• Why Does Connecticut Need The Connecticut Department Of Economic And Community Development? (The “DECD”)

    January 6, 2024

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    One of the best kept secrets of failure in the land of His Royal Con Man King Ned Lamont The Unaccountable is the DECD. According to the current state budget, here is a parsing of the Mission Statement as to what the DECD supposedly does: 

    "Agency Purpose" "To develop and implement strategies to increase the state’s economic competitiveness. 

    • To foster a productive business environment that enables businesses to grow in the state and compete in the global economy. 
    • To advance job creation and retention. 
    • To set and execute strategies that will create a talent ecosystem that attracts and motivates students, career builders, and companies alike. 
    • To support the quality of life and economic sustainability of our local communities. 
    • To promote, encourage, and implement responsible growth principles and practices through brownfield redevelopment and other local initiatives. 
    • To brand and market Connecticut to bolster its reputation as an innovative business location and tourism destination. 
    • To preserve and promote Connecticut’s cultural and tourism assets in order to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of the state. 
    • To coordinate the activities of all state agencies in advancing economic development opportunities."(See: CT 2024-2025_Biennial_Budget p.B-40,41) 

    To show how perspicacious the DECD is in innovative future business trends, the new FY 24-25 budget provides a mere $10.5 million dollars of Connecticut Taxpayers monies to "Provide Funding for Regulation of Recreational Use of Cannabis by Adults”. Since the regulatory costs of cannabis legalization were previously omitted by this top-flight organization, this proposal explicitly provides funding to ensure implementation of this meaningful “policy initiative.” 

    In addition, this expenditure of taxpayer funds is allocated to “provide positions and funding to support the “Social Equity Council” (SEC) as well as to make the Cannabis Social Equity and Innovation Fund an appropriated fund. The amount available to the SEC is based upon projected revenue." (See: CT 2024-2025_Biennial_Budget, p.B-40,41) That is a lot of money spent on supposed "social equity" from legal drugs. 

    Leaving aside any semblance of economic realities or morality as Connecticut is often wont to do, one queries as to why the state is involved in the Cannabis business in the first instance. The long-established illegal market, unburdened by taxation and regulation, as much nimble as the state is inept, and further enabled by diluted law enforcement continues to flourish as the state Cannabis industry flounders and bears the increasing burdens of new union contracts and added costs. Any reasonably sane person wonders why this fool’s errand, continues. 

    Moreover, the DECD spends a mere $825,000,000 to $900,000,000 million dollars of your taxpayer dollars (depending on how one interprets the astounding accounting methods of the state), while employing 94 people. Further as my friend and colleague Tony De Angelo has reported for many years now on 94.9’s Lee Elci Show, taxpayers have no idea how much money has been lost by the DECD in bad loan write offs and "free" money grants monies since the inception of this agency. Just the known trashing of taxpayer funds (such as by Sema4, Digital Currency Group, and UniteUs) are staggering. Never forget that Connecticut is a state that is a continual bottom feeder in all economic and business categories with $100-$150 billion dollars in short- and long-term debt along with unfunded liabilities. On many segments, Tony has pointed out the Lamont family hedge fund ties, waste, auditable offenses not resolved, “backdoor” rackets with state vendors and questionable grants this agency has contributed to over the past several years. I have discussed the horrific grants given to "Infosys" over the past two weeks. And for four years starting with the 2020 Covid-19 debacle, we still do not have any answers to Ned Lamont's family hedge fund (Oak HC/FT Partners) from associated companies relating to the Covid-19 crisis that include "Thermo Fisher Scientific", "Sema 4", " Core Infomatics", “Centrellis”. "Ocrulus", "Urjanet", "1life Healthcare", "Galileo Health", "Castlight Health", "Paladina Health", and "VillageMD" to name several that appear to have received cash or other like favors via the DECD and its cohorts. 

    Why does Connecticut need the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development? I and many others wonder why also, but one apparent purpose for it is to be a slush fund for the myriad family deals of The Unaccountable. If Connecticut could lower the horrendous regulatory burdens and excessive taxation on businesses and perhaps provide something close to a semblance of public safety, maybe, (just maybe), businesses would want to move into the state rather than move out. But then what would happen to the cash gravy train that flows between the DECD and the Lamont family? The state could actually spend $1 billion dollars less each fiscal year and see greater economic growth without the DECD just by that money saved alone. 

    The elimination of the DECD would be a dream come true for many thus it will never happen. Connecticut Taxpayers must continue to toil as indentured servants to support monolithic and economically incoherent agencies such as the DECD so that other politically aligned giants can profit. It is just more of the same failures economically that define the vast economic wasteland know as One-Party Democrat Rule Connecticut. 

    In closing, I propose that the new motto for Connecticut should now be the "unconstitutional" state (or the “waste management state”) as a much more accurate reflection as to how business is done in 2023.

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    Bob Swick

    I am an Adjunct Professor of Business and Economics and have taught for 41 years for several different colleges and universities. I have a Bachelors of Science in Journalism and a Masters of Science in Economics. I have written about economics and political issues in my blog "Swick Speak" since 2006.

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