Benton Harbor, MI -- According to Whirlpool Corporation, the Harbor Shores project in Benton Harbor, Michigan, will combine economic development with work force and business development.
What Whirlpool doesn't say is that their focus is on building an exclusive environment which will serve the wealthy. The wealthy will need to destroy land, river ways, animal and bird species, and a City in order to be isolated with like kind in a $500 million playground and designer golf course. This is the Harbor Shores project.
To date, this project has been possible because of the leadership of Jeff Fettig, the Whirlpool Corporation, and its real estate arms. In Dec. 2004, Whirlpool requested another industrial facilities tax exemption from the city of Benton Harbor. A city 96% Black, with 70% unemployment, 90% of the people living below the poverty level, and over a Million Dollars in the red. The purpose of the request was to allow Whirlpool Corporation another tax abatement of 50% on all property tax. This would reduce all property tax by another 50% for the next twelve years.
Also, not to confuse the reader -- but Benton Harbor residents are paying for the INFRASTUCTURE of Harbor Shores through their property taxes! A variety of tactics are being used in the destruction and take-over of Benton Harbor.
Readers should be seated for this next bit of information: In twenty years, after Benton Harbor residents have paid for the Harbor Shores infrastructure, Harbor Shores will be converted into the boundaries of St. Joseph, Michigan. This kind of thing cannot be made up.
Of course, the Benton Harbor City Commission had to agree to all of these things, and it's common knowledge in Berrien County that bribery of various kinds were used to pressure this body to "go along."
The Harbor Shores construction phase will create an estimated 4000 jobs, but history tells us that there will be no jobs for Benton Harbor residents. Not one has been hired yet, and construction is ongoing.
The Larger Picture
If we can finally succeed in translating the idea of "leadership" into that of "service" we may soon find it possible to lift the poor to a high level. So far, under leadership, ghettos have been created. Under leadership we have become poverty stricken; under service we can earn a living earnestly. Under leadership we have been made to despise our own possibilities and develop into parasites; under service we may prove sufficient to the task of self-development and contribute our part to society.
The real servant of the people then will give more attention to those to be served than to the use that somebody may want to make of them. (S)he will be more concerned with what (s)he can do to increase the ease, comfort, and happiness of the poor than with how the poor may be used to contribute to the ease, comfort, and happiness of the wealthy.
We are heading toward a class confrontation. Every facet of society is being polarized. Underlying it is the qualitative change in the economy and the resulting antagonism between wealth and poverty. Polarization, the separation and destruction of bonds that hold a process together is a focal point for revolutionaries.