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Voters Have Trouble Believing Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce members say the darndest things. Today's laugh line comes from David Owen, president of the South Dakota Chamber, discussing his disappointment with the failure of Referred Law 14, Governor Dennis Daugaard's corporate welfare plan:

The biggest problem for the voters is they didn’t believe us [David Owen, quoted by Anna Jauhola, "Chamber Chief: Voters Didn't Believe Arguments," Mitchell Daily Republic, 2012.12.12].

No, Dave, that wasn't a problem for voters. That was a problem for you, your corporate pals holding out their hands, and the Governor who was left without a new slush fund from which he'd already promised millions of dollars.

Owen sounds like he's falling for the usual Republican fallacy: losing an election doesn't mean we were wrong; we just didn't market our sterling ideas effectively. He thinks that if he and the Chamber just "do a better job of showing the public what we do," we the public will just heap tax dollars upon them.

I propose that the public—or at least the 330,000 South Dakotans who showed up to vote on Referred Law 14 and other issues last month—understand quite well what the plutocracy does, professing faith in the free market yet averring that they can't turn a profit without government handouts. And 58% of those voters rejected that trickle-up economics and told big corporations to get their hands out of our pockets.

But you know, Dave, if you think you need help getting your message out, give me a call. I can offer voters even more lucid explanations of the Chamber's commitment to capitalism.


  1. Donald Pay 2012.12.13

    What came across in the article was how much the business community feels entitled to that money. They think taxpayer funds ought to go to them for greating jobs. When quasi-socialist payoffs to large business is an expected part of doing business in South Dakota, maybe a Mercerist definition of socialism could be applied.

  2. Jana 2012.12.13

    I wonder if it was about believing in the program or about trust. It would be interesting to see what, if any, research was done post election.

  3. Douglas Wiken 2012.12.13

    Non Sequitur cartoon was good a day or two ago. Bunch of (probably South Dakota Republican) cats lounging around a house on sofa, on floor, lurking by kitchen, old lady in kitchen, one cat says, "I was all set to secede, but then she opened a can of tuna."

  4. Charlie Johnson 2012.12.13

    State government should stick to what is basic-provide good infrastructure and high quality education. Everything should take care of itself in business recruitment. If special interests want to provide handouts--I say "Have a bake sale to raise the funds".

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