After attending the League of Women Voters port commissioners’ debate at Grace Church the other day I left with concerns that I thought deserved a broader discussion.
During the debate, candidate Larry Bailey criticized the cost of servicing the port’s current debt and advocated strongly for economic growth here on Lopez. He tied these two ideas together by outlining a plan to reduced the port’s debt in order to be in a position to obtain a new bond issuance of up to a million dollars, thereby increasing the port’s debt substantially over what it is today. The money from this greater debt load seemed to be the “economic growth” on offer as no specific plan was presented to put the money to productive use. Typically, one would think, it should come about the other way around. A productive idea first and then how to fund it. Instead, we are offered no inspiration other than to fill the coffers with borrowed money.
While the influx of the borrowed money might feel like economic growth at first, servicing the greater debt would most likely act as a drag on any real economic growth here on Lopez for some time to come.