Warehouses cost more than they contribute
In reference to the warehouse sprawl taking over the Lehigh Valley, I believe there are three “elephants in the room”:
1. Our townships leaders have sold the soul of their environmental beauty for the sake of easy developer tax income and the promise of a soon-to-be diminishing number of low-skilled jobs. Let’s not forget the fact that many of those low-skilled workers can’t afford to live (and school their children) in those once-bucolic suburbs, but live in the closest low-cost city.
2. The developers, who rarely live in or near their “developments,” sometimes get tax incentives to erect these architectural nightmares and then get the added bonus of off-loading most of the infrastructure costs and/or infrastructure degradation onto … oh I know, the taxpayers.
3. As for the jobs created by these fulfillment centers, I don’t expect them to be long-lived. Some of the most aggressive artificial intelligence and robotics research and development targets exactly these jobs. I suspect within 10 years, warehouse jobs will be reduced by 50%.
While I agree that our surrounding townships deserve opportunities for economic development, I’d rather see them building science and research centers a la the “Research Triangle” in Durham, North Carolina.
And if you’re going to spend my tax money on anything, here are two suggestions: Build more schools for poor kids and invest in light rail to connect people to their employment.