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Does area really need development agencies?

On Dec. 3, we read about Western New York importing another official to head an agency, this time the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. While Steven Weathers’ pedigree is impressive, one wonders if it occurs to anyone that the industrial Northeast grew without an IDA? IDAs, economic czars and whatnot are part of a strange tableau.

A crumbling infrastructure – whose roads and bridges were built at tax rates much lower than those in effect today as they crumble – and much else tempt one to feel that our ills, cited as a reason to increase the reach of government, remind us of an arsonist selling fire extinguishers. Whatever wonders these guys show us, widespread prosperity does not seem to be returning.

Dan Hoffman

Buffalo