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When did taxpayers become ‘bankers’?

I can’t believe what I just read in the Pioneer. The city of Bemidji "OK’d" a loan of $65,000 (amount lowered from the original $100,000 they asked for) to "buy inventory" (couches, chairs and beds!) for a North Dakota furniture store owner to open another furniture store in the soon to be vacant Bemidji Design Center building (which just went out of business).

Maybe I’m missing something here. … When did the taxpayers become "bankers" for a private business to stock their store? Has it truly come the point where government is giving tax breaks, waiving fees and now "stocking the shelves?" If the building/location is such a thriving place for a furniture store, wouldn’t the Design Center still be open, or sold to another willing buyer (because of the great potential for profits)?

I always thought if you wanted to open a business, you used your own money, or went to a bank (I know, you’re thinking, "he’s so old school"). If the bank agreed with your business plan and thought it was a good investment, they gave you a loan. I know it rarely happens in this stellar economy we have experienced the last few years, but not all businesses are succeeding today. If by some wild eyed chance another furniture store doesn’t succeed in the same location, who gets stuck with a bunch of couches, chairs and beds?

Steve Pemble