Mattress Seller Causes Taxpayer Nightmares
Mattress Seller Causes Taxpayer Nightmares by Richard A. Cooper
"Sleepy’s, a family-owned mattress seller that began in Brooklyn in 1931 and later moved to Long Island, has been awarded a grant of $1.5 million to offset the cost of construction for a new facility in Hicksville. Over the past two decades, Sleepy’s has expanded its growth dramatically and is now the largest specialty mattress retailer in the United States. The new 450,000 square foot building will house corporate headquarters and a distribution facility outfitted with all new machinery and fixtures. The company will retain 401 jobs and create 150 new jobs. Total project cost is $69,725,000." 
The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), a New York State government economic development agency, granted $1.5 million to Sleepy's Inc., a Bethpage, New York based major Northeastern US mattress seller with 700 stores in 10 states www.sleepys.com.
The funds were to offset constructon costs for a new facility at 1000 South Oyster Bay Road, Hicksville, New York on Long Island. From the ESDC's release of 9/17/2009
As a Libertarian, I condemn this action of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), www.empire.state.ny.us. We reject this as legalized theft , taking private property from some to give to others politically favored. http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html. The Empire State Development Corporation represents what is probably the most active agent for corporate welfare and eminent domain abuse in such cases as my alma mater Columbia University's land grab in West Harlem  and the Atlantic Yards scheme in Brooklyn , to name some notable current examples. The Empire State Development Corporation and its counterparts eveywhere are illegitimate agents of legalized theft.
Taxpayers are coerced into paying for the benefit of the owners of Sleepy's for the claimed benefit of the people of the State of New York. The Libertarian idea is that Sleepy's and firms like it borrow money from private lenders without a government guarantee, cut costs, sell stocks or bonds in the market and in general rely on themselves, leaving the taxpayer alone. The same sorts of legalized theft (or plunder as Bastiat's translator termed it) are commonplace at the federal, state and local level throughout the United States of America and practiced around the world.
Having read the complaints of consumers and employees including allegations of union-busting about Sleepy's perhaps it is not suprising that this firm does not rely on resources from voluntary means to fund themselves. (See www.jobvent.com and www.furninfo.com). Longtime Hartford Courant journalist George Gombossy claims he was fired for his critical articles investigating consumer complaints about Sleepy's . I can take no position on the veracity or justice of such complaints, only noting that there seem to be many of them.
Not only do I contend the government grant of $1.5 million to Sleepy's Inc. to be immoral legalized theft, I believe as a plaintiff in the Stop The Pork Lawsuit  that it violates the New York State Constitution, which prohibits grants or loans to corporations, except those which are educational or mental health in character.
As it happens, I am in the market for a new mattress. I'll pass on Sleepy's so I can sleep with a clear conscience and no nightmares of wronged taxpayers. -30-
About the author: Richard Cooper is an international trade executive with a manufacturing firm on Long Island, New York, USA. He is active in the Libertarian Party www.lp.org on eminent domain and other issues. He was chair of the Libertarian Party of New York www.ny.lp.org
1. http://www.empire.state.ny.us/press/press_display.asp?id=1035 ESDC BOARD APPROVES GRANTS LEVERAGING OVER $142 MILLION IN PRIVATE INVESTMENTS TO RETAIN AND CREATE JOBS ACROSS STATE
2. Columbia University Obtains Eminent Domain Land Grab In Harlem http://groundreport.com/articles.php?id=2877150
groundreport.com/articles.php?id=2907998 ; NYC MTA's Bailout Of Brooklyn Atlantic Yards Developer http://groundreport.com/articles.php?id=2902243 ; Celebrity Architect Dropped From Urban Renewal Scheme http://groundreport.com/articles.php?id=2901551
3. State Agency Reaffirms Land Grab http://
; Government Pirates Are Not Jack Sparrows http://groundreport.com/articles.php?id=2873019 ; Atlantic Yards Eminent Domain Abuse Scheme Confronts Reality http://groundreport.com/articles.php?id=2857809
5.Stop The Pork Lawsuit Butchered In Supreme Court http://groundreport.com/articles.php?id=2890386
Tags: Mattress Retailers , Sleepy's Mattress , Eminent Domain Abuse , Corporate Welfare , Atlantic Yards , Columbia Eminent Domain
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