Update on the Boscov’s Bailout

John Micek has a summary of the new PA DCED secretary’s explanation of the Boscov’s bailout, during a hearing today.  Secretary Cornelius noted that bailouts encourage companies to start lobbying for taxpayer handouts of their own, but still defended the Rendell administration’s bailout mentality.

“I’ve been to malls where the anchor stores are closed, and it’s like a ghost town,” said Cornelius, who argued that vacant malls were an indicator of a community in economic decline.

In general I would agree, though newer malls, Wal-Mart and other “big-box retailers”, and online sellers like Amazon.com have also undermined the 1950s-model shopping mall.

But Cornelius doesn’t consider that vacant malls are a result of a community in decline, not the cause of it.  Does he really believe that government/taxpayers propping up a department store in a mall will save a community?  Does he think opening up a bunch of government-owned departments stores (maybe with a liquor store, a post-office, and a few video poker machines) in these vacant malls revitalize the local economy?

Note to Mr. Cornelius: government can’t cure our economic woes, six years of Rendell’s “stimulus” is enough, and the Boscov’s bailout is bad for business.