permit-requiredMy two articles last week focused on the impending economic doom of El Paso and the resulting tax increases. I believe that it has become obvious that the tax increases are needed because El Paso government officials have refused to acknowledge the ample evidence of economic strife and instead are hoping to spend their way out of the chaos. Because so much evidence exists, some may wonder how it is possible that all government officials could be that stupid to not notice. If not all, why are some not stepping forth to argue for the taxpayers?

Because it comes down to a simple fact that I have previously pointed out; the fact that to control taxation in El Paso would directly affect the pocketbooks of many of the people that put the elected officials into office in the first place. Simply put, the only significant business activity in El Paso is related to taxpayer-funded businesses. For the architects, the engineering firms and the lawyers there is no other way to make a comfortable living if not for the city, county and school district building frenzies. Without them, they would simply disappear into oblivion.

Look at the sources for the political contributions in the latest upcoming election cycle and you get a clear picture of why elected officials would rather spend your money then look for tax saving opportunities.

Many of you are familiar with the Reagan trickle-down economics model. The idea being that as money is allowed to flourish unimpeded in the higher wage brackets the benefits trickle down to the lower wage brackets. In the case of the El Paso, the economic model is more of an economic spiral where the lower echelons feed the next level up until it reaches to the top. The problem with this economic spiral is that the money never trickles down fully, but instead it feeds an insatiable machine that consumes the majority only parsing out small chunks to keep the wheels greased so the money continues to flow upwards. It is no coincidence that this is the way money goes up the chain in the drug world.

Enough money is allowed to trickle down from the overlords through the different spirals giving each level just enough to keep the machine fed. The first level under the overlords, of course, is composed of the political class that allows the machine to continue on its feeding frenzy. Under the politicians are the people that make up the companies that cycle the money upwards to the overlords. These are the architects, the engineers and of course, the lawyers that help grease the way up. From there ever smaller morsels trickle down to the government entities that employ the majority of the labor of the city. These public employees are the single most important enablers of the never-ending economic spiral of El Paso. It is they that vote the politicos into office and it is they that help keep the shenanigans secret.

Without the public employees, the El Paso overlords would not be taking advantage of the taxpayers. The sad part is that not only do the public employees keep the machine in place but they are also part of the taxpayers that help feed them. In essence, they perpetuate the scam but are not able to get out of supporting it because it would mean ending their own livelihood and dealing with the realities of El Paso not having a sustainable economy to make a living from.

If you doubt this, think about the number of families that you have personally witnessed whose primary focus is to ensure their children find work in the government sector. Most El Paso families encourage their children to go work for the school districts or the other government entities.

At the bottom of the spiral, where the money that drives the machine originates, are the taxpayers. This level is made up by the hardworking El Pasoans that the only benefit they see from their daily labors is the joy of paying more taxes. This class toils under the threat of tax liens, jail time for avoiding fines and taxes and having to pay an entrance fee to watch a game at the stadium their money built. Oh, I forgot being forced to forego using the toilet at San Jacinto Park, unless of course they have some money to buy food at one of the overlord’s restaurants for the privilege of using the bathroom in downtown El Paso.

They send their money up the spiral never to see it again. This is because the financial spiral model of El Paso is such that it allows the overlords to consume more than the economy is able to create. This is because there is no new money coming into the city that is not tied to government consumption.

Let me tie all of this together for you.

You remember CF Jordan, right? The company implicated in the public corruption scandals and yet never charged. The same company that one of El Paso’s overloads now has a substantial financial interest in.

Who do you think will get the contract to build the jail out in East El Paso that Vince Perez and cohorts are positioning as needed to save you money. Oh, you hadn’t heard that a new jail is going to be built. That’s because you aren’t allowed to know it yet. There is a reason why the current jail is being evaluated and it has nothing to do with saving you money.

It has everything to do with making space to build a new city hall to replace the one that was destroyed to build a stadium. Do you really believe that the downtown jail monstrosity is conducive to the El Paso downtown renaissance? Of course not and it must go. Guess whom is likely going to get the contract to build the new city hall where the downtown jail currently sits. I really don’t have to spell it out for you, do I? Just in case, that would be CF Jordan.

All of this is still a little ways off so the architectural and engineering firms, not to mention the lawyers need some sustenance in the meantime. That is why the Board of Managers are in such a rush to get the administrative building going and the reason they needed to bypass the voters. Guess who will be the prime contractor on that job. Here’s a hint, it has the initials C and F in its name.

Of course, by the time the district palace is built, the school districts will have embarked on their own building frenzies with new school buildings and repairs will be needed. All stopgap measures designed to fool you into ambivalence while keeping the machine fed.

By the time the dust settles the politicians will be proclaiming how wonderful they are as the economy is artificially and temporarily stimulated by the building craze before it all comes tumbling down.

The overlords though have a long-term plan in the works built around the notion of building themselves a modern utopia to fit their specific needs. There is a reason “master” is part of the master plan initiative the city has been pursuing for a number of years. The only impediment to master planning the city of El Paso are the residents that still believe in self-determination that reside in it.

This is where the land held in trust by the PSB will come into play. If the residents don’t want to be master-planned then the overlords will build master-planned communities. Eventually, these will choke out the resistance until cars are a thing of the past, walking trails are shaded by trees that somehow betray the reality that El Paso is in the desert and a community that believes that gritty and dirty Mexicans is what keeps El Paso from reaching its full potential. Oh, let’s not forget that the trollies will gleefully run on time and that the seats on the share bikes dotting the city won’t be consumed by overly fat asses as they gleefully peddle up Mesa on their way home.

To achieve this utopia, the overlords need your money to build it and then they will dispense with you when they are finished. It will be easy because you won’t have any money or fight left in you to stay in the utopia you help build for them.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

One reply on “How You Are Helping to Build the City you Will One Day Be Excluded From”

  1. A city consuming itself by debt and taxes, managed by a quiche and brie elite, and your solution is to have the builders sprawl us to freedom. Sorry, I’ll go with planning because I’ve been to the cities I plan to move to and they all have bike paths, open spaces, no billboards, ambience and the Mexicans keep the lawns manicured.

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