Friday, October 21, 2011

A Firm From Nantucket

Joseph DiStefano had an interesting entry on his PhillyDeals blog Wednesday (published in the paper yesterday).  "Corbett:  Why PA gave millions to Janney," focuses on Janney Montgomery Scott, a financial firm that has been in Philadelphia for more than 100 years.  The Philly corporate hq employes over 500 people, and the firm has over 95 offices in 15 states.  These are good jobs and I'm glad they are in here in our area.

However, recently, when the firm's office lease was coming up they started making noises about moving elsewhere, perhaps south to Delaware.   To keep them here Gov. Corbett gave them $11.5 million.  So when your local schools cut programs and your neighbors get booted off the state's low cost health insurance for the poor and the bridges you drive over every day start to sag, remember that our elected officials have their priorities in order and gave over $11 million in grants to a profitable private company who decided to hit the state up for money in hard times.

Should you read some time in the next few years about Janney promoting themselves as a local firm or bragging about being good local citizens, remember that they blackmailed us when we were hurting.  If Janney makes some charitable donations and plays them up in the press, remember that unless the amount is over $11 million they're still coming out ahead. 

Or, to put it in verse:

We're Janney Montgomery Scott
Sentimental or loyal we're not
If you don't pay
We'll go away
Give us all the money you've got

To be fair I don't really understand these tax abatements and rent breaks to companies.  I only know that a lot of people in the state have lost their jobs and health insurance or have had to close their small business.  And we're giving money to a financial firm.  The optics are bad.

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