Chesterton Tribune

A defense of foreign investment in Illiana toll road

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Voice of the People

Laura Blaney takes me to task for criticizing the leadership of CAPIT without learning their actual stance. My experience at the Expo Center, and Ms. Blaney’s response to my letter simply reinforce my belief that CAPIT relies on rumor, speculation, and fear mongering.

Ms. Blaney admits that CAPIT has heard the rumors about the intended route, and that this is, indeed, a rumor. No one from CAPIT has done anything to dispel this false notion; to me, this suggests that their leaders are content to allow this mistruth to spread, as it generates anxiety, and garners more support for their cause.

Every form letter I received at the Expo Center, and even Ms. Blaney’s two letters to the Chesterton Tribune, mentioned the possibility of a foreign entity operating this proposed tollway. Mere speculation; no bids or contracts are even in existence.

Even if a foreign firm won the contract, why would that be harmful? Foreign interests have invested in many areas of the U.S. economy, and, so far, I haven’t seen any evidence that they are out to destroy us. Do you like to shop at Southlake Mall? Did you know that it is owned by an Australian concern? Many people in Northwest Indiana purchase water from the Indiana-American Water Company. The owners? A German firm. BP Amoco, one of NWI’s largest employers, is British-owned. Bethlehem Steel, after falling into bankruptcy, is now owned by an Indian-European consortium. The American taxpayers bailed out the Chrysler Corporation - the present owners? DaimlerChrysler of Germany.

All these businesses provide jobs and services for many Americans, even to you, your friends, and neighbors. Foreign investment in this country has a beneficial effect on our economy, and suggesting that it would be detrimental to the building and operation of a tollroad is fear-mongering at its worst – look up xenophobia in the dictionary.

For these reasons, I stand by the opinions stated in my previous letter.


George Mrak


Posted 3/19/2007