We will create a panel of telemarketers that will be trained and employed specifically for the purpose of attracting businesses. They will possess the necessary sales skills to ensure the largest possible business growth. In addition to his Business Growth Plan, TJ Huntley is creating a plan to aid the citizens of Houston in starting their own business. These two plans will work hand in hand to achieve short and long term economic growth.
I am sure that many Houstonians will find this appealing, but I am not one of them.
I certainly agree that attracting business is important for the city's long term economic growth. However, the most practical and moral means for doing so does not consist of marketing--it consists of promoting freedom.
Practically, I can only imagine the script that these telemarketers will use:
Good morning Mr. Gates. How is the weather in Seattle? I am calling today because your company is eligible for a special program being offered by the City of Houston. Because of the reputation of your company, we are prepared to offer seven years of tax rebates if you move your headquarters to Houston. We don't make such offers to everyone, and you should feel honored that we have placed your company has such an elite status. And if you sign up today, we will also give your company exclusive use of Discovery Green for an entire day.
I may be wrong, but I seriously doubt that telemarketing is going to be an effective means for attracting businesses to Houston.
Morally, such tactics are improper. Government's purpose is to protect our rights, not use annoying marketing methods to badger business owners to move their operations. Huntley is little different from the other mayoral candidates--he believes that city government should be actively engaged in the economy.
Regarding crime, Huntley offers a superficial solution similar to Peter Brown:
TJ Huntley plans to stop crime at the root by investing in our children and future generations. Various programs are offered throughout Houston that educate children about the dangers of crime and encourage them to live an appropriate lifestyle. Through support of these organizations we can help keep children and teens off our city streets and in safe habitable conditions.
According to Huntley, crime is essentially an educational issue--our crime rate will drop if we teach children that crime is dangerous. While I would agree that education should play a role in addressing crime, the nature of that education is considerably different. Rather than running vocational programs and "crime is dangerous" classes, government should be educating by example--if you violate the rights of others you will be punished. That is the only "lesson" that the city should be teaching.
Huntley's "me-tooing" goes beyond the economy and crime. He also wants to protect the planet and expand light rail. These positions are typical among Houston's politicians, and they are unprincipled pandering. He continues this trend when he writes about zoning:
We will work with real estate developers and encourage them to invest in these poorly constructed neighborhoods, giving the residents and their neighbors a better lifestyle.
When government "encourages" certain actions, it can only mean a carrot and stick approach. It means granting unearned benefits to some, punishing others, or both. It means using tax money to bribe individuals to act as government desires, prohibiting actions government dislikes, or both.
It would be easy to conclude that TJ Huntley offers nothing new in the mayor's race. But alas, that is not the case. His web site tell us that:
He is a strong advocate for pro-life, is passionately dedicated to the rights of the unborn, and believes that marriage should only take place between a man and a woman. Like our Founding Fathers, TJ does not support a state sanctioned or required religion but believes our nation can only achieve greatness under the hand of God.
While acknowledging that the mayor can have little, if any, impact on these issues, Huntley promises to "promote honorable morals". He makes it very clear that he would use the mayor's office to promote Christianity. He may dispute my claim, but if he seeks to make Houston great--which he does--and greatness can only be achieved "under the hand of God", his meaning is beyond question.
It is bad enough that Huntley promotes the same tired ideas as the other mayoral candidates. That he also wants to promote his religious beliefs puts him at the bottom of the list.