailable investment. “We’ve never had a default,” Lucas Gerber, a spokesman for Infrastructure Ontario, told the Post.

By the time work on the tower finished in early 2014, though, few tenants had been secured. Of those that had, the two largest, Public Health Ontario and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, were both, like the building itself, fully funded by the province.


     We’ve never had a default because those blessed taxpayers bail us out.

By this spring, with little rental revenue coming in, MaRS was unable make its payments on the Infrastructure Ontario loan, according to the documents. To prevent a messy and publicly embarrassing default, the government entered negotiations to buy the building from MaRS and Alexandria Real Estate, the U.S. company responsible for the building — and to this point marketing — of the tower.


     Called a cover up, lie, inconvenient truth, smoke and mirrors, legerdemain, political reasoning, and etc.

Should the deal go through — a closing date in July is cited in the documents, though Ms. Wynne insists nothing has been signed — the tower would retain the MaRS brand. But the large majority of its offices would be occupied, not by private-sector innovators, but provincial government employees.


      More offices for government employees. At least it wasn’t a complete waste. As an old sportscaster used to say, “Whadda joke.”

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies



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