North Idaho Slow Growth

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    IACI: Corporate Statism Disguised as Business

    The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI), represents itself as a business lobby that advocates for "economic opportunity” and "polices that achieve economic growth through entrepreneurship and free enterprise”.    But a quick look at the companies that make up IACA's board shows that this is pure bunkum.  What IACI promotes is corporate statism, a collectivist form of government run by oligarchs disguised as businessmen.  

    "Corporatocracy is an economic, political and judicial system controlled by
    business corporations or corporate interests."

    The IACI board is made up almost entirely of large, politically well-connected corporations, whose idea of "economic opportunity" is corporate socialism, and whose "business plan" is the elimination of competition by consolidation and collusion.     IACI consistently promotes the interests of multinational conglomerates over independent businesses, and government interventions over free markets.  

    The reasons that IACI's advocates for statist policies become clear when one looks at the 48 companies that are represented on its board of directors.   

     

    Overall, only a third of the companies on the board of IACI are headquartered in Idaho, a fourth are government funded "non-profits", and about half of the "for profit" companies are privately owned, meaning they are controlled by wealthy families and private equity funds.

    Only a few of the companies that are represented on the IACI board operate in anything resembling a free market environment.  Instead, almost all rely on cozy relationships with government agencies to secure their monopolies, subsidies, and favorable treatment.  Generous donations to Idaho politicians are just the cost of doing business.  

    Most of the companies represented on IACI’s board are large corporations, employing hundreds of Idaho residents.   They are presented as essential “job creators” and engines for economic growth and opportunity.  But they are only a small fraction of the businesses in Idaho, and their interests are not aligned with those of smaller, independent companies.

       

    Idaho Business:  Top Down and Bottom Up

    So before we take a closer look at the panoply of monopolists, global financiers, and government funded “non-profits” that make up the IACI boards,  let's take a quick look at what Idaho business looks like from the point view of regular citizens.  

    Certainly Idaho residents use the services of large companies and national national chain stores, but they also patronize many smaller businesses that provide valued goods and services.  For example: Restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, printing & office services, auto repair, tires, theatres, flooring supplies, plumbing supplies,  general contractors, spas and salons, attorneys,  florists, pizza shops,  motels, amusement parks,  gardening services, sporting equipment, pet groomers, naturopaths, moving and storage, insurance, realtors, equipment rentals, art & hobby supplies,  gun shops, pawn shops, thrift stores, building supplies, realtors,  credit unions.   

    And that's just driving down a few blocks around town.  We have not even mentioned light manufacturing, industrial businesses, or mainstream medical establishments.   The point is, there is an enormous variety of small businesses in Idaho that operate on free market principles, and do not require full time lobbyist services.   Does IACI represent them?  Not at all.   

    Now we've seen how Idaho business looks to your average citizen,  we are ready to consider how multinational corporations view Idaho commerce:

    When multinational corporations look at Idaho, they do not concern themselves with small, neighborhood businesses. They focus on goods produced inside Idaho that can be sold outside Idaho.  Globalists are traders at heart, and they value Idaho communities based mainly on what can be extracted from them and sold for profit.    

    And from the point of view of a globalist, it makes good business sense for a state government to shift the property tax burden from corporations to homeowners, and to subsidize housing and healthcare for low paid workers.    After all, low taxes and low wages keep profits high, and give Idaho a "competitive advantage" and encourage "progress" and "growth".   

    Multinationals: Foreign and Domestic

    Now that we’ve looked at Idaho Business from both bottom up, and top down views, let’s see what companies make up the board of directors of IACI.   

    We’ll start with a dozen well-known American-based Multinational Corporations (MNCs) that are dominant, global players in their respective industries.  We see that several of them have a plant or factory in Idaho, but all are headquartered outside Idaho.  

    Domestic Multinational Corporations  

     

    There are only two banks represented on the IACI board, and both are large, multinational commercial/investment banks.  What a surprise!  Why are multinational banks representing the financial sector in Idaho rather than community banks or local credit unions?

     

    So far, we’ve identified 14 large, American based multi-nationals on the board of IACI, that have operations in Idaho, but are headquartered elsewhere.   Nevertheless, they have LOTS of money to throw at our politicians. 

    But that’s not all.  There are four additional foreign based MNCs on the board of IACI.  Why?   Why are 10% of IACI board members foreign companies.  And come to think of it, why is Boise’s municipal water system owned by a foreign company?  Seems unwise. 

    Foreign Based Multi-Nationals

     

    And why is Idaho Material & Construction, a company with local roots that supplies road making material to Treasure Valley in foreign hands?   Especially in the hands of a multinational conglomerate such as CRH, a enormous holding company with seemingly unlimited access to capital on a world-wide buying spree for road construction companies?  

    Does else anyone see a problem with foreign MNCs owning companies that supply critical resources to Idaho cities?    Monopoly capitalism is the name of the game.

    We have so far shown that at least 18 of 48 companies on IACI Board are large MNCs with headquarters outside of Idaho.   What’s next? 

     “Health Care Related Nonprofits” 

    The next alarming and over-represented group of companies, comprising over 20% of the IACI board, are Healthcare Insurance and Service companies.  NISGR has discussed some of the problems with Health Care nonprofits (NPCs)  in two recent articles:  St Luke:  South Idaho's Healthcare Colossus  and Kootenai Health: North Idaho's Healthcare Kraken.

    The whole topic of Health care as a government subsidized "business" is extremely problematic—far to troublesome to discuss here,—but suffice it to say that these Health care NPCs are far from charitable in nature.  They wield enormous power over vulnerable people and many executives and contractors are richly compensated. And all this while the NPCs collect billions in government subsidies. 

    Heath Care Insurace Nonprofits:  

     

    Healthcare Services Nonprofits: 

     

    Other, non-Healthcare Nonprofits

    There are two other government funded NPCs on the IACI board, and like the healthcare NPCs, both are funded primarily from Federal rather than state monies.

     

    Overall, this means that 12 of 48, or 25% of the corporations represented on the IACI board are government funded nonprofits.  What could the priorities of these NPC "businesses" have anything to do with the interests of an independent Idaho business?   They should be at cross purposes!!!  What is going on?  

    And why the obsession with Health Insurance?  Six out of 48 IACI board members are health insurance companies.   This is remarkable and disturbing!!!!   What are the corporatistas at IACI up to?    Smells like a pending campaign for more socialized healthcare is afoot.  Beware!!!  

      

    Food Products, Agribiz

    So far we have identified 18 non-Idaho MNCs, and 12 non-profits on the IACI board.  When do we get to some actual Idaho businesses?

    Well it turns out that foods products are some of Idaho’s largest “exports,” with dairy, cattle, and potato products leading the way.   So unsurprisingly, nine of the companies on IACI’s board produce food products and of these companies, about half are based in Idaho.  They can be roughly divided into potato and dairy companies, although most Agribiz conglomerates have a wide variety of products.

    Potatoes

     

    Dairy

     

    Unsurprisingly, many of the largest food products companies in Idaho are enthusiastic supporters of illegal immigration, and Medicaid for all.   Why is that?  Because many of their factory jobs are low skilled, and they want the government to pick up the tab for subsidized “workforce housing” and subsidized “workforce healthcare”, so they can pay slave wages, and maximize profits.   

    But there are a few other things about the Agribiz companies that are of interest.   First, almost all the Agribiz companies are privately held, rather than public.   Why is this?   For one thing, it is easier for private companies to disguise the employment of illegal immigrants.   Second, many of the "leading citizens" of Idaho's rural counties are land barons who have dealings with Agribiz.   So Agribiz is very politically powerful at the state level.  

    Natural Resources and Utilities

    "Corporate socialism is a political system where a special relationship between government and business benefits corporations while transferring risk and loss to the general population." 

    Natural Resource extraction companies and public utilities both operate as monopolies within certain spheres, and therefor rely on government agencies to regulate their activities.  No surprise they are heavily represented on the IACI board.   

    The northwest timber and forest products industry has been dominated by a few companies ever since timber baron Frederick Weyerhaeuser joined forces with the railroads to open up the vast forests of the northwest to commercial logging.  PotlatchDeltic, a forest products REIT that is still the largest land owner in Idaho, was originally part of the Weyerhaeuser empire.

    The Idaho timber industry still operates as a syndicate, and still relies on government agencies for access to Federal lands, and for influencing forest policies and regulations. 

    Forest Products Corporations

     

    The mining industry in Idaho, like the forest industry, has long been dominated by large corporations.    Hecla, based in CDA is the oldest and largest silver producer in the United States, and Perpetua Resources is a newly formed company that seeks to reopen operations in the long dormant Stibnite Mining District.  All mining operations in Idaho are heavily affected by environmental agencies.   

    Mining Corporations

     

    There are three utility companies included on the IACI board but one, Boise's Municipal Water Utility, Veoli, has already been mentioned.  The remaining two are both publicly owned, state-regulated monopolies, meaning that their profitability and policies are controlled by government agencies.  

     

    Other IACI Businesses

    Having dispensed with Multinationals, Nonprofits, Agribiz, and Natural Resources, and Utilities, we are left with four companies, that don't fall into any of these categories.   These include two high tech companies and two development related companies.     It is worth mentioning, however, that at least two, Micron and Ball Ventures, are extraordinarily well connected in Boise.  

    Electronics and High Tech

     

    Development

     

    Big Business or "Rigged Business?"

    It is easy to see by reviewing the corporations on IACI's board of directors, that IACI represents crony capitalism, and corporate-government collusion, not free-enterprise.   It is also apparent that there is something even more disturbing than corrupted capitalism at work here: there is an hive-mindedness among IACI companies reminicent of Orwellian group-think.     

    For example, almost all the corporations on the IACI board are aboard the sustainability  bandwagon, and each company appears to be required to recite its ESG catechism to showcase their FAKE corporate concern for a FAKE climate crisis.  Its almost like a cabal of mammon-serving, fear-mongering, one-world-government-pushing globalists are in control.     

    The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, and the politicans who take money from them are serving global commerce, not Idaho businesses, and conservatives need to stop falling for the pretense that corporate America, and the IACI, actually represent free enterprise.   

     

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