Welcome to the People’s Republic of North Augusta and Aiken County. That’s the sign we need to hang at the I-20 Welcome Center after you cross the Savannah River from Georgia.


The city of North Augusta, against the wishes of its residents, has decided to tell us what our entertainment will be – baseball. The leaders of Aiken County Council decided they know better than local residents and denied them a vote on the most destructive project to come down the pike since Sherman’s march to the sea. (For all the commenters, relax – it’s hyperbole).


We’ve been told this will “create or sustain” (yes Obama/Biden newspeak hits North Augusta) 1,000 jobs, using a statistical model that has never been tested; by an author that is not a recognized authority with no degree in economics. All the research shows Class A teams and stadiums are a zero or negative impact on the local economy. The proponents didn’t read their own article (which specifically excludes entities that are just moving across town) nor did they talk to the author, they just plugged in numbers. This is the new alchemy; like the charlatans of the dark ages who had a formula to turn lead into gold; they now peddle baseball parks as gold mines.


Our dear leaders haven’t made attendance at the games mandatory yet, but under the Supreme Court’s theory on Obamacare, our dear leaders could dictate mandatory attendance at baseball games or you pay a penalty – according to Chief Justice John Roberts that would just be a tax.


Project Jackson is peddled as “economic development,” but not one measurement of job creation or claw-back of tax deferment is included in any intergovernmental agreements with the city for this nonsense. And after all the hoopla, the word job isn’t even mentioned. Any wonder why people are so cynical about the government?


Steve Donohue


North Augusta