Detroit small business closes, cites government bureaucracy, regulations and corporate welfare

Businesses fail all the time, it’s the painful part of capitalism. That being said, small business shouldn’t have the deck stacked against them by the government.

The ‘Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe’ in Midtown Detroit (the growth area in Detroit) failed after being in business for 18 months. The main reason the small business failed is due to competition from big box retailer Whole Food Market and Meijer moving into their area which, by the way, took a whole lot of corporate welfare to make happen.

Via MCT (6/5/2013):

15 years to build a grocery store. Not only 15 years, it also took a whole lot of corporate welfare as well:

Despite the store’s prominent neighbors, it took a lot of heavy lifting to complete the deal. The $12.9 million Whole Foods store was financed with $6.1 million in equity from Ram and Whole Foods. Ram contributed 1.9 acres of land for the store valued at about $1 million, said Peter Cummings, chairman of Ram. The remaining $5.8 million came from state and local grants and the sale of tax credits tied to the project.

Whole Foods should send Michigan taxpayers a big thank-you note.

Even though Whole Foods moved into their neighborhood (with a ton of corporate welfare) our hard working entrepreneurs cite several additional reasons for going under that are worth reviewing:

 “There is no doubt that when (Whole Foods) opened, our sales dropped by 60% and have remained close to that ever since,” the brothers said in statement posted Saturday on the store’s website. “We knew when they announced their store in Detroit that we would have to evolve quickly once they opened.

We were close to acquiring a package liquor license and wanted to expand the craft beer and fine wine which really found a loyal audience,” the statement said. “We designed the store to be a one-stop food and beverage destination but that would take time and money, and with our high labor, leasehold, and utility costs, we couldn’t survive long enough to make the necessary changes and additions.”

“From the beginning, we supported the Whole Foods project because we believed that in the end, the city would need that just as much as our store. No city thrives with one dimensional retail. But in short term it did eliminate our chance. We were also a bit blindsided by the lower pricing structure Whole Foods was able to put in place at the Midtown store.

The State of Michigan bureaucracy slowed the entrepreneurs from obtaining a package liquor licence. Also, the State of Michigan established a Renewable Energy Standard that’s responsible for driving up electrical costs and lastly, the minimum wage law that drives up labor costs.

I wonder workers at Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe would take a temporary pay cut to something less than minimum wage in order to keep their jobs in the long term? Not that the owners of the Butcher Shoppe could make that offer, it’s against the law.

Rule by Bureaucracy: EPA set to pass regulation effectively outlawing construction of any new coal-fired power plant

Since Congress is unwilling to pass any form of “cap-and-trade” legislation, the EPA is taking matters into their own hands and pass new regulations so stringent it will effectively outlaw any construction of new coal fired plants to meet our future energy needs:

Stymied by the GOP’s long resistance to cap-and-trade legislation, the EPA this week began public hearings — the next step toward a final rule — to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new coal plants.

The rule would limit emissions to 1100 pounds per Megawatt hour, a level the coal industry says is technologically unattainable.

Thanks to the wisdom of our countries founders, members of Congress (particullarly the House of Rep’s)  know they will quickly find themselves unemployed if they vote for this green energy nonsense.

Some of the more radical members of Congress are completely down with voting for this nonsense. Noted engineer and member of congress, Henry Waxman (Democrat), scoffs at the notion the new regulations are technically unattainable:

“Opponents say this will prevent ever building another coal-fired plant in the United States today. They say that the technology is not commercially available. These claims are scare tactics,” Rep. HenryWaxman, D-Calif., said in a press conference Thursday outside EPA headquarters in advance of the hearing.

This is B.S.

If the limits were attainable, power companies would approach congress hat in hand asking Congress for funds to offset the difference in cost needed for meeting the new regulations. Since the new targets are not attainable, power companies are not even bothering to try.

Why outlaw coal, since the United States is sitting on vast amounts of coal that will provide the U.S. with a cost effective energy supply for hundreds of years into the future?

Meanwhile, as the United States glides along the green energy path to economic hardship, Europeans who are further ahead in the green energy boondoggle, are coming to the realization that green energy simply doesn’t work. For example, investors are now suing green energy companies in Germany, where many investors haven’t seen their guaranteed dividend checks:

Three broadcasting vans. Ten camera teams. Some 50 journalists. There certainly wasn’t any lack of attention being paid to Carsten Rodbertus last Thursday as he stepped up to the podium in an assembly hall in northern Germany belonging to the renewable energy firm Prokon. And the company founder, with his gray ponytail, didn’t disappoint. The press conference quickly became a spectacle.

Gray ponytail… How fitting. The article continues:

Several hundred employees welcomed Rodbertus with applause and shouts of “bravo” — and that despite the fact that he had brought an insolvency trustee along with him. Still, Robertus insisted that the company was essentially healthy. Recently, he noted, workers had labored “12 days in a row for 12 hours a day” in an attempt to ward off bankruptcy.
The fact that they weren’t successful is, according to Rodbertus, the fault of the company’s investors, who backed the firm to the tune of €1.4 billion ($1.9 billion). Currently, many of them are demanding the returns that they were once promised: at least 6 percent interest per year or a refund of their principle if they wished to back out. Last week, the mounting claims led Prokon to declare bankruptcy — 75,000 stakeholders could be left out in the cold.

Thus far, it is the highest profile failure of a business model that both politicians and investors praised for being doubly beneficial. Not only would investors boost their own accounts, but they would also help the environment at the same time. And because the state guaranteed high feed-in rates for 20 years, the promises made by financial advisors — secure returns with a good conscience — seemed plausible.

Indications are mounting, however, that green capitalism will not be able to meet all expectations. In courts around the country, complaints are mounting from wind park investors who haven’t received a dividend disbursement in years or whose parks went belly up. Consumer protection activists are complaining that many projects are poorly structured and lack transparency. In the renewables sector, fear is spreading that the Prokon bankruptcy — combined with plans for a reduction in the guaranteed feed-in tariff recently released by new German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel — could scare away investors.

These failed wind projects aren’t failing because of poor corporate structured. They are failing because of physics. Remember, there is a reason we went away from wind power once steam power was discovered.

Global warming prognosticators are grasping at straws

First, they said “volcanoes caused the ancient global warming.

Then, they said “no, no, no… Volcanoes cause global cooling.”

Global warming prognosticators are beginning to look as though they are grasping at straws, trying to explain why it was warmer in ancient times than it is today. Thire latest theory? Wildfires.

According to a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, wildfires could explain why the Earth was so hot three million years ago.

Researchers at Yale University found that volatile compounds released by ancient Earth’s forests and smoke from wildfires caused more global warming than atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. This study provides evidence that dynamic atmospheric chemistry is a culprit behind this warm ancient climate.

Nadine Unger of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) and colleagues used an Earth system model to determine the concentrations of tropospheric ozone, aerosol particles, and methane during the mid-Pliocene epoch. They found that these compounds were twice the levels observed in the pre-industrial era because so much more of the planet was covered in forest.

The researchers say that those reactive compounds altered Earth’s radiation balance, helping to contribute to global warming by two to three times more than carbon dioxide. This finding explains why the Earth was 3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the pre-industrial era despite atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide being about the same as today.

Of course, our article closes with the obligatory “we need to stop emitting CO2 or we’re all going to burn in uncontrollable atmospheric oven of global warming.

“We might do a lot of work to reduce air pollution from road vehicle and industrial emissions, but in a warmer future world the natural ecosystems are just going to bring the ozone and aerosol particles right back,” Unger said. “Reducing and preventing the accumulation of fossil-fuel CO2 is the only way to ensure a safe climate future now.”

Sounds like our ‘scientists’ have stopped trying to sound reasonable and are now simply making it up as they go.

Global warming trap 1,000+ people in cars and buses in Siberia

With all the global warming going on, it’s kinda shocking that over 1,000 people need rescuing from all the snow in Siberia:

Belgrade, Serbia — Rescuers, army and police have evacuated more than 1,000 people from cars and buses stranded in deep snow in northern Serbia, but several hundred people still remain stuck, the government said Saturday.

Authorities have closed down snow-hit roads and banned river traffic on the Danube river because of strong winds, said the government statement.

“The Serbian government is urging citizens not to travel until all danger is fully removed,” the statement added.

Remember all the talk how the arctic ice cap will completely melted and navigable by 2050? That looks like another hysterical environmental claim that’s not going to happen.

Low Information Reporters: Where low information voters are created

If you ever wondered where low information voters come from, here’s one place to start: Low information reporters.

Here’s an excerpt from See if you can spot the problem sentence in this excerpt of our MLive reporter recanting Mark Schauer (Democrat) latest campaign speech:

He pledged to fight for a minimum wage increase, restoration of school funding and the earned income tax credit and repeals of pension taxes and right-to-work legislation that banned collecting union dues.

Uhhh, “legislation that banned collecting union dues“? Really?

Michigan’s Right-to-work law only prohibits forcing workers to pay dues to a union:

Right-to-work means that unions can’t require an employee be fired for declining to pay union dues or agency fees, while maintaining a union’s ability to collectively bargain.

You would think a reporter covering Michigan’s Gubernatorial campaign would know what, exactly, Michigan’s right-to-work law actually says. since the right-to-work issue is going to be an important topic in the governor’s race for the next nine months or so.

Global warming fraud: State run by environmental fanatics never planned for long drought

California Democrat Governor declares a statewide drought emergency:

 Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency Friday for California after weeks of intensifying pressure from lawmakers to take action as the state’s water reservoir levels remain strained with no rain in the forecast.

The declaration comes during one of the driest winters on record in California, following two dry years that already have left many reservoirs depleted. The state is facing “perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen” since records began, Brown said during the Friday morning announcement.

Yep, the state run by environmental fanatics never thought to plan for an unusually long drought. These are the people who buy into the whole global warming hoax in the first place.The brilliant Victor Davis Hanson nicely illustrates the absurdity that is the California liberal / environmentalist:

On the topic of keeping attuned with the physical world: if it does not rain (and the “rainy” season is about half over with nothing yet to show for it), the Bay Area and Los Angeles will see some strange things that even Apple, Google, and the new transgendered rest room law cannot fix. We have had two-year droughts, but never in my lifetime three years of no rain or much snow — much less in a California now of 39 million people.  I doubt we will hear much for a while about the past wisdom of emptying our reservoirs and letting the great rivers year-round flow to the Bay to restore mythical 19th-century salmon runs and to save the Delta three-inch bait fish. As long as it was a question of shutting down 250,000 irrigated acres in distant and dusty Mendota or Firebaugh, dumping fresh water in the sea was a good thing. When it now comes down to putting grey water or worse on the bougainvilleas in Menlo Park, or cutting back on that evening shower, I think even those of Silicon Valley will wonder, “What in the hell were we thinking?”

Expanding upon the “what the hell were we thinking” theme, I’m wondering how many Californians are regretting the idea of relying on Mexico to construct massive water desalination plants, then selling the water back to us here in the United States. Via MCT circa 2011:

Mexico may start sending water north as four major U.S. water districts help plan one of two huge desalination plant proposals in Playas de Rosarito, about 15 miles south of San Diego. Combined, they would produce 150 million gallons a day, enough to supply more than 300,000 homes on both sides of the border.

The plants are one strategy by both countries to wean themselves off of the Colorado River, which flows 1,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains to the Sea of Cortez. Decades of friction over the Colorado, in fact, are said to be a hurdle to current desalination negotiations.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have those desalination plants up and running here in the U.S. right about now?

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Glendale AZ Police Charge Man Who Shot at Armed Robbers


“Mervin Brewer, 61, was picking up his wife outside of the Sears at Arrowhead Towne Center when he saw 33-year-old Shaashana Hough [above] allegedly pointing a gun at an unarmed security guard.” Allegedly. Interesting. “Brewer, believing his wife and others were in danger, opened fire, firing four rounds . . . Hough and her alleged accomplice, 35-year-old Michael Hough, fled the area on a motorcycle.” The rounds didn’t hit anyone. The perps were apprehended.

And now . . . “Glendale police said Wednesday that it had recommended charging Brewer with unlawful discharge of a firearm. The charge will be reviewed by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.” Who was it that said no good deed goes unpunished? Before you go to the aid of innocent life think long and hard (and fast) before bringing your gun to bear.

Because somedays the bear chases you.

Nice. Real nice, Glendale police.

A ray of sanity in Detroit: Police Chief says legal gun owners can deter crime

As they say, you can’t argue with the data:

Detroit— If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.

Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.

Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.

“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.

“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”


Fox News getting it wrong: Closing of lead smelting is not ending ammo production

Didn’t this story hit a few weeks ago? Why, yes it did, and MCT covered the misinformation in the Breitbart story at that time.

Today, Fox News is picking up where Breitbart left off:

When the last bullet-producing lead smelter closes its doors on Dec. 31, it will mark a major victory for those who say lead-based ammunition pollutes the environment, but others warn ‘green’ bullets will cost more, drive up copper prices and do little to help conservation.

Bullet-producing lead smelter? Huh?

Doe Run is / was a raw material processor that refined lead ore from mines and formed it into ingots. This material is then shipped to other companies for further processing (i.e. extruding the lead into wire for manufacturing).

Whether by state or federal regulation, or by market forces, lead bullets will be all but phased out within a few years in favor of so-called green bullets, experts say.

As far as market forces are concerned, the closure of Doe Run lead smelting will have little effect on the overall market prices for ammo. As, pointed out previously, the United States is a net importer of lead, so there is a very good chance that ammo producers such as Federal are already using imported lead in their products today.

When it comes to the federal government banning ammo, that is a different problem altogether.

Lastly, our intrepid reporter jumps off the deep end about copper scarcity due to ammo manufacturers switching to copper cores to replace lead.

The Treasury Department already wants to discontinue the penny due to the cost of producing it. A rising cost of copper will only add impetus to that, and might encourage them to repeat the response to a copper shortage during WWII, and produce pennies from steel.

Uh, what? Pennies are already 97.5% zinc.

The alloy remained 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc until 1982, when the composition was changed to 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper (copper-plated zinc).

Somebody needs to fact check our loose cannon reporter.