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A little introspection by the Globe's business columnist?

News that GE is in a spot of financial trouble has set Shirley Leung to thinking about the $60 million the state spent on buying those Fort Point buildings for GE (and the $60 million it set aside for renovations and infrastructure upgrades) and what happens if the company just leaves Boston altogether or stays here a shrunken husk of its former self.

First she basically goes eh, could be worse: If the state's stuck with $120 million in buildings on Fort Point Channel, hey, turn that frown upside down - we can always re-sell them to Amazon. But then Leung reminds us:

Perhaps lost in the hoopla of bringing GE to town is that big companies can have big problems. Just as Boston basked in a crop of good headlines when GE chose us, we’ve got to brace ourselves for the bad news, too.

Hmm, hoopla? Like a Globe columnist writing an "open letter" to GE in 2015 that starts:

Don’t stay in Connecticut. Don’t go to New York. Move the headquarters of General Electric Co. to Boston, and here’s why: We, like your old motto, bring good things to life.

Oh, and:

[T]ruth be told, Boston also needs GE. Over the years, our marquee companies have been swallowed up by out-of-state buyers. FleetBoston, nee Bank of Boston, is now owned by Bank of America. John Hancock is no longer all American, acquired by Canada’s Manulife. Filene’s, the storied department store brand, vanished when the company that owns Macy’s bought it. Gillette is now part of Procter & Gamble. And our biggest tech company, EMC, just got acquired by Dell.

Does this portend less hoopla in the Globe business section?

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Comments

Leung was talking to the psychic?

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There are many worst columnists at the Globe but she never has anything to add to general discourse.

Ooh, John Fish is a brave leader!
Guys, I couldn't find a single family house anywhere in Boston so I moved to Milton. I had no choice.
Hey, let's just have the Olympics cause it will be world class and as Milton resident, I won't be exposed to cost overruns.
Guys, GE is great don't be so negative
Guys, GE isn't that important.
Guys, Amazon is critical.
Guys, Amazon didn't chose us because we didn't let John Fish have the Olympics here*

*future column

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I do not know why Ms. Leung gets any air or paper time. Most of what she says and writes is just "meh" if not totally clueless.

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To be honest I kind of like her... but have you considered that they keep her around because she says really nice things about the big business lobby? So when Globe head honchos are at events with these people and someone from one of these places comes over to say hi , instead of focusing on whatever Spotlight is doing they can say "hey did you see the piece Shirley did on GE, wow amazing!"

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her so she stays.

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Her column is clickbait. I stopped taking the bait at the time of the Olympics debacle.

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I agree. Just like Mr. Jacoby's "columns".

"There Shouldn't Be All This Fuss About The Voting Rights Act".

Or: "Boston Harbor Was Really Never That Polluted".

Or: "I Can't Understand Why Anyone Would Ever Want To Be Called 'Liberal'."

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Cheerleader Leung, and the girls and boys at City Hall and the State House might have looked to see if GE, famous polluter of western Mass, was considered "a buy." Instead, the Taypayers bought GE with hand-outs only to see the Electric Dream crash and burn.

Little Boston Dig had it right. Why couldn't the technocrats in government seen the fire from all the smoke and mirrors?

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There stock sucks (at the moment) but it remains a good company nonetheless.

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GE is a good company

What is 'a good company' or 'a bad company'?

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Or in any danger of failing. I was not speaking morally.

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with a much better stock price before they started on this "let's sell off profitable divisions for quick cash" spree.

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You do understand why they had to sell off their insurance division right?

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Ask someone in Pittsfield about that.

They still have not cleaned up the giant mess they left in the Houstatonic River. Then they come around for handouts.

That's not a good company.

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Again, I wasn't speaking morally. The tone of the article was that GE was in some sort of imminent danger. Their stock price sucks, but the company isn't going to go belly up.

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... about her columns on the sneaky Millennium Tower in Winthrop Square not so square deal.

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We just can't afford to build transit where we need it or repair the system we have.

Amazing how idiots like Leung so firmly believe that these things will magically create themselves with a big employer in town who is given tax breaks or giant project with an international crime syndicate/Olympic committee, rather than pay for themselves when they attract a robust and sustainable mix of smaller businesses that actually pay taxes. She's gone nose blind.

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Is ridiculously expensive, and will take a ridiculously long time to complete. So in other words elected officials have little to no incentive to fix it. That's not unique to Boston either.

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In theory that is why the MBTA exists , an entity that does not care about elections or what happens 6 months from now. The problem is it was left with limited money streams so is kind of useless.

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It's ridiculous expensive because of Boston area corruption. Other cities (with unions and high costs of living) are able to build new transit at a much lower cost then Boston. Why is that. I wish the globe would do some sort of spotlight piece on the Green Line Extension and why it's costs were so inflated.

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First, it is why the costs of the Green Line Extension are so inflated. If you are using the past tense to refer to the earlier contract, there will be business school studies on the failure of that contract, most likely.

Second, the cost is not out of line considering the area. The Hudson Bergen Line was opened in 2000 at a cost of $2.2 billion. Taking into account general inflation, that's the GLX right there. If you have any other northeastern US rail projects that are comparable, I'm happy to see what their numbers are.

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It's expensive because it's a very old system with aging and/or outdated equipment. The reality is the entire things needs to be revamped, that would be expensive regardless of political corruption.

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If one talks to their neighbors, or simply reads the public opinion polls the issues that people are concerned about are:

The high cost of housing.
Economic stratification
Traffic congestion

The rush to bring in The Olympics, GE, Amazon does nothing to help these situations, and indeed will exasperate them.

Additionally if one has any life experience and has not buried their head in the sand, it's obvious that some our fellow citizens stand to make a great deal of money in these ventures, while others will pay the price not only in taxes to fund government subsidies for The Olympics, GE, Amazon, but be driven out of their neighborhood and forced to find new housing.

If Shirley, and the Globe by extension, with to serve as the official stenographers of these movers and shakers that's their choice. However the real tragedy is that our elected leaders show little concern about choosing who is welcome in our community and who is not.

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Leung's beat is business and the regional economy. You are describing quality of life issues which do impact the attractiveness of the city as a place to live and work but I wouldn't expect her to get into these issues really.

Part of the challenge of course is the priority in which you perceive those three issues. I have a house so high cost of housing is (for me) a bonus but I also appreciate it's a problem for the region. But from my perspective fixing the traffic/transit issues would open up more housing which would help with the stratification. If I was a 27 year old renting in the Fenway, I'd probably have reverse priorities.

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The HuskBo district.

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Leung shows herself to be nothing but a clueless shill for the developers in this town.

Best part: realizing how much ass kissing and poor speculation ole Shirl will start to engage in now that Apple is looking for a second campus. As if they woudl ever build in this town....

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she seems like a nice person, and is usually positive and upbeat. True, she buys completely into the stupid corporate tax break/ seduction narrative, but so do her bosses and 90% of your favorite politicians, be they "progressives", repugs or vaguely corrupt corporate or labor-uniony dems. Hold them accountable...get nasty with them for a change. They are the real culprits.

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Every time I've seen/heard her on tv/radio, etc... she seems very nice and personable. However, being a nice person isn't relevant to what I would personally want in a business opinion columnist, especially in these days of the aforementioned economic stratification globalized economy.

She represents opportunity cost of having someone in that position who might, occasionally, speak truth to power or offer insights about the regional economy.

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She's not a nice person. She's a propagandist for graft merchants.

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Telling a lie with a winning smile and a twinkle in your eye does not actually negate reality. Sorry to be the one to tell you this.

She knowingly tells lies for a living for the betterment of people who are already rich. Those are not the actions of a good person. They are the actions of a bad person.

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There are mich bigger fiends to fry. It's good to keep a sense of proportion, I think.

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You really think it takes too much time away from 'the resistance' or whatever to post 3 sentences about a local media hack? Like i I only wasn't posting her, I'd be able to get CHIP funded or the like?

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In case YOU have been distracted by the circus.

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I didn't have access nor did I want to give her a click. Anyone want to sum it up for laughs?

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But I'm assuming it's something like "bend over backwards for Amazon to the detriment of the average citizen because WORLD CLASS CITY"

Edit: She is proposing having Baker offer a multi billion dollar incentive package including major infrastructure projects, and then a major investment in K-12 tech education so we can ensure Amazon always has a pipeline of employees.

So yes, she wants Boston to turn itself into Boston/Amazon HQ, Not that these are all bad ideas, but why do we need to tie them into wooing Amazon, why not just do them because we need to?

The worst part of Shirley is the headfirst dive she takes. No mention of anything negative like rising housing costs, the gentrification of East Boston and Chelsea that would probably take place, resiliency issues because of Suffolk Downs location in a low-lying area next to a bunch of oil tanks on the edge of the Chelsea Creek, etc, etc, etc.

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