Here in Missoula, the greed of the developers never ends. I’ve ‘bitched’ about it for years, to no avail.
Yesterday the Missoula City Council voted 8-3 to allow $1.8 million in bonding for the new $25 million hotel that was just built downtown.
$1.2 million of that will go to that developer to reimburse them for some of the costs of doing their massive project. The other $600,000 goes to relocating utility lines.
It’s called the AC Hotel and is run by Marriot. While it’s true the hotel industry suffered terribly this past year, the truth is that Marriot has more than enough money to pay for all of their own construction.
The company had over $10 billion in sales last year, yet had $-267 million in net income. Sounds bad, but the year before they had over $20 billion in sales and $1.3 billion in net income. Their stock is selling for $150 a share, exactly where it was pre-pandemic.
Stockman Bank agreed to carry the bonds for Missoula. You’ll remember that the bank - with billions in assets - got millions from the city for their new bank building a few years ago as well.
There’s a lot of greed in society, and we can see that quite clearly in downtown Missoula. If you’re a big corporation, why spend over $1 million on aspects of your project when you know you can just threaten to build somewhere else and the financially-desperate city will cave and pay you?
Missoula has been setting that precedent for years.
Almost 27,000 people in Missoula County have been fully vaccinated.
The health officials want 70% to 80% of people vaccinated, so that means 84,000 to 96,000 of the 120,000 people in the county “would need to get vaccinated in order to suppress the virus.”
That means we have to get 69,000 more people vaccinated if we want to get to the high-end of the county’s estimate.
- Do you think that’s going to happen?
- How long would that take to happen?
- What happens if they do get to 80%, but the virus still pops up?
- What happens if fully-vaccinated people still get the virus?
Republic Services is responsible for trash collection here in Missoula. They have a virtual monopoly.
The other day they were out picking up trash along the interstate, even though it’s not their job, nor is it their trash.
“Most of that garbage that you see on I-90 is actually from the general public blowing out of vehicles,” Republic Services municipal manager Chad Bauer said.
Neither the city or the county wants to clean it up, saying it’s the state’s job. The Montana Department of Transportation actually didn’t know whose job it was, when contacted by TV reporters.
Three months into the Gianforte administration, and I guess this is the kind of ‘ease-of-access’ to information the public can expect from its state agencies, the ‘transparency’ that the governor talked-up while campaigning.
Apple is delaying production of new MacBook’s and iPad’s. Samsung won’t be making new phones for a few months. Nearly all of Big Auto is idling plants because they can’t get semiconductors and chips.
Factory shutdowns last year created such a lack of fabric that most home furniture can’t be produced. Cryptocurrency mining is creating such a demand for graphics cards that high-end computers can no longer be produced.
It’s not just lack of materials, but shipping headaches as well...and that was long before the stuck-ship mess. Bike and hot tub makers are shipping their parts in by air so they don’t have to wait a month for them to come via ship, which would create further bottlenecks in the supply/demand chain, but also drives up prices for the finished product. Seafood and cheese from around the world is rotting away in container ships that can’t get into crowded ports.
It’s the breakdown of the world supply-chain, and it’s creating turmoil with an already tumultuous supply-demand economy that’s been out-of-whack for over a year now.
I have no confidence in the economy and feel the only thing propping it up is the Fed and their money printing and sitting on interest rates. How long can that continue, and what happens when the Fed stops its meddling?
Most don’t want to think about it, but some are preparing. I can't help but think of the story involving the grasshopper and the ants.