Home > South Dakota > Northern Beef Packers makes the case for a libertarian Governor in South Dakota

Northern Beef Packers makes the case for a libertarian Governor in South Dakota

July 21, 2013

Angus Cow, Curious by Kim Newberg

Maybe not intentionally, but yes, the Northern Beef Packers helps to make the case for a libertarian Governor in South Dakota. Last week the Northern Beef Packers announced they would have problems making payroll on Friday. Here is part of what the Aberdeen American news published about the payroll issues:

Northern Beef Packers will delay paying its employees their wages this week because of financial difficulties.

Employees were told on Wednesday that their Friday paychecks would not be distributed, but it was hoped wages could be paid early next week.


Northern Beef Packers laid off 108 workers on April 25 because of a lack of working capital to buy and process cattle, plant officials said at the time.

David Palmer, CEO, said that the plant south of Aberdeen needed to raise about $20 million. Northern Beef hoped to call back laid off workers by mid- or late July, he said.

Most I’ve talked to about this subject in Aberdeen just shrug it off. They are used to anything relating to Northern Beef being a debacle. Unfortunately very few are outraged (or even slightly annoyed) at the amount of taxpayers dollars that have been used to support this ongoing debacle.

So far the biggest outrage seems to come from Cory Heidelberger over at the Madville Times. Here is Cory giving an excellent reply to Jim Barringer, from the Aberdeen Corporate Welfare Development Corporation, trying to invoke “free-enterprise”:

Free enterprise—ha! Northern Beef Packers exists solely because of Uncle Sam and the state of South Dakota’s interference in the free market with its assistance in securing millions of dollars for NBP via the infamous EB-5 visa program

I couldn’t have said it better myself! There is nothing free-market about any of the Northern Beef debacles. The EB-5 program is corporate welfare and has nothing to do with free-enterprise. At its core the EB-5 allows foreign investors to buy a green card; at the same time politicians get to funnel a LOT of money to their favored businesses. It’s a win-win. Well, it’s a win if you happen to be one of those investors or politicians. However if you happen to be someone working for an EB-5 welfare recipient it isn’t so good. These programs are well-known for being ineffective and falling way short of the “created jobs” promise that they were created for.

There is an alternative to debacles such as the Northern Beef plant. Over in Colorado Matthew Hess, Libertarian candidate for Governor in 2014, has been fighting corporate welfare for a long time. Mr Hess has a perfect statement to sum up how South Dakota is currently doing things wrong:

We should not be stealing from struggling families to help developers and allow government to gamble on business proposals that private investors wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

Cut taxes and eliminate corporate aid.

Follow the constitution and put Americans first.

I think the Northern Beef plant has done a good job providing evidence that Mr Hess is right. Perhaps it is time for South Dakota to find a libertarian or libertarian-leaning candidate for Governor. Then the hard-working residents of South Dakota could sleep better knowing their hard-earned tax dollars are not being wasted on corporate welfare and political opportunism.


PS. I also agree with Cory when he says this about Rounds in the current Senate race: “perhaps someone can ask why his concerted meddling in the free market on behalf of certain well-connected entrepreneurs hasn’t resulted in reliable paychecks for Aberdeen workers.” Lets see if the current ‘conservative’ Rounds can reconcile his past corporate welfare loving Governor life.

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