Maine citizens make substantial investments in economic development programs each year. These programs, taken together, constitute an investment portfolio that ideally should be designed and managed to assure that the State is getting the best return on its investment. There are, however, significant technical and political challenges in adopting a portfolio approach.
The words "Maine Citizens" refers to the people of Maine. Through a rhetorical sleight of hand, the authors of the OPEGA report switch the meaning of "Maine Citizens" with that of " the State" , The latter term refers to the government sector, which in theory, if not in practice, serves the citizens of the state. The two terms are not interchangeable, with a possible exception within the context of the political ideology of Karl Marx who referred to his proposed system of government as "the dictatorship of the proletariate" but even this was purely a theoretical concept, which in practice required the existence of a bureaucratic class , the equivilence of "the state" or"the government sector", a subset of "Maine Citizens"
Sleight of hand, also known as prestidigitation ("quick fingers") or léger de main, is the set of techniques used by a magician (or card sharp) to manipulate objects such as cards and coins secretly. Wikipedia
In ordinary English the term investment is identified this way by wikipedia:
Investment has different meanings in finance and economics.
In economics, investment is the accumulation of newly produced physical entities, such as factories, machinery, houses, and goods inventories.
In finance, investment is putting money into an asset with the expectation of capital appreciation, dividends, and/or interest earnings. This may or may not be backed by research and analysis. Most or all forms of investment involve some form of risk, such as investment in equities, property, and even fixed interest securities which are subject, among other things, to inflation risk.The state has been accumulating land and production facilities through such "instrumentalities' as the state managed municipality of The MRRA and the Advanced Manufacturing Center at The University of Maine. The MRRA is now retailing its own line of merchandise- and of course thanks to Lepage, Maine once again has a Castro-styled state owned liquor industry and so it can be said that the state is making investments in newly produced physical entities, such as factories, machinery, houses, and goods inventories.
However in terms to the second meaning of "investment", the only expectation of a return on investment for the citizens of Maine, and not just the state's "targeted sector" is in the form of rhetoric about creating jobs. Even if it could be established that the state's redistribution of the taxpayer's wealth had a justifiable effect on job creation. this is like the state saying:"I, the state, being in all ways, self designated as superior and more worthy than you, will take you money and invest it my design for the way I think the world should be, according to my self ordained superiority, and with no imput from those designated to be inferior to me in accordance with my delusional and ego centric world view. Once I transfer your investment capital to my "targeted sector" and transform those I chose into the the new owners of the means of production and they profit abundatly from the use of your wealth, then if you are able to scramble up your own investment capital with no help from your superiors, your superiors will deem it that they are the cause of your success through the trickle down effect of their activities, and tax you appropriatly to pay for the free ride of your superiors."
Given these challenges, it will likely be some time before Maine is in a position to truly design and manageUnfortunately as noted in the previous post, the legislature just can't seem to scramble up the finances to cover the expense of "transparency and accountability" We all know they would if they could but they can't so they don't ! Boo hoo hoo.
its economic development programs as an investment portfolio from a cost-benefit (return on investment)
perspective. In the meantime, however, Maine’s policymakers need accurate and reliable information about these programs to make informed decisions.
Maine’s citizens and businesses also deserve as much transparency and accountability as possible around these programs.