The Show Me Institute, a free market think-tank based in St. Louis, MO, held a review of the special legislative session currently underway in Jefferson City. The special session was called this past summer by Governor Jay Nixon. Nixon hopes that Missouri's General Assembly will pass his Economic Development bills. That legislation includes funding for the aerotropolis/china hub at Lambert airport, MOSIRA (already passed), and "compete Missouri" the cornerstone of Gov. Nixon's centrally planned vision for the state.
Audrey Spalding and Patrick Ishmail have led the Show Me Institute's research, blogging, and social media push against some aspects of the aerotropolis portion of the legislation. They uncovered the fact that there are already 18 million square feet of available warehouse space near Lambert-St. Louis airport and have been critical of the $300 million earmarked for additional warehouse space.
Spalding and State Senator John Lamping spoke to the forum before taking questions. Lamping's comments about the negotiation with China were interesting. I asked him why we needed legislation when a cargo flight from China has already landed here. He noted that all business in China is sanctioned by the state and often also subsidized. I inferred from that the warehouse tax credits as well as the aerotropolis legislation are a sort of diplomatic and cultural gesture towards the crony capitalism of mainland China. In other words, we can trade with China now without new legislation or tax credits.